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Restoring an Existing Image Under VMware Workstation

This article will describe how to restore a TeraByte Unlimited image to a VMware Workstation virtual machine using Image for DOS (IFD), Image for Linux (IFL), or Image for Windows (IFW).  No assumption is made regarding the content of the image to be restored.

Alternate Direct Restore Method

If you are using IFD/IFL/IFW version 2.21 or later, you can restore directly to a virtual drive file if certain conditions are met. For example, you could use IFW on the host computer to restore an image directly to a new or existing VMDK file (no need to boot into the VM to perform the restore). This type of restore is only possible if the VMDK is a single file. Restoring to a "split" disk (2GB files) or a virtual disk with snapshots is not supported.

If you create a new virtual disk with IFD/IFL/IFW to use as the restore destination, there is no need to partition or format it prior to performing the restore. Both Monolithic Sparse (IDE) and Monolithic Sparse (SCSI) VMDK files can be created.

The basic procedure is as follows (this example is using IFW):

  1. Start IFW.
  2. Select a Restore option and click Next >>.
  3. Click the Add Virtual Drive button.
  4. To restore to an existing VMDK file:
    1. Browse to the file and select it.
    2. Click Open.
    To restore to a new VMDK file:
    1. Browse to the location for the new VMDK file.
    2. Enter the filename.
    3. Click Open.
    4. Click Yes at to prompt to create the file.
    5. You'll be asked to select the type of virtual disk to create. Select VMDK - Monolithic Sparse (IDE) or VMDK - Monolithic Sparse (SCSI), depending on the type you want.
    6. Enter the desired size. For example, 50G for a 50 Gibibyte disk.
    7. Click OK.
  5. The added virtual drive will now be available to select as a restore destination. Select either the Free Space or an existing partition (depending on whether the VMDK file already existed or was newly created).
  6. Click Next >> and continue with the restore process normally.

For more information, please refer to the manual of the imaging program being used: Image for DOS, Image for Linux, or Image for Windows.

Restoring an image to a split disk or virtual disk with snapshots will require following the instructions below.

General Requirements

To restore an image under VMware Workstation, you need for three basic things to be available in a virtual machine, which (because the disks used by virtual machines can be moved to other virtual machines) need not be the target virtual machine:

  • A way to run the desired imaging program (IFD/IFL/IFW).

  • The source image, on optical disc(s) or saved to file(s).

  • The target medium, whether it is a virtual disk or a physical disk that has been made available in the virtual machine.

Restoring the Image

  1. Create the desired image, if you have not done so already.  The image can either be saved to one or more files or can be saved to an optical disc (i.e. CD/DVD).

  2. Create and/or configure a virtual machine that meets the three requirements listed above.

    Running the Imaging Program:

    The imaging program can be run from:

    • A virtual hard disk.

    • A floppy diskette or floppy diskette image.

    • An optical disc (i.e. CD/DVD) or ISO image.

    For example:

    • If you have a virtual machine where Linux or Windows is installed, you can install Image for Linux or Image for Windows to that guest environment and then run either Linux and Image for Linux or Windows and Image for Windows under the virtual machine that way.  This approach is the only one that will allow you to use shared folders, along with the other methods, to access the source image.  (Please see the section titled Accessing the Source Image.)

    • You can run Image for Windows from WinPE (e.g. TBWinPE/TBWinRE), which you could access in the virtual machine by having it boot from the WinPE optical disc or ISO file.

    • You can create a bootable Image for DOS or Image for Linux CD/DVD disc, ISO file, or floppy diskette using MakeDisk (which is included in the program downloads) and then configure the virtual machine to boot from that media.  (If you will be using this method, an ISO file is the fastest and easiest choice.)  Please note: If you use an Image for DOS or Image for Linux CD/DVD disc, ISO file, or floppy diskette to boot from in the virtual machine, you must use a method other than shared folders to make the source image accessible.  (Please see the section titled Accessing the Source Image.)

    Accessing the Source Image:

    The source image may be accessed from:

    • An optical drive.

    • Image file(s) that have been placed on a virtual hard drive.

    • Image file(s) made available through a shared folder (only if Linux or Windows will be used as the guest environment).

    • Image file(s) made available on a physical drive that has been mapped for access under the virtual machine.

    For example:

    • If you saved the image to one or more optical discs, you can simply ensure that the first disc in the backup set is inserted in your optical drive and that the virtual machine guest environment has access to the applicable optical drive.  Assuming you have configured the virtual machine correctly, whichever imaging program you use (IFD, IFL, or IFW)  can access the optical drive and restore it where desired.

    • If you saved the image to one or more files and you are running Image for Windows, or are running Image for Linux from a full Linux environment, you may enable shared folders in the virtual machine and place the image file(s) in the applicable folder on the host.  Using shared folders with VMware Workstation requires that VMware Tools be installed in the guest environment.  VMware Workstation 5.5 supports using shared folders with Linux (kernel 2.4 or higher) and Windows NT 4.0/2000/XP/2003. Workstation 6.5 includes support for Windows Vista. Workstation 7 supports using shared folders with Linux (kernel 2.6 or higher) and Windows NT 4.0/2000/XP/2003/Vista/Windows 7.  Note: Shared folders cannot be used if you boot with any MakeDisk-created media.

    • If you saved the image to one or more files, you can copy or move the files to a physical disk that will be made accessible in the virtual machine.  To make the physical drive accessible in the guest environment, edit the virtual machine's configuration and begin the process of adding a hard disk.  When prompted to Select a Disk, select Use a physical disk (for advanced users).

      Please note:  Accessing a physical disk in a virtual environment is a procedure that should always be carried out with caution.  Before accessing a physical disk in a guest environment, you should first unmap any drive letters that are associated with that physical disk in the host environment (e.g. using the Disk Management applet in Windows).

    Accessing the Target Medium:

    The target medium must be one of the following:

    • A virtual hard disk.

    • A physical disk, made accessible to the guest environment.
  3. Restore the image.  How you do this will depend on what medium is used for the source and target.

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