Many a time I cursed and vailed because VMware had let me down. Here is a “quick” and dirty way to access your corrupted VMware

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server/workstation .vmdk files.

Here is how I managed to recover Zimbra mail servers “mail folders” (Ubuntu6/ext3) from corrupted VMware server image using WindowsXP, VMware Server, Ken Kato’s “Virtual Disk Driver for Windows NT platform” & Diskinternals Linux reader.

1) Copy corrupted .vmdk file to your WindowsXP workstations c:\temp folder. My filename was Opt.vmdk – I had to use WinSCP without any compression on the Linux side to copy it to Windows.

2) Download Ken’s “Virtual Disk Driver” (VDK) and extract it to c:\temp folder. (Freeware) –

3) Type


in the “Run” on Windows to start the “Command Prompt”.

4) Change to the folder where vdk.exe is located using

cd c:\temp


5) Type

vdk start

6) Type

vdk open 0 <diskfile> /L:R:

-My command was

vdk open 0 Opt.vmdk /L:R:

<diskfile> has to be substituted by the vmdk file. In my case it was the opt.vmdk file which then was mounted. /L:R: = Mount it as drive R:.

7) Now you probably have the disk mounted on your Windows PC. Problem is that your Windows does not understand Linux formated drives yet.

8 ) Download and install “Disk Internals Linux Reader.” (Demoversion.) –

9) When I started the Linux Reader it crashed, but I just ignored that and continued. It was still able to find my mounted Linux drive. After scanning the drive in vain I cancelled all the scans and just proceeded to restore the folders it found to the Windows local hard drive.

Hope this helps. VMware Server’s own recovery/mount tools did not work out well for me.}