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I need to share the same physical partition with host, so guest and host can use it at the same time. And this disk under guest must appear as local disk and have the same letter as under host. Is it possible to achieve?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This method uses a mapped network drive and is most likely the best filesystem-safe method for making the files accessible in both systems, as long as all the guest needs is file-level access to the data.

First ensure that the VMWare Tools are installed in the guest then follow the steps below while in the virtual machine.

Go to Virtual Machine > Virtual Machine Settings > Options > Shared folders.

If Shared Folders is not enabled then enable it.

Click "Add", then select a name such as "h_drive" or whatever drive it is for the name and also select the drive letter you are wanting to share under "Host Path"

Click OK

Then within the virutal machine itself (I'm assuming Windows here) go to My Computer and map a drive to a network share.

In XP follow this guide: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308582

In Vista & I suspect Windows 7 (pic below)

Click the Start button then select Computer

Click "Map network drive" as shown below:

Enter the drive letter and share folder for the shared folder.

If you don't want the drive to immediately reconnect when you start the virtual machine then uncheck "Reconnect at logon"

Click Finish.

Mapping drive

A guide to drive mapping is at http://www.vista4beginners.com/Map-Network-Drive

I believe the folder that the share gets mapped to is of this format:

\\.host\Shared Folders\MySharedFolder

This would make the drive accessible in host and virtual machines and you would be able to set it to the drive letter you like, assuming that the drive letter is > C and you have the drive letter free in the virtual machine.

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Unlikely. If the OS sees a local disk, it will want to be able to access and modify its data directly at block level, which (when done by two systems at once) will break things. For example, the directory structure is cached, and if one system modifies it on disk, the other might not notice it.

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1  
To be pedantic, that's not the case when using a clustered file system like VMFS, so that should not be a stressed global statement (and this question is obviously referring to VMware Workstation/Player, like so many VMware questions that fail to mention the product name). –  paradroid Feb 9 '11 at 15:21
    
Well, in the worst case.. is it possible to make shared folder appear under the root of drive on guest? (not prefixed with shared folder name) –  user66548 Feb 9 '11 at 15:35
    
@user: Windows lets you map a network share to a drive letter. –  grawity Feb 9 '11 at 19:19

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