VMware – moving a single virtual disc (vmdk file) to a different datastore

Hi folks.

Let me explain: There is a virtual machine with more than one virtual disk – so we got more than one vmdk file for that specific VM. All located at the same datastore. For some reason it becomes necessary that the first disk (e.g. the system drive C:\) still remains at the original datastore, while the second disk (e.g. some data disc Z:\) should be moved to a different datastore2.

I checked that in Google but wasn’t able to find anything. Maybe I just missed the right search terms. So I tried myself with the VMware „Migrate“ option for virtual machines (which moves the whole VM with all its files, but not single vmdk’s) and also by copying the single vmdk file manually via the VMware datastore browser (which left an outdated configuration state on the virtual machine unable to find its disks).

Well. Here is how it works.

  • Right click the particular VM
  • Choose „Migrate“
  • Select „Change Datastore“
  • And there you’ll find a not that flashy button labeled „Advanced“ – near the right border and below half of the dialog box. He’s your friend! 🙂
  • On that next window you can choose an individual datastore for every single vmdk file of your VM
  • Make your changes and press the „Next“ button

Wait for the vmdk file beeing moved by VMware and there you go: A working virtual machine with multiple virtual disks each running on different datastores.