IDE and SCSI virtual hard disks can be up to 8TB. Depending on the size of the virtual hard disk and the host operating system, Workstation creates one or more files to hold each virtual disk.

Virtual hard disk files include information such as the operating system, program files, and data files. Virtual disk files have a .vmdk extension.

By default, the actual files that the virtual hard disk uses start small and grow to their maximum size as needed. The main advantage of this approach is the smaller file size. Smaller files require less storage space and are easier to move to a new location, but it takes longer to write data to a disk configured in this way.

You can also configure virtual hard disks so that all of the disk space is allocated when the virtual disk is created. This approach provides enhanced performance and is useful if you are running performance-sensitive applications in the virtual machine.

Regardless of whether you allocate all disk space in advance, you can configure the virtual hard disk to use a set of files limited to 2GB per file. Use this option if you plan to move the virtual hard disk to a file system that does not support files larger than 2GB.