Is it possible to move my Virtual Machine images to an external hard-drive?

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by DesuMaiden, Aug 25, 2015.

  1. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    My laptop's hard-drive is quickly running out of space because of all of the VM (Virtual Machine) images that are saved onto it. Is it possible for me to move all of the VM images to an external harddrive without compromising the VMs? I want to save all of my VM images on an external HDD which is 2 terabytes in size.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

    Sincerely DesuMaiden.
     
  2. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    It is definitely doable but you will get a speed hit if you aren't using USB 3. If you're using Virtualbox, use the built in virtual disk copying utility, not the OS. The best bet with Virtualbox is to just clone the VM completely to the external disk, make sure it works, and then delete it from the internal disk.
     
  3. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Can you give me step-by-step instructions on how this could be done?
     
  4. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    First of all, what software are you using? Second of all, cloning with said software is actually common knowledge especially when working with something as complex as virtual machines.

    But I prefer actually just copying the VDI file so you won't have to worry about dependencies or whatnot to your external drive. Then create a new virtual machine, select existing drive, and voilà. And you can also change the default location of VM's in settings.
     
  5. MisterB

    MisterB Registered Member

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    It is very simple. Right click on a VM in the Virtualbox list. There is a clone option. Click on it, open the cloning wizard and choose full clone. If you just want to copy the virtual disk, use the "Virtual Media Manager" in the file menu at the top of Virtualbox. Virtualbox uses GUIDs and is won't accept two virtual disks with the same GUID. Using the virtual media manager gives the new virtual disk a new GUID and avoids this conflict.

    I use the VHD format for my virtual disks instead of VDI. VHD disks are compatible with virtualbox and can be mounted directly in Windows as a Windows volume if you want to take a look inside of it without using a VM.
     
  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to explain that you have to delete the old virtual machine beforehand.

    Anyhow, I find full clones an unnecessary use of time when you're moving a virtual machine or backing it up instead of having 2 copies simultaneously. Plus I'm picky about the name of my VM's.
     
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