You can add an existing virtual hard disk to a virtual machine when you customize the virtual machine hardware during the virtual machine creation process or after the virtual machine is created. For example, you might want to add an existing hard disk that is preconfigured as a boot disk.

During virtual machine creation, a hard disk and SCSI controller are added to the virtual machine by default, based on the guest operating system that you select. If this disk does not meet your needs, you can remove it and add an existing hard disk from the Customize Hardware page of the New Virtual Machine wizard.

Make sure that you are familiar with SCSI controller and virtual device node behavior for different virtual hard disk configurations. See Add a Hard Disk to a Virtual Machine in the vSphere Web Client.

Required privilege: Virtual machine.Configuration.Add existing disk


Right-click the virtual machine and select Edit Settings.


To locate a virtual machine, select a datacenter, folder, cluster, resource pool, host, or vApp.


Click the Related Objects tab and click Virtual Machines.


(Optional) To delete the existing hard disk, move your cursor over the disk and click the Remove icon.

The disk is removed from the virtual machine. If other virtual machines share the disk, the disk files are not deleted.


On the Virtual Hardware tab, select Existing Hard Disk from the New device drop-down menu and click Add.


In the Datastores column, expand a datastore, select a virtual machine folder, and select the disk to add.

The disk file appears in the Contents column. The File Type drop-down menu shows the compatibility file types for this disk.


Click OK.

(Optional) Change the virtual disk configuration. See Change the Virtual Disk Configuration in the vSphere Web Client.

(Optional) Use disk shares to prioritize virtual machine access to this disk. See Use Disk Shares to Prioritize Virtual Machines in the vSphere Web Client.