Monday, December 20, 2021

How to make additional VMDKs visible in a VM


ESXi 6.5.0

vCenter 6.5.0

VM: Windows Server 2016


Ever wonder why the second or third VMDK on your Windows Virtual Machine (VM) is not appearing in file explore? It is there, barring a mistake when creating the VM in vCenter. This post will show you how to make the VMDK accessible and configurable in the Windows disk manager.


This post assumes you know how to create a VM with multiple hard drives.



1. Create a VM with multiple drives

2. Install Windows OS (Server 2016)

3. Log into the newly created VM

4. Navigate to PC settings in File Explorer

5. Observe, only one (1) drive is displayed


1. In the taskbar click "Search" type "Run"

2. Type "diskmgmt.msc" in the dialog box

3. Click "Ok"

4. Right-click and see "New Simple Volume" is grayed out

5. Right-Click unallocated space (disk 1)

6. Go to properties

7. Select Volumes tab

8. Observe, status is "Offline"


1. Bring up the CMD prompt

2. Follow commands from this VMware KB


3. Repeat steps 6-8 for multiple disks

4. Navigate back to Disk Management (Step 2)

5. Right-click on Disk1 "unknown"

6. Initialize Disk1 with MBR (Master Boot Record)

7. Click "Ok"

8. Right-click on "unallocated" space

9. Observe, "New Simple Volume" is now available

10. Select "New Simple Volume" follow the wizard

11. Select the defaults in the wizard

12. Observe, "New Volume" created

13. Navigate to "File Explorer"

14. Observe, the new drive

15. Repeat steps 5-11 for additional drives

16. Done