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I have a host computer (Win7-64) with three different harddrives. It runs several VMs which are distributed among those harddrives for a better performance. Now with VMWare Workstation 8 it is possible to "share" the VMs. I'd like to use this feature, but I have to convert the VMs to "Shared VMs". When I try this WMWare forces me to copy the VMs to one predefined folder, thus making my effort of distributing the VMs among the harddrives meaningless. Is there any possibility to keep the VMs where they are and share them anyway?

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migrated from Mar 13 '12 at 11:55

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

Can't you copy it back to your original drive ? – chmod Mar 13 '12 at 12:37
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I had the same issue and as fortunate to receive some help to solve it.

You can accomplish this by using a "symbolic link" using mlink under windows. Works perfectly although if you need to "remove" the shared vm, do not use the wizard, just delete the link first.

See this link for details:

Best regards, Dave Melnyk

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I hadn't tried this feature yet, so if VMware doesn't allow you to designate multiple locations, you could do some NTFS trickery like Mount Points, Junction Points, Symbolic Links, to make the program believe the data actually resides in that directory, but actually that directory is a pointer to the true location.

There are many tools to make these links, but my favorite is Link Shell Extension.

So, what you probably could do is after VMware puts the Shared VMs in the Shared VM directory, you could move the VM back to it's dedicated drive and make a symbolic link at the location and name that VMware put the Shared VM, and have the symbolic link point to the dedicated drive folder. VMware should be none the wiser.

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I don't think you can actually do that, though I too really hope they added it.

I just started using Workstation 8, but it seems like the "sharing" part of it is kind of lacking in features. it works great, except the control over it is extremely lack-luster.

Of course you can change where that default location is where the shared VMs go to, but there are no settings to allow you to use different locations (sadly) as soon as you might move it, Workstations wont know where it is, and if you re-add it, it will just be a normal VM, share it again, and it goes right back to the same place.

I know this isnt really an answer, but just wanted to let you know that it doesn't seem (as of right now) that it can be done. Hopefully they release an update or something that will add some more functionality (like user control! ie. hiding vms from certain users, or only allowing the user who started the VM actually control the VM, other than admins... etc etc.)

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