Creating a raw disk VMDK and adding it to the Virtual machine in Fusion
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Creating a raw disk VMDK and adding it to the Virtual machine in Fusion


Article ID: 341099


Updated On:


VMware Desktop Hypervisor


This article provides the steps to add a Raw Disk vmdk to a virtual machine as a secondary virtual hard disk.


VMware Fusion 7.x
VMware Fusion Pro 8.x
VMware Fusion 6.x
VMware Fusion 8.x


Note: The steps in this article assume that you have a functional virtual machine to which you want to attach a Raw Disk as a secondary virtual hard disk.

To create a Raw Disk vmdk:

  1. On the Mac terminal list all available disks and partitions by running this command:

    diskutil list

  2. Select the disk that should be used and list the partitions recognized by rawdiskCreator by running this command:

    /Applications/VMware\ print /dev/disk#

    Note: /dev/disk# should be one of the disk identifiers shown by diskutil list, for example /dev/disk1

  3. Create a vmdk file referencing the physical disk, and save it inside the virtual machine bundle by running this command:

    /Applications/VMware\ create /dev/disk# <partNums> <virtDiskPath> ide

    • <partNums> can be a comma-separated list of partitions to allow access to, such as "2" or "2,3". The numbers should match the output of the rawdiskCreator print command. Or to access the full disk, specify "fullDevice" instead of partition numbers.
    • <virtDiskPath> should be a path inside the virtual machine bundle followed by a filename prefix, for example: ~/Documents/MyVM.vmwarevm/rawDiskFile

    This should create rawDiskFile.vmdk and for partitioned disks – rawDiskFile-pt.vmdk

  4. Edit the virtual machine configuration (.vmx) file of the virtual machine and add these lines. For more information, see Editing the .vmx file for your VMware Fusion virtual machine (1014782)

    ide0:0.present = "TRUE"
    ide0:0.fileName = "rawDiskFile.vmdk"
    ide0:0.deviceType = "rawDisk"
    suspend.disabled = "TRUE"

  5. Power on the virtual machine.


  • If the virtual machine already has a disk at ide0:0, use another port such as ide0:1, ide1:0, or ide1:1. It is also possible to use scsi#:# or sata#:# entries if the virtual machine has a SCSI or SATA controller.
  • The following entry suspend.disabled = "TRUE" is necessary to prevent the virtual machine from suspending and getting out of sync with the physical disk.
  • The virtual machine requires the partitions (or full disk) to be unmounted before the virtual machine can be powered on.

Additional Information