How to Restore VM From VMDK Files

By Marie Lowe

Virtual Machine Disk Format (VMDK) files are data files used by VMware to store data used by VMware virtual operating systems. This data contains important information for a virtual machine, such as its file system and actual data. You will need to create a new custom machine and identify what operating system it is running to restore the disk.

Step 1

Open VMWare from the Start menu.

Step 2

Click the "File" menu item and then expand the "New" option by hovering the mouse over it.

Step 3

Click "Virtual Machine."

Step 4

Press "Enter" to proceed to the next screen and choose a "Custom" installation type.

Step 5

Click "Legacy" if the file was made in an earlier version of VMware, otherwise click "New."

Step 6

Click the "Next" button.

Step 7

Click the drop-down Operating System menu and then choose the operating system you are going to use. Choose the "Other" option if you are uncertain.

Step 8

Name the machine in the name prompt and supply a location where you'd like to save the file. The default is the "My Virtual Machines" folder in the My Documents directory.

Step 9

Accept the default processor and minimum memory settings. You can edit these values, but the number of processors has to match the number available in the machine. Choose "One" unless you are sure you have more processors available.

Step 10

Click "Next" and choose how you would like the system to connect to the network. For example, it can have its own IP address or it can act within a local network.

Step 11

Click "Use an existing virtual disk."

Step 12

Navigate to the VMware Virtual Disk Format file on the hard drive and double-click it to choose it as your hard drive.

Step 13

Click "Finish" to complete the setup. Once booted, the virtual machine will have access to all the data stored on the virtual drive.