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I'm trying to backup data residing on virtual machines on an ESXi host.

What I would like to do is plug a 6TB SATA drive into the motherboard, then format it as NTFS, then backup data residing inside the virtual machine to the 6TB drive, then remove the 6TB drive.

The only thing I can think of is to use Raw Device Mapping to map the hardrive to the Windows VM and then use Disk Manager from within the VM to initialize and format the disk. However, this seems to leave me with a VMDK file on the disk, rather than a raw NTFS hard drive that I can plug in elsewhere.

Any ideas out there on how this could be accomplished?

  • Why not use a USB hard drive or put the SATA drive into a SATA to USB enclosure? – joeqwerty Apr 26 '17 at 1:14
  • If it is a raw volume mapping you won't see a VMDK file. – eckes Apr 26 '17 at 2:23
  • @eckes I tried raw mapping, and formatting, then plugged it into a second computer which then did not recognise it so I assumed it did not work correctly. Any idea why the second computer cannot recognise a drive thats been formatted in a VM via raw device mapping? – Petey B Apr 26 '17 at 2:52
  • No idea, but it does not sound like there is a VMDK file on it? – eckes Apr 26 '17 at 2:57
  • Here seems to be a tutorial experts-exchange.com/articles/9174/… – eckes Apr 26 '17 at 3:07

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