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Windows 7: How to create backups for VMware Player ?

18 Jun 2014   #1

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM
How to create backups for VMware Player ?

I installed VMware Player (free) and it seems with the free version there can only be 1 Snapshot.
In the Host OS, I copied the VM folder using Windows (file) Explorer.
I then added the copied folder (VM) to VMware Player as a second VM.
I opened the copied VM in VMware Player and it seems to be working correctly.
I did get a warning and had to re-enable sharing to access a shared folder.

Is this a reliable method to create "System Backups" of a VM, or is there a better solution?

The Host OS is Win 7 x64 and the Guest OS is Win 8.1 x64.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jun 2014   #2

64-bit Windows 8.1 Pro

I run windows 8.1 exclusivly from a VM. I can create a backup snapshot using Rollback RX, in about 30 seconds. Works like a charm

RollBack Rx - Windows System Restore Software - Download Today
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2014   #3

Linux CENTOS 7 / various Windows OS'es and servers

Hi there
The simplest is simply to backup the VM from the host with Windows explorer.

Other methods -- use Acronis or Free Macrium to image the VM -- this is useful if you want to change the partition sizes of your VM without having to re-install the VM. Do this exactly as you would for a PHYSICAL machine -- boot a stand alone version from within the VM. You can set the VM to boot an ISO in the virtual Bios.

The advantage using Windows explorer or an imaging program is that it works for ALL guests including any LINUX VM's you might be using.

Taking snapshots is also possible but I don't think vmplayer allows snapshotting -- VMware workstation does but that's not a FREE piece of software.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jun 2014   #4

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Thanks for the replies and advice - much appreciated.
I had some PC sleep issues, so I did an image restore from before installing VMware.
After reinstalling VMware I copied the "VM backup folder" from an offline backup HD onto the Host [C] drive.
I then added this folder as a new VM and it works.
So for me it seems a simple folder copy is a good free "System Backup/Recovery" approach.
From what I see this should work to recover the VM OS from a HD crash, Malware, etc.
I don't have the VM OS in a separate partition, it is in a folder on the HOST [C] partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

I know it's not an answer to your VMPlayer issue but VirtualBox allows you to take snapshots. That is the main reason I use it rather than VMPlayer. These of course are not backups but they do allow you to roll back to a point in time instantly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #6

Windows 10 Pro


You can actually use previous versions as a way to do "snapshots".

Whenever I have a problem with a virtual machine I messed up, or had to much fun with viruses etc; I use the previous versions feature on the vm file to restore it back to a good state. You could try right clicking the folder the vm is stored in, and choose restore previous versions. Then go back a day or two and choose to restore the folder.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1

There is a thought but don't get too attached to it. Previous versions disappears in Windows 8.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #8

Windows 10 Pro

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
There is a thought but don't get too attached to it. Previous versions disappears in Windows 8.
One of the multiple many reasons I will not move to it. However, with file history you can do the same thing, just more set up and stuff is required, and you need another drive to set up file history.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2014   #9

Multi-Boot W7_Pro_x64 W8.1_Pro_x64 W10_Pro_x64 +Linux_VMs +Chromium_VM

Thanks for all the feedback and replies, it gives me more to consider and test.

To give more info on my situation
Years ago, I did test a Win 8 "Pre Release" version in a VM on my test box.
It is an old dual core CPU and the performance hit alone was too much for me.
Also, for the upgrade license it would cost $40 + a current OS license...
I didn't see enough benefit to upgrade to Win 8 then.

I recently got a $0 Win 8 upgrade license from "Robins Giveaway".
As XP is now expired, I "upgraded" the XP license to Win 8.
Win 8.1 is working fine on my Test Box as a normal installed (not VM) OS.
I like Win 7 better and have no plans to make Win 8 my Primary OS.
I'm testing W8 on my primary box with an old quad core CPU as a VM.
VM Performance is much better than the dual core.
I'm trying to decide if I should just keep the Win 8 license on the Test box, or move it to my Primary box as a VM.
I really like being able to start up Win 8 in my Main PC as a VM and not have to fire up the Test Box...

People I help are now starting to get new PCs with Win 8 and then call me for help.
Without any W8 experience, I found my W7 (and prior OS) experience isn't good enough.
Now I can learn the OS and test things to try and duplicate their problem if needed.
I can also let them connect to my Win 8 so they can see what Win 8 looks like before buying a new Win 8 PC.
For the past year I've telling people wanting a new PC
"Go to BB to see Win 8 before you buy a new PC ... it's not like anything you've seen before ... some people like it and some don't ..."

When I tested VMs years ago I tried a few, and as I remember it VMware Player had the best performance.
That's why I chose this now.

I'm really liking being able to copy a VM folder as system backup - it takes ~2 minutes.
I decided to try Bitdefender free as the AV.
I tested it and decided I didn't want it.
Shut down 8.1, delete the VM folder, copy the backup folder I saved before installing Bitdefender.
Poof, all traces of BD are a matter of minutes.

Sorry for the long-winded reply ... I know I over-think things too much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to create backups for VMware Player ?

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