Windows 10: Mounting VMware Workstation snapshots with split vmdk files Solved

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  1.    14 May 2018 #11

    Hi there

    Not sure why you need fixed allocation to start with -- usually not the best recommendation for using VM's with vmware.

    also if you backup / image a system whether virtual or real the image size won't be anything like the size of the pre-allocated files, and in any case you can use a partition manager to reduce size on the VM just like a real machine.

    Maybe I've lost the plot here but this looks like a solution looking for a problem !!!!

    I'm not sure what all this messing around with the individual VDMK files buys apart from trouble.

    Just get another external device, image backup / copy the wretched VM then re-boot / power it on from external HDD, re-size the partition, back it up again and then copy image to the HOST.

    You could also consider using some V2V tools (Virtual to Virtual) but they do essentially what I've outlined here.

    Can't see any problem so maybe I've totally mis-understood the problem but from my reading it seems simple enough to do --I've copied and moved loads of VM's in my time and I can't say I've ever had to mess around with splitting or individually messing around with the vdmk files.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,037
    Windows 10 Pro
       14 May 2018 #12

    jimbo45 said: View Post
    Can't see any problem so maybe I've totally mis-understood the problem but from my reading it seems simple enough to do --I've copied and moved loads of VM's in my time and I can't say I've ever had to mess around with splitting or individually messing around with the vdmk files.
    Jimbo, OP is not trying to copy virtual machines. He is simply using a VM to build a Windows deployment image to be deployed to physical machines.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    14 May 2018 #13

    Hi there

    @Kari

    plenty of V2P (Virtual to Physical) scenarios around as well not sure again why this is a mega problem

    Just restore to physical machine and any physical drivers can be installed as well -- Macrium and other backup solutions allow restoring to different hardware.

    For enterprises the Macrium USB technicians stick works a treat too (expensive though for individuals).

    I'm still confused as to why this is a problem. Not trying to be obtuse here but it really seems a trivial problem once you've got the virtual image. Once you've done the initial V2P then the resulting image should be deployable to all your other machines -- Licensing considerations though - although an enterprise should have volume MAK keys or similar.

    Macrium Software | Technicians License

    cheers
    jimbo
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,037
    Windows 10 Pro
       14 May 2018 #14

    Jimbo, I must ask what is it here that is so difficult for you to understand?

    • All my replies in this thread are valid, containing precise information about how to capture a custom Windows deployment image from a reference VM
    • Using DISM to capture Windows deployment image is the official method to capture image for deployment
    • Capturing deployment image with DISM is faster than creating a system image with an imaging application and does not require any third party software
    • Capturing Windows deployment image with DISM then using it to deploy is hardware independent; image can be deployed to any hardware capable of running Windows, regardless if it is BIOS based with MBR disk or UEFI based with GPT disk
    • Deploying Windows from a custom captured image gives totally free hands to edit and modify the partition structure before Windows will be installed
    • Using Macrium or any other imaging software to capture a system image, you would need to do everything twice if you have both BIOS and UEFI machines; BIOS / MBR system image can only be restored to BIOS / MBR machines, and same with UEFI / GPT system images. Two custom installs on two different reference machines, create system image from both, and so on

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    14 May 2018 #15

    @jimbo45, I appreciate your contribution and wish to clarify somethings...

    I never felt that this was a complicated task, I was simply trying to replicate @Kari steps from his informative thread here (specifically step 4.6 through 4.13). At work, I often have to reload Windows on several machines weekly (various manufactures and hardware), and thus I like to create a golden image with all apps & updates for deployment. I typically do this via Hyper-V but after migrating to VMware (which was new to me), I was adjusting to the learning curve.

    Also, @Kari I actually figured out what I believe to be a caveat of attempting to capture .vdmk image files. After running into the error I conveyed in my previous post when attempting to capture my mounted VM image, I did some research and came to a surprising discovery...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    14 May 2018 #16

    Kari said: View Post
    Your DISM command syntax is correct. Do you have Deployment Tools from Windows ADK installed? If so, run Deployment and Imaging Tools Environment from Start > W > Windows Kits as an admin instead of Command Prompt and try again.
    The host (Windows) is unable to capture images from .vdmk files. I found out via a forum where a SysAdmin was unable to capture his VMware images without conversion. I tested this hypothesis by converting my VMware's .vdmk file to a .VHD file and lo & behold, I was able to capture the image via my host & the error was gone!

    Ofcourse, in the future, I don't intend on going thru the process of always converting my .vdmk images and instead will boot my VM to WinPE and capture the image that way. Just wanted to share my discovery in case some ran into the same road block.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I will mark this thread as solved and appreciate everyone's input :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 15,037
    Windows 10 Pro
       14 May 2018 #17

    KabyBlue said: View Post
    Ofcourse, in the future, I don't intend on going thru the process of always converting my .vdmk images and instead will boot my VM to WinPE and capture the image that way. Just wanted to share my discovery in case some ran into the same road block.
    LOL I have to quote my first post in this thread (post #2), its very first sentence:

    Kari said: View Post
    Why don't you just capture the image on VM instead?
    Good to know you got it finally working.

    Kari
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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