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How To Create Virtual Machine Using Existing vmdk file in VMWare Workstation

vmdk file is hard disk of the VMWare virtual machine. There are many scenarios where you may need to create a new virtual machine for an existing vmdk file.

This is also an alternate Method to the “vmx is not a valid virtual machine configuration file – Could not open virtual machine” issue.

Please refer to the previous post “Could not open virtual machine – vmx is not a valid virtual machine configuration file” for a full list of possible resolution. This post is to describe one of the solution in more details.

How To Create a new virtual machine & attach the existing .vmdk file:

1. Open VMware and select create a new virtual machine with custom (advanced) configuration option.


2. Chose “I will install the operating system later”. and chose “I will install the operating system later”.


3. Select the operating system that matches the operating system in your existing .vldk file.


4. Select a location of the new virtual machine


5. Chose “Use an existing virtual disk”. This will allow you to browse and select your existing virtual disk.


6. Now chose the vmdk file from the existing virtual machine folder. While browsing for file remember to sort the folders & files by recent date and then select the most recent .vmdk file.


7. VMWare will display a summary of everything that you selected. Click finish to create the new virtual machine.


How did you like this post, hope it help you. Do you suggest any change or want me to add anything more to it? Please share your comment.


  1. Nice. Thanks.
    Still valid after 6 years since authored.

  2. Worked like a charm. Thank you.

  3. Very nice, normally it works, but if the VMDK comes from a 3rd party program it doesn't works (Paragon VD vmdk).
    Any suggestions?

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