backing up VMware fusion vm?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by .mark., Jan 16, 2008.

  1. .mark. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    Jersey, C.I.
    #1
    I have recently installed VMware fusion. I already had vista installed on a separate partition using BC. I have set up fusion to run vista from the separate partition for now.

    A few questions:

    1) What are the benefits of either running vista from a separate partition or from a folder in osx? As far as i can see
    • pro - can run vista natively if desired
    • con - harder to back up

    2) This brings me to my next question which is about backing vista up. I get the impression that TM is not very useful for backing up vm's.
    • Is there a way to backup vista if its on a different partition?
    • How about a good solution for backing up the VM folder if done that way?

    I'm considering uninstalling vista and "merging" my HD back so it's one big partition for osx, and then reinstalling vista to a VM folder. Is there a way I can do this and not lose my osx installation and have to start from scratch? My reasoning for this is that I think it would make backing it up easier as superduper would manage it fine?
     
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2001
    Location:
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #2
    Your pros and cons on #1 look correct to me.

    As for #2, if Vista is on a partition of its own (not a VM folder/drive image) you could back it up (manually) by using Disk Utility to create a disk image of its partition. Though I've admittedly never tried, cloning that image back to a partition should restore a working copy of Window.

    If you're using a VM image, then having Time Machine try to do it automatically, as you said, doesn't work well--it's going to try and mirror the whole thing every hour since SOMETHING will be changing if your VM is open.

    You can do a manual backup fairly easily, though--just drag the VM's disk image to another volume to make a copy. Drag it over the previous backup copy, and it'll replace it.

    You could also automate this process using any number of 3rd party apps or scripts. That's what I do, and personally I don't mind that it's not up-to-the-minute because I don't do much with work I care to save in my VM (just run apps).

    Also, if you don't store your important Windows data within the VM hard drive--that is, you put it on a folder directly accessible from the MacOS, you CAN have Time Machine back that up, just not the VM drive image itself. Then if the Windows image or that whole drive goes boom, you may only have your most recent manual backup of the Windows image itself (and associated preferences/caches--bookmarks or whatever), but all your actual data files will be safely backed up.

    As for merging, if you used Boot Camp to split the partition in the first place, I think it can undo the process as well. Otherwise, iPartition or a similar 3rd party (not free) app will do this for you without having to back up and repartition the whole drive.
     
  3. chelsel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #3
    You should be able to exclude your VM from the Time Machine backup and backup the VM from within the VM. This is the advice from VMWare.
     
  4. chelsel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 24, 2007
    #4
    You should be able to exclude your VM from the Time Machine backup and backup the VM from within the VM. This is the advice from VMWare.
     
  5. fusionrocks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    #5
    This would be a great question to ask on the VMware Fusion forums, located at www.vmware.com/go/fusionforums

    There are some threads there on best practices for backing up VMs.

    ~VMware Fusion Team
     

Share This Page