Attaching a Disk to an Existing VM for VMware

From VMware virtual machine backups, you can restore a virtual machine disk and attach it to an existing VM.

Before You Begin

If a passkey is configured for restores, you must have the passkey.


  1. From the navigation pane, go to Protect > Virtualization.

    The Virtual machines page appears.

  2. On the Hypervisors tab, click the hypervisor.

    The hypervisor page appears. The VM groups area displays summary information for any existing VM groups.

  3. In the VM groups area, click Restore for the VM group that contains the virtual machine.

  4. On the Select restore type page, select Disk Level to restore individual VMDK files and attach VMDKs to an existing virtual machine.

  5. On the Restore page, expand the tree on the left and select the objects to be restored on the right. Select an item or click on an entry in the Name column to browse within an item. For hierarchical data such as files, folders, and disks, you can click an entry in the path listing above the right pane to return to a higher level of the hierarchy.

    In the top right corner of the page, a "Showing" message indicates what backup data is being displayed. You can click the down arrow beside this message and select any of the following options:

    • Show latest backups: Only display data for the most recent backups.

    • Show backups as of a specific date: Only display data up to the date you specify.

    • Show backups for a date range: Only display data within the data range you specify.

  6. Click Restore.

  7. In the Restore options dialog box, provide the requested information:

    1. Optional: To use a different proxy, select the proxy from the Proxy list.

      By default, the virtual machine disk is restored using the same proxy as the backup.

    2. To restore to a VM on a different hypervisor, select the hypervisor name from the Destination hypervisor list.

    3. To delete an existing virtual disk file and replace it with the restored file, select Overwrite if it already exists.

    4. For Disk Provisioning, use the default value (Original) to retain the provisioning method used at the time of backup. Select a value from the Disk Provisioning list to force a specific disk provisioning method: Thick Lazy Zero, Thin, or Thick Eager Zero.

    5. For Transport mode for VMware, select one of the following options:

      • Auto: The transport mode is selected automatically based on the backup environment:

        If the datastore is accessible to a physical proxy, SAN is used.

        If the datastore is accessible to the ESX server for a virtual proxy, HotAdd is used.

        Otherwise, NBD is used.

      • SAN: For directly connected storage using Fibre Channel (FC) or Internet SCCI (iSCSI) protocols. The Virtual Server Agent must have access to the datastore LUNs (logical drives) that provide storage for virtual machine disks. Data is read directly from the storage where virtual machines reside, without going through the ESX host or transferring data over the local area network (LAN). The ESX host is contacted only to coordinate access to the LUN. SAN transport mode cannot be used if the proxy computer is a virtual machine.

      • Hot Add: The Virtual Server Agent is installed on a virtual machine residing on an ESX server. In HotAdd mode, the data volumes containing the virtual machines to be backed up are automatically mounted to the proxy, so they can be accessed by the proxy as a local disk. The ESX host the proxy is running on must have access to all datastores for the virtual machine. If the virtual machine and the proxy are not on the same host, all datastores must be shared between the hosts.

      • NBD: Data is transferred using the TCP/IP connection between the ESX server and the proxy computer. The local area network (LAN) can be the production network or a dedicated backup network.

      • NBD SSL: Similar to NBD mode, but data transfer between the proxy computer and the ESX server is encrypted. Encryption should be used for sensitive information, even within a private network.

      • NAS: NAS (network attached storage) transport mode enables the virtual server agent (VSA) proxy computer to read data directly from the network file server (NFS), without going through an ESX host or transferring data over the local area network (LAN).

    6. For each disk you are restoring, click Browse next to Destination VM and select the virtual machine to which the restored disk should be attached.

    7. To use a different datastore for the restored VM disk, select the new datastore from the Datastore list.

  8. Click Submit to run the restore job.