I am using VMware workstation with encrypted virtual hdd-s. I tried to use one of the vmdk files as an hdd on another virtual machine, but when I try to add them as an existing disk, I get the following error:

This disk may be used by an encrypted virtual machine.

Means I would lose all my data If the virtual machine is broken (lost the files or anything)? I can't create another machine and add the vhdd-s?


  1. Create a virtual machine (Sys1.vmdk)
  2. Add a new hard drive to the machine (Data.vmdk)
  3. Encrypt the first virtual machine (it will encrypt both hard drives)
  4. Lose (it can happen!) the first virtual machine's files (not the vmdk's, only the virtual machine)
  5. Create a new virtual machine (Sys2.vmdk)
  6. Try to add Data.vmdk to the second machine --> you will get the error mentioned

Correct, you would lose all your data.

The disk that was in use by the encrypted VM that be used anywhere else. You can, however, remove the encryption password from the encrypted VM, make a copy of the disk and add it to another machine, then add an encryption password in the new VM.

  • And how can you remove the encryption? Is there a tool from vmware for this? – appl3r Aug 18 '14 at 14:06
  • AFAIK, there is no way. With encrypted Vmware VMs you should keep a backup of the vmx file so you can recreate/import the VM in another physical machine (or after a reinstall of your OS). Sorry. – Giovanni Tirloni Aug 18 '14 at 14:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.