You can use Workstation to configure virtual hard disk storage for virtual machines.

A virtual disk is a file or set of files that appears as a physical disk drive to a guest operating system. The files can be on the host system or on a remote computer. When you configure a virtual machine to use a virtual disk, you can install a new operating system onto the virtual disk without repartitioning a physical disk or rebooting the host.

The New Virtual Machine wizard creates a virtual machine that has one disk drive. You can modify virtual machine settings to add more disk drives to a virtual machine, remove disk drives from a virtual machine, and change certain settings for the existing disk drives.

You can configure virtual hard disks as IDE or SATA disks for any guest operating system. You can also set up a virtual hard disk as a SCSI disk for any guest operating system that has a driver for the LSI Logic or BusLogic SCSI adapter. You determine which SCSI adapter to use when you create a virtual machine.

Compacting a virtual hard disk reclaims unused space in the virtual disk. If a disk has empty space, this process reduces the amount of space the virtual disk occupies on the host drive.

You can add storage space to a virtual machine by expanding its virtual hard disk.

Like physical disk drives, virtual hard disks can become fragmented. Defragmenting disks rearranges files, programs, and unused space on the virtual hard disk so that programs run faster and files open more quickly. Defragmenting does not reclaim unused space on a virtual hard disk.

Removing a virtual hard disk disconnects it from a virtual machine. It does not delete files from the host file system.

Virtual Disk Manager (vmware-diskmanager) is a Workstation utility that you can use to create, manage, and modify virtual disk files from the command line or in scripts.

You can use the current version of Workstation in a mixed environment with virtual machines that were created with earlier versions of Workstation or with other VMware products.

A running virtual machine creates lock files to prevent consistency problems on virtual hard disks. Without locks, multiple virtual machines might read and write to the disk, causing data corruption.

A key advantage of virtual hard disks is their portability. Because the virtual hard disks are stored as files on the host system or a remote computer, you can move them easily to a new location on the same computer or to a different computer.