VMWare Question - Any way to get XP to find and use external hard drive ?

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by dcl, Jul 29, 2007.

  1. dcl macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    Have been using Bootcamp, but decided to give VMWare a try - So far I like it
    (Nice not having to reboot everytime)

    Is there any way to get VMWare XP to find and be able to read/write to an external firewire hard drive ?

  2. nospamboz macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2006
    My understanding is that firewire is not part of the virtual machine
    design, so that no VM guest OS can use its firewire driver to access
    firewire devices.

    (That said, my Fusion XP VM has no problem talking to my firewire
    DVD-R drive, but it sees it as an IDE device. Why Fusion doesn't do
    some similar translation for hard disks, I don't know.)

    I'm pretty sure you can store your whole VM, including the virtual
    disk, on the external drive, so that you can take advantage of the
    firewire hardware (speed, size, etc).

    One other thing you might want to try is Shared Folders. Click the "+"
    in the VM Settings dialog, and add a share for the firewire drive's
    mount directory in MacOS. That should make the firewire drive
    look like a network drive to XP. Since it accesses via the XP network
    drivers, it's somewhat slower, but at least it's direct.

  3. dcl thread starter macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    Thanks Nospamboz - I think this just might work:D
  4. panzer06 macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2006
    I have Parallels accessing and booting from a cloned copy of my bootcamp partition (Winclone'd). Don't know about VMWare but Parallels works fine on the external firewire disk partition.

  5. dcl thread starter macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    I can backup my Mac using SuperDuper! Which makes me a bootable copy on an external hard drive. I removed the internal notebook drive and booted using the external drive. I was able to lauch VMWare and Window XP perfectly.

    I will continue to due a separte backup in Windows onto an DOS Formated external USD drive, just to make sure the integrity of my window based data remains.

    So far, working out just as well as Bootcamp - and more convienient :D
  6. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I am pretty sure you can only use USB drives with the VM. In the latest version of VMWare you'll notice the USB icons on the bottom of the window. You can select these if you have an external USB drive connected. I have never seen any firewire support though.
  7. dcl thread starter macrumors regular


    May 28, 2006
    Your correct - Right Now, you can only read firewire drives, using shared folders. Only way to write to an external drive is by USB.

    But, being able to back up everything (including VMWare & Windows) onto an external firewire drive from the Mac side, is a big bonus and time saver.
    Besides having a working bootable backup of everything.
  8. nospamboz macrumors regular

    Oct 3, 2006
    I'm surprised you can't write to the firewire drive via shared folders. Are
    you sure you've got the shared folder write-enabled in the settings
    (read-only un-checked)?

    You might want to try doing it with a guest OS that isn't Windows, like

    I used to have a problem writing to shared folders in Windows VMs
    (even on the Mac's main disk) because of the Avast Windows anti-virus I
    used. Recently Avast upgraded their engine, and now writing to share
    folders in Windows VM works fine for me.
  9. xXEvanatorXX macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2009
    Not visible

    ive had a boot camp partition for a long time but now that i got VMware none of my external hard drives are recognized on my XP side. how do i make it so i can see my External drives???


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8 July 29, 2007