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You can add a physical (sometimes called raw) disk to your virtual machine. The virtual machine should be powered off before you begin. If it is not, shut down the guest operating system normally, then click Power Off on the Workstation toolbar.
Caution: A physical disk is an advanced feature and should be configured only by expert users.
A physical disk directly accesses an existing local disk or partition. You can use physical disks if you want Workstation to run one or more guest operating systems from existing disk partitions. Physical disks may be set up on both IDE and SCSI devices. At this time, however, booting from an operating system already set up on an existing SCSI disk or partition is not supported.
The most common use of a physical disk is for converting a dual-boot or multiple-boot machine so one or more of the existing operating systems can be run inside a virtual machine.
Under Disk file you can view the path and filename for the file used to store the virtual disk.
The Disk information section displays the following information, depending upon whether you are using a disk partition or the entire physical disk:
Settings displayed in the Disk information section are specified at the time you create the virtual disk and cannot be changed.
Caution: If you run an operating system natively on the host computer, then switch to running it inside a virtual machine, the change is like pulling the hard drive out of one computer and installing it in a second computer with a different motherboard and other hardware. You need to prepare carefully for such a switch. The specific steps you need to take depend on the operating system you want to use inside the virtual machine. For details, see "Configuring a Dual-Boot Computer for Use with a Virtual Machine" on the VMware Web site www.vmware.com/support/ws4/doc/ disks_dualboot_ws.html.
Note: You should not use a physical disk to share files between host and guest operating systems. It is not safe to make the same partition visible to both the host and the guest. You can cause data corruption if you do this. To share files between host and guest operating systems, use shared folders. For details, see Setting Up Shared Folders.
Note: After you create a physical disk using one or more partitions on a physical disk, you should never modify the partition tables by running fdisk or a similar utility in the guest operating system.
Note: If you use fdisk or a similar utility on the host operating system to modify the partition table of the physical disk, you must recreate the virtual machine's physical disk. All files that were on the physical disk are lost when you modify the partition table.
If you are adding a new physical disk, click Add to install the device.
o remove an existing physical disk, select that disk, then click Remove.
Click OK to save the configuration and close the virtual machine settings editor
Click Advanced if you want to specify the virtual machine SCSI or IDE device node to which this disk is connected, or to select a disk mode. For more information, see Advanced Disk Configuration: Setting the Virtual Device Node and Mode.
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