VMware Disk mount Utility : Retrieve data present on VMDK

Lot of times people come to VMTN forums asking for a way to access their corrupt machine VMDK’s. Most of them would have stored some important data on their data disks and due to OS corruption the machine wouldn’t power on which also makes the other data inaccessible.

VMware Virtual machines store the data on .vmdk files which are the hard disk files. Many a times there will be a need to mount these files on host machine or some machine from where you can remotely mount the disk. VMware disk mount utility will help you do this task and lets you make changes to VMDK offline.

What all disks can be mounted?

The disk mount utility can mount only FAT or NTFS virtual disks. Only disks of a powered off machines and disks that are not associated with any VM’s can be mounted.  If you mount a virtual disk that has snapshots, any changes you make to the virtual disk will be lost if you revert to the snapshot. Remember that VMware does not support the disk mount utility.

Vmware Disk mount utility comes as part of VDDK (Virtual Disk Development Kit). Download it here

Install the VDDK



Click Next



Read the EUPA ( yes its not license agreement but a patent agreement)



Now accept the EULA



Choose the install directory. note the Path



Click on Install



Once the installation is done, click Finish.

All the commands to use the tool should be run through command line.  Open run and type cmd. Now navigate to the folder where the files are installed. the default location is

C:Program FilesVMwareVMware Virtual Disk Development Kitbin

Run vmware-mount / to get all the options that can be used with the disk mount tool.

To mount a VMDK, type

vmware-mount [driveletter:] [path-to-vmdk] [options]

If you have you VMDK in CWindows-XPWindows-XP.vmdk and you want to mount it as a z drive, your command would be

vmware-mount  z:  CWindows-XPWindows-XP.vmdk /m:w ( Where m:w mounts the disk in read-write mode)

Once this command succeeds you will be able to see the VMDK as a drive on your OS. now you can make all the possible changes.

To unmount the disk you need to type the command

vmware-mount    z:   /d.

There are a lot of other options that can be used with the Disk mount tool. You can also mount the VMDK from a remote server and work on it.

This way you will be able to retrieve data and make changes in the VMDK. on the host and also remotely.

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Abhilash B

Abhilash is a wannabe geek who tries his hand at everything interesting. Partial DevOps guy, a little bit of SEO nerd and a VMware vExpert. Cloud consultant by day. Blogger by night. A virtualization lover who is recognized as #PernixPro and a #CiscoChampion for his contributions at VMTN community and here at vPirate.in.

3 thoughts on “VMware Disk mount Utility : Retrieve data present on VMDK

  • September 22, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    hi abhilash, i tried the steps given by you but could not get the drive in my explorer. The command did not gave any message after completion. but when i tried again it said drive letter already in user. I tried opening drive by direct address j:/ but did not worked for me. I am using windows 8.1 is there any issue with this?

    Also images in this post are not working.

  • September 22, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    I’m not sure about the OS compatibility. But make sure you have both flat.vmdk and .vmdk in the same folder when you are mounting the file.
    The images have been fixed.

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