Partitioning and formatting vmdk virtual disk

I need to distribute directory containing about 300k files with total size of 20G. Other people should be able to easily access this directory and edit those files. Right now I'm using zip archives, but packing/unpacking takes a really long time.

Recently a collegue of mine suggested using some kind of virtual disks. I'm familiar with VMWare products, so I tried creating vmdk image and copying files to it.

I've created fresh image:

vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -c -s 30Gb -a ide -t 0 image.vmdk

I tried to mount it:

vmware-mount.exe x: image.vmdk

But mounting failed with the error message:

The virtual disk contains no volumes. Make sure the virtual disk has been partitioned and formatted.

Do you know any program I could use to partition and format vmdk disk? Or am I doing something wrong?

I'm also open to any other suggestions how to achieve the goal mentioned before, i.e. easy distribution of 20G of small files.

Thanks in advance for your time.


In order to initialize the VMDK you need to add it to a functioning Virtual Machine, partition and format it as an NTFS volume within the Guest OS and then shut down the VM. Once you've done that vmware-mount will work without complaints, it mounts file systems not raw block storage. You can use VMware Workstation, Player 3 or Server to create the VM that you will need to use to prepare the filesystem. There's a complete walk through in this article on Petri.

Alternatively you could use Microsoft's vhd format which may be simpler depending on the OS's you need this to work with. Windows 7 allows you to create vhd's and mount them from the Actions menu in the Disk Manager MMC snapin. You can use Diskpart to attach VHD's too if you want to script things or are just more comfortable working in the command line. The attach functionality works in Vista and VHDMount from Virtual Server 2005 can be used to mount them on Windows XP systems (with some caveats).

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