You can install a guest operating system directly on a physical disk or unused partition on the host system.

A physical disk directly accesses an existing local disk or partition. You can use physical disks to run one or more guest operating systems from existing disk partitions.

Workstation supports physical disks up to 2TB capacity. Booting from an operating system already set up on an existing SCSI disk or partition is not supported.

Running an operating system natively on the host system and switching to running it inside a virtual machine is similar to pulling the hard drive out of one computer and installing it in a second computer that has a different motherboard and hardware. The steps you take depend on the guest operating system in the virtual machine. In most cases, a guest operating system that is installed on a physical disk or unused partition cannot boot outside of the virtual machine, even though the data is available to the host system. See the Dual-Boot Computers and Virtual Machines technical note on the VMware Web site for information about using an operating system that can also boot outside of a virtual machine.

After you configure a virtual machine to use one or more partitions on a physical disk, do not modify the partition tables by running fdisk or a similar utility in the guest operating system. If you use fdisk or a similar utility on the host operating system to modify the partition table of the physical disk, you must recreate the virtual machine physical disk. All files that were on the physical disk are lost when you modify the partition table.

Important

You cannot use a physical disk to share files between the host system and a guest operating system. Making the same partition visible to both the host system and a guest operating system can cause data corruption. Instead, use shared folder to share files between the host system and a guest operating system.