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Best practices when backing up a VMware Workstation virtual machine (2006202)
This article describes:
- Best practices for backing up a VMware Workstation virtual machine.
Issues to consider when backing up a VMware Workstation virtual machine.
Steps to back up a VMware Workstation virtual machine.
To back up the virtual machine (which includes the operating system, application files, settings, and user data), you need to make a copy of the folder in which the virtual machine is stored. Ensure that the virtual machine is not running or suspended while you are backing up the virtual machine.
To back up the virtual machine:
- Ensure your virtual machine is in a powered off state.
- Locate the virtual machine folder.
- Right-click the virtual machine folder and click Copy.
- Navigate to the folder in which you want to store the backup, right-click anywhere within the folder, and click Paste.
Note: Replace the backup virtual machine on a regular basis using the process described above.
- Choose to move the backed up virtual machine to an external storage device, such as a flash drive or USB hard drive.
- Create a copy of the virtual machine on your desktop, then copy it to DVD or BD.
- Keep the snapshots of the virtual machine.
Note: Before beginning the back up, you can commit the snapshots to save storage space.
If you are using the growable type virtual disk (VMDK), you might want to shrink the virtual disk using the Shrink Disk option in VMware Tools. The Shrink Disk option allows you to modify a VMDK by zeroing out blocks within the guest operating system, thereby overwriting previously allocated (but deleted) data with zeros.
To shrink the VMDK:
- Open the VMware Tools Control Panel.
- In Windows, double-click the VMware Tools icon in the system tray, or go to Start > Control Panel > VMware Tools.
- In Linux, open a command prompt and run this command:
Note: For more information, see Opening a command or shell prompt (1003892).
- Click the Shrink tab.
- Ensure that your boot drive is selected, click Prepare to Shrink, and follow the prompts.
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