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How to Recover Data from Corrupt VMDK File on Windows Machine?

Published By Jamie Kaler 
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Approved By Rollins Duke
Published On May 17th, 2024
Reading Time 4 Min Read

Introduction: This article will demonstrate how to recover data from corrupt VMDK file. We’ve discussed the several possible causes of VMDK file corruption. Additionally, we will provide you the best solution to get this task done.

Virtual Disk Image Files (VMDK) are used to store data in virtual machines such as VMware Workstation, QEMU, and Virtual Box. It is frequently used in cloud computing and virtualization.

Virtual Machines are gaining popularity as technology advances. However, these devices are not without flaws. At times, even virtual machine files or VMDK can become corrupt.

What are some of the most prevalent causes of VMDK file corruption?

As with other programs, virtual machine disk files are prone to corruption, and if a user faces this issue, recovering data from the Virtual machine files is a priority. Meanwhile, the most typical reasons of corrupted VMDK files are listed below.

  • Several of the most common reasons include the following:
  • A virus has been distributed.
  • There has been a hardware failure.
  • Software corruption.
  • Human-caused errors.
  • The guest operating system was shut down erroneously.

Learn about the types of VMDK file

VMDK Descriptor file: The VMDK descriptor file is typically in the kilobyte range and is simply a text configuration file for the VMDK that is utilized by the Virtual Machine VMX to determine the disk size and shape of the VMDK.

VMDK Delta file: The delta file, which contains a history of all modifications to the VMDK flat file. When a server’s point-in-time snapshot is taken, a VMDK delta file is produced. When the snapshot is destroyed, the delta file is merged into the VMDK file in its entirety.

VMDK Flat file: The flat file will appear as your server-flat.vmdk, which is often where your virtual machine’s data is store. Typically, each Virtual disk on the server has its own VMDK flat file.

RDM VMDK file: The RDM VMDK file is a pass-through disk use to map to a physical device, which is often locate on a storage area network (SAN). The RDM.vmdk file is used to keep track of files being inserted or removed between the actual disk and the virtual machine.

How to recover data from corrupt VMDK file?

It is possible to complete this task manually or with the assistance of a professional approach. Both of them will be provided in the section below. Please take the time to read them thoroughly and decide which option best matches your needs.

Manual method to recover corrupt VMDK file

This para will demonstrate how to manually recover data from a corrupt VMDK file.

  • To open the command line, hit Windows + R and type CMD (cmd.exe).
  • The user now must navigate to the local installation of the VMware Development kit.
  • Enter the following syntax in the command prompt:
  • “VMware-vsdiskmanager.exe” –R “*address the corrupted VMDK file in the right directory”


While the approach may appear simple, its execution will be challenging for beginner users. Additionally, it is difficult to obtain sectors, heads, and cylinders in the same size as the *-flat.vmdk file. Additionally, this procedure is not completely reliable for repairing faulty VMDK files and recovering data from them.

Instant and tested application to recover data from corrupted VMDK file

As you may assume, the manual approach does not guarantee complete recovery of corrupted VMDK data. If you want an all-in-one solution for a corrupt VMDK file or one that is severely corrupt, you must use VMDK Recovery Software for Windows. This is the proper procedure for repairing any form of VMDK file corruption.

This program has been developed for a wide range of users, including both technical and non-technical people. Every user will be able to use this tool to recover data from a corrupt VMDK file in a matter of minutes with no effort.

  • To begin, download and install the program on your Windows computer.

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  • This program will now give you with a plethora of alternatives. Select the option Partition Data Recovery from the drop-down menu.
  • Please select the partition you want to use and then click on the Next button.
  • Select the place where you want to save the recovered VMDK file and then click the OK button.

The program will begin recovering your VMDK files immediately, and it will only take a few seconds to complete.

In Conclusion

Numerous enterprises rely on VMware Workstations and VirtualBox for everyday activities. Once it becomes corrupt, it becomes nearly impossible to recover its data. Additionally, manual attempts to recovering the complete data set are difficult. However, you may simply recover the full contents of the VMDK file with the suggested professional software.

Also Read:

Recover Data from Corrupted Hard Disk

How to restore deleted VMDK files?