Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Using a vmdk / virtual disk from a VMWare Workstation / Player product in ESXI

I attempted to use a vmdk from a virtual machine hosted on a PC running VMWare Player with an ESXI instance by simply copying the vmdk over SFTP directly to the ESXI datastore and then attaching the disk to a newly created VM on the ESXI host.

Although unfortuantely it wasn't as simple as that as when attempting to turn on the VM I recieved the following errror message in the vSphere client:

"An unexpected error was received from the ESX host while powering on VM XXXXX. Reason: Failed to lock the file. Cannot open the disk '/vmfs/volumes/11fed2c5-81a6f17c-558h-553f/VM01/DISK01.vmdk' or one of the snapshot disks it depends on."

I learnt that the vmdk files that ESXI uses are slightly different from the ones used with the Workstation/Player products and hence have to be converted.

Fortunately VMWare make this pretty easy to do - simply login to the ESXI host, CD to the directory with your VMDK in and run the following command:
vmkfstools -i <original-vmdk> <vmdk-for-esxi>

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