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I have a machine setup with VMWare Server 2.0. There are several VMs running on the VMWare server and I have several physical drives. I would like to give one of the VMs exclusive access to one entire physical drive. Is it possible to essential give a physical drive to one of the VMs and let it access it as if it were actual hardware?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

There's a similar question asked here.

I couldn't get it to work in my configuration, and I ended up deploying on Hyper-V for that very reason. Hyper-V does support physical disk access. VMWare workstation supports physical disk access AFAIK however.

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The linked answers are correct. VMware Server 2.0 does not support RDM (raw disk mappings). I have kept my server that uses RDM on VMware Server 1.x for this reason. People seem to be having similar difficulties with ESXi. As I move forward with my own workings, I'm more and more inclined to configure a storage server using OpenFiler and then passing whatever disks I want to VMware Server/ESXi over iSCSI giving me the most flexibility in dealing with disks and how I want to manage them. –  Kevin Kuphal Jun 24 '09 at 5:00
    
The closest that you can get with VMWare Server 2.0 is to format the drive as a single partition, mount it, add it as a storage volume, and create the VM using fixed (pre-allocated) disk(s) nearly filling the volume (leave some room for temporary files maintained by VMWare including RAM imaged for suspending and any snapshot you might want to create now or later). This will not perform quite as fast as raw disk access would, however. –  David Spillett Jun 24 '09 at 7:13

I suppose creating a virtual machine without a hard disk and than using VMX Builder to create a vmdk linked to the physical disk will work. Haven't tested it yet though

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