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VMDK File Extension

Virtual Machine Disk Format

What is VMDK file?

File with VMDK extension is a VMware virtual machine disk file. Such file contains files and folder that comprise a virtual disk created using Vmware software. Single VMDK file can contain information about one or more virtual disks.

What are VMDK files used for?

VMDK files are mainly used as means of storing data and creating backup copies of important data, and are basically a equivalent of physical disk drive. VMDK files also enable users to run multiple operating systems or virtual servers on single machine.

VMDK file specification

Each virtual disk is a separate VMDK file that can contain one or more files, depending on the disk contents and size. VMDK file can be configured for fixed or variable image size.

VMDK files that make up a virtual disk

Standard VMDK file is typically named as ‘vmname.vmdk’ (alternative names are also common):

  • vmname-s##.vmdk – files configured to support file size expansion,
  • vmname-f##.vmdk – files with disk space allocated during file creation process,
  • vmname-disk-##.vmdk – files that save changes made on the virtual disk running under virtual machine.

Programs which support VMDK file extension

The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support VMDK files. Files with VMDK extension, just like any other file formats, can be found on any operating system. The files in question may be transferred to other devices, be it mobile or stationary, yet not all systems may be capable of properly handling such files.

Updated: 01/07/2020

How to open file with VMDK extension?

Being unable to open files with VMDK extension can be have various origins. Fortunately, most common problems with VMDK files can be solved without in-depth IT knowledge, and most importantly, in a matter of minutes. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.

Step 1. Download and install VMware Workstation

Install software to open VMDK file The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports VMDK files installed on the system. This issue can be addressed by downloading and installing VMware Workstation or different compatible program, such as WinImage, WinMount, VirtualBox. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. One of the most risk-free method of downloading software is using links provided by official distributors. Visit VMware Workstation website and download the installer.

Step 2. Verify the you have the latest version of VMware Workstation

Update software that support file extension VMDKYou still cannot access VMDK files although VMware Workstation is installed on your system? Make sure that the software is up to date. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. If you have an older version of VMware Workstation installed, it may not support VMDK format. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using VMware Workstation.

Step 3. Assign VMware Workstation to VMDK files

After installing VMware Workstation (the most recent version) make sure that it is set as the default application to open VMDK files. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Associate software with VMDK file on Windows

The procedure to change the default program in Windows

  • Clicking the VMDK with right mouse button will bring a menu from which you should select the Open with option
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • To finalize the process, select Look for another app on this PC entry and using the file explorer select the VMware Workstation installation folder. Confirm by checking Always use this app to open VMDK files box and clicking OK button.
Associate software with VMDK file on Mac

The procedure to change the default program in Mac OS

  • By clicking right mouse button on the selected VMDK file open the file menu and choose Information
  • Find the Open with option – click the title if its hidden
  • Select the appropriate software and save your settings by clicking Change all
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with VMDK extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Ensure that the VMDK file is complete and free of errors

Should the problem still occur after following steps 1-3, check if the VMDK file is valid. Problems with opening the file may arise due to various reasons.

Check VMDK file for viruses
1. Verify that the VMDK in question is not infected with a computer virus

If the file is infected, the malware that resides in the VMDK file hinders attempts to open it. Scan the VMDK file as well as your computer for malware or viruses. VMDK file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Ensure the file with VMDK extension is complete and error-free

If you obtained the problematic VMDK file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. It could happen the the download process of file with VMDK extension was interrupted and the file data is defective. Download the file again from the same source.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

There is a possibility that the file in question can only be accessed by users with sufficient system privileges. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Virtual Machine Disk Format file.

4. Make sure that the system has sufficient resources to run VMware Workstation

If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with VMDK extension. In this case close the other applications.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Latest versions of programs and drivers may help you solve problems with Virtual Machine Disk Format files and ensure security of your device and operating system. It may be the case that the VMDK files work properly with updated software that addresses some system bugs.

Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the VMDK file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on VMDK file.

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