.VMDK File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .VMDK file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2023.

VMDK File Recovery

What is a .VMDK file?

Virtual disk that stores the contents of a VMware virtual machine hard disk; can be accessed as a physical hard disk with VMware software; typically named "[vmname].vmdk;" may be set at a fixed size or configured to grow over time using VMware's Virtual Disk Manager.

What Are Common Causes of ".VMDK" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".VMDK" (Virtual Machine Disk) files lost or failure, including:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may unintentionally delete the ".VMDK" file while managing or organizing their virtual machines.
  2. Hardware failure: Hardware issues such as hard drive failure, power outages, or system crashes can result in the loss or corruption of ".VMDK" files.
  3. Software or operating system errors: Errors in the virtualization software or the operating system hosting the virtual machine can lead to the loss or corruption of ".VMDK" files.
  4. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and damage ".VMDK" files, rendering them unusable or inaccessible.
  5. Improper shutdown: If a virtual machine is not properly shut down or the host system crashes during operation, it can cause data corruption or loss in the ".VMDK" file.
  6. File system issues: File system errors or corruption can also cause ".VMDK" file failure or loss.
  7. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidental formatting, partitioning, or overwriting of the disk containing the ".VMDK" file, can lead to its loss.

It is important to regularly back up ".VMDK" files to prevent data loss and to implement proper security measures to protect against malware or virus attacks.

How to recover lost ".VMDK" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".VMDK" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".VMDK" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".VMDK" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".VMDK" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".VMDK" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".VMDK" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo virtual Machine Disk File image file file?

Programs that open ".VMDK" files

VMware Workstation 15 Pro VMware Workstation 15 Pro
WinMount International WinMount WinMount International WinMount
Oracle VirtualBox Oracle VirtualBox
Gilles Vollant WinImage Gilles Vollant WinImage
Aryson VMDK Recovery Aryson VMDK Recovery
VMware Fusion 11 VMware Fusion 11
Oracle VirtualBox Oracle VirtualBox
VMware Workstation 15 Pro VMware Workstation 15 Pro
Oracle VirtualBox Oracle VirtualBox

Additional Information

  • File type: Virtual Machine Disk File

  • File extension: .VMDK

  • Developer: VMware

  • Category: Disk Image Files

  • Format: N/A

  • Mime-type: application/octet-stream

  • HEX: 4B 44 4D



We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 16:18 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .VMDK files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
Post comment
Leave a reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What are some common causes for problems opening .VMDK files and how can they be resolved?

    There can be several common causes for problems opening .VMDK files, and they can be resolved using various methods. Here are a few possible causes and their potential solutions:

    1. Corrupted or damaged VMDK file: If the VMDK file is corrupted or damaged, it may prevent it from opening. In such cases, you can try using the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK) to repair the file. The VDDK provides utilities like vmware-vdiskmanager that can help repair and recover VMDK files.
    2. Incompatibility with VMware software: Sometimes, older versions of VMware software may not be able to open VMDK files created with newer versions. Ensure that you are using the latest version of VMware software or try using an older version that is compatible with the VMDK file.
    3. Insufficient permissions: If you do not have the necessary permissions to access or open the VMDK file, it may result in errors. Make sure you have the appropriate permissions to access the file, or try opening it with administrative privileges.
    4. Incorrect file extension: Ensure that the file extension is correctly set as .VMDK. If the file extension is incorrect or missing, it may cause issues. You can manually change the file extension to .VMDK or use the "Open With" option to select the appropriate VMware software to open the file.
    5. Virtual machine configuration issues: If the VMDK file is associated with a virtual machine, there may be configuration issues preventing it from opening. Verify that the virtual machine's settings are correctly configured and that the VMDK file is properly attached to the virtual machine.
    6. Hardware or storage issues: Problems with the underlying hardware or storage where the VMDK file is located can also cause issues. Check for any hardware failures, disk errors, or storage connectivity problems. Running diagnostics or repairing the hardware/storage issues may help resolve the problem.

    If none of these solutions work, it is recommended to seek assistance from VMware support or consult relevant technical forums for further troubleshooting steps.

  • Are there any specific troubleshooting steps or tools that can be used to fix issues with opening .VMDK files?

    Yes, there are several troubleshooting steps and tools that can be used to fix issues with opening .VMDK files. Here are a few:

    1. Verify File Integrity: Ensure that the .VMDK file is not corrupted or incomplete. Check the file size and compare it with the original file size. If it is significantly smaller, it may be corrupted. In such cases, you can try to obtain a new copy of the file.
    2. Use VMware Virtual Disk Manager: VMware provides a command-line tool called "vmware-vdiskmanager" that can help repair and resolve issues with .VMDK files. Open a command prompt and navigate to the directory where the tool is installed. Use the command "vmware-vdiskmanager -R " to repair the file.
    3. Convert VMDK to VHD: If you have access to a Windows machine, you can use the "StarWind V2V Converter" tool to convert the .VMDK file to a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format. This can sometimes resolve compatibility issues and allow you to open the file using other virtualization software.
    4. Use VMware Workstation: If you have VMware Workstation installed, you can try opening the .VMDK file using it. Sometimes, other virtualization software may have trouble opening certain types of .VMDK files, but VMware Workstation can handle them more effectively.
    5. Check Virtual Disk Compatibility: Ensure that the virtualization software you are using supports the version and format of the .VMDK file you are trying to open. Some older versions of virtualization software may have limitations or require updates to open newer .VMDK files.
    6. Seek Professional Help: If none of the above steps work, or if the .VMDK file is critical and contains important data, it may be best to seek professional help from data recovery or virtualization experts who can analyze and recover the file.

    Remember to always create backups of important files and regularly test the integrity of your virtual machine files to avoid potential issues with opening .VMDK files.

  • Are there any alternative methods or workarounds to open .VMDK files if the traditional methods fail?

    Yes, there are alternative methods or workarounds to open .VMDK files if the traditional methods fail. Here are a few options:

    1. Use a third-party virtualization software: If you're unable to open the .VMDK file using VMware or VirtualBox, you can try using alternative virtualization software like Parallels Desktop, QEMU, or Xen. These tools may have better compatibility or different methods for accessing .VMDK files.
    2. Convert to another format: If you're unable to open the .VMDK file directly, you can try converting it to another format that is supported by your virtualization software. For example, you can convert the .VMDK file to .VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) format using tools like StarWind V2V Converter or Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter.
    3. Mount as a virtual disk: Instead of opening the .VMDK file directly, you can try mounting it as a virtual disk. Tools like OSFMount or WinMount can help you mount the .VMDK file as a virtual disk, allowing you to access its contents without using a virtualization software.
    4. Extract files from the .VMDK: If you only need to access specific files within the .VMDK file, you can extract them using tools like 7-Zip or WinRAR. These tools can treat the .VMDK file as an archive and allow you to extract individual files without needing to open the entire virtual machine.

    Note that these alternative methods may have limitations or may not work in all scenarios. It's always recommended to have a backup of your .VMDK file before attempting any alternative methods.

Hello! This is AI-based Hetman Software virtual assistant, and it will answer any of your questions right away.
Start Chat