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Mounting a virtual disk as a Mac OS volume (1010989)

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This article guides you through the process of mounting a virtual disk as a Mac volume. It assists you in troubleshooting problems with the virtual disk that are preventing the virtual machine from powering on or functioning normally. It provides steps to allow you to retrieve data stored on the virtual disk when the virtual machine is powered off.

This process requires the MacFUSE file system program. MacFUSE is no longer maintained and as a result VMDKmounter is not included in later versions of Fusion. If you are using Fusion 3.1.3, 4.x or 5.x, see Attaching an existing virtual disk as a second hard disk in Fusion (2005146).

This process is valid for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6 only.

Note: If you originally installed Fusion while using OS X 10.5, you should have MacFUSE installed. If you originally installed Fusion while using OS X 10.6, you likely do not have MacFUSE installed. This article explains how to obtain a copy.


To mount a virtual disk as a Mac OS volume:

  1. Confirm that the virtual machine is powered off, and is not suspended.

    Note: If you are using Fusion 2.x, confirm that the virtual machine has no snapshots. For more information, see Deleting snapshots in VMware Fusion (1020245).

  2. Locate your virtual machine's bundle. For more information, see Locating the virtual machine bundle in VMware Fusion (1007599).
  3. Right-click the virtual machine bundle.
  4. Select Open With > VMDKMounter. If VMDKMounter does not show up by default, locate it by navigating to Macintosh HD/Library/Application Support/VMware Fusion.

    Note: If VMDKMounter does not show up, or returns an error that it is missing a library, you can obtain a copy from Download and install the latest version, and then try again to open the bundle with VMDKMounter.

    The preceding link was available as of January 31, 2011. If you find the link to be broken, provide feedback on the article and a VMware employee will update the article as necessary.

The virtual disk now appears as a volume on the Mac desktop. From here, you can browse the contents of the virtual machine, and copy files to your Mac. This is a read-only interface. Therefore, you cannot edit the contents of the files while they are on the virtual machine, nor can you add any files to the virtual machine.

Note: Do not attempt to power on the virtual machine until the volume has been unmounted. To unmount the volume:

  1. Locate the icon for the volume on your desktop.
  2. Right-click the volume.
  3. Click Eject.

Additional Information

If the VMDKMounter returns an error that the VMware fuse daemon failed to start, see Mounting a Fusion virtual disk fails with the error: VMware fuse daemon failed to start (1032874).

See Also

Update History

04/14/2010 - Added link to KB 1007599; Added information about MacFuse. 12/20/2010 - Corrected information about snapshots. 01/31/2011 - Clarified MacFUSE's role. 02/7/2011 - Added link to article regarding MacFUSE error. 09/19/2011 - Updated article with Fusion 4 information.

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  • 28 Ratings