VMware Workstation 8 – Moving Virtual Machines

Recently, I’ve been moving VMs around, having purchased some new SSD disks for my host PC. Now, whilst the process might seem simple (and it in fact is), this is just a reassurance for those with existing VMs who wish to move them. (I’m using Workstation 8 on Windows 7 for this how-to…)

Here is the process.

1) Stop and power-off any running VMs within VMware Workstation.

2) Close VMware Workstation.

3) Copy the Virtual Machines folder from it’s original location to the new destination. (Default location is ‘Virtual Machines’ folder inside the Documents folder).

4) Copy the Shared Virtual Machines folder from it’s original location to the new destination. (Default location is ‘Shared Virtual Machines’ folder inside the Documents folder).

5) Open VMware Workstation. On the Home screen, select Workstation Preferences.

6) In Workspace settings, set the default VM location to the location where you copied the ‘Virtual Machines’ folder above in step 3. Either type the location or use ‘Browse’.

7) In Shared VMs settings, set the shared VM location to the location where you copied the ‘Shared Virtual Machines’ folder in step 4 above. Either type the location or use ‘Browse’.

8) Remove the old ‘ghost’ VMs from the VMware Workstation library. Under ‘My Computer’ on the Home screen, right-click each VM and select ‘Remove’. This will remove the VM configuration from Workstation, but not the VM itself (accept the warning message below). Do this for each moved VM.

9) From the Workstation Home screen, select ‘Open Virtual Machine’. Browse to the new VM location (from step 6 above) and select a VM configuration (VMX file). Opening this file will add the VM tab back to Workstation with the original configuration. Repeat for each moved VM.

That’s it – all your VMs should now run as before, but from a different location! New and shared virtual machines will also be created in the new default locations.

Jeremy loves all things technology! Has been in IT for years, loves Macs (but doesn't preach to others about their virtues), loves virtualization (and does shout about it's virtues), and sometimes skis, bikes and directs amateur plays!

Comments

  1. Kakarot says

    Great stuff… Totally forgot that there was a library as well. Deleted the VM but was still present in the library.

  2. MS says

    Thanks for the tips, especially point 8 – would not have considered this but it works.

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