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I have a 320 GB HDD, which actually only has an 80 GB NTFS format partition which was being used by a Windows 7 system ... I want to create a VMDK format clone of this partition, so that I can use it with VMware .. However, tradition VMDK creation programs normally make a VMDK for an entire disk, whereas I just want to make a VMDK for the one 80 GB partition ... This is important because the other 240 GB on the physical source HDD is just unallocated area, and including that in a VMDK file is just a plain waste of space ..

So how to make a VMDK file for a specific partition ? Any tool available for this ?

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2 Answers 2

Fire up a VM and mount an empty vmdk and your raw disk or partition and use whatever partition cloning software you like. There are many free solutions if you use a Linux LiveCD to boot the VM.

The performance may be very low, but at lease this method is free.

NOTE: You should mount your raw disk read-only or remove hard disks from the boot devices. Otherwise there is a high possibility that you accidentally boot into Windows and destroy your working installation.

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Thanks for your reply! A few questions: 1) Do you have any specific tool in mind which you can recommend to me ? 2) How do I mount a disk as read-only in VMware Workstation 8 (which I'm using) ? –  Ahmad Oct 23 '11 at 2:07
    
1) I would use Ghost to clone the drives, but if you want free solutions, you can use dd on a Linux LiveCD. 2) I am not sure how to do it because I haven't used VMware for years. If you don't have the read-only option, you have to modify the vmdk file generated for the raw partition. –  billc.cn Oct 23 '11 at 21:46

Try the MakeVM tool.

Its description notes that you can use it to

Clone physical hard disk to Virtual PC, VMWare or Parallels Workstation virtual disks; you may select partitions to clone;

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Thanks, but it seems its a paid software. I'm looking for a free solution. –  Ahmad Oct 22 '11 at 17:19

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