Transfer files from the host OS to the virtual drive

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Revision as of 15:04, 1 April 2006 by GreyGhost (talk | contribs)
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  • Intro.

Many users prefer to test ReactOS under emulators and virtualizers like QEMU or VMware. But for testing their software they will need to copy their files into the .iso images and add them into proper directories which can become a difficult job. A way around this is to mount the virtual hard drives as disk drives attached to the system itself. Which can be easily done using VDK. VDK (Virtual Disk Driver) can mount vmdk and raw format virtual drives which are supported by QEMU and VMware.


  • Getting the driver (VDK).

You can download VDK from here. At the time of writing of this HOWTO the latest version is version 3.2 . Download the .zip file and extract it to your desired folder using your favourite archiver. Suppose it is C:\VDK ( NOTE: All suppositions are meant for the tutorial only. You can use the desired locations.)

  • Setting up the driver.
    • Open the command prompt and move to the folder where you have extracted VDK using cd command. eg. C:\VDK
    • To install the driver itself ( vdk.sys ).

Issue the following command with the command prompt in the same directory,

vdk install

What it does,

vdk     - Starts the application.
install - Asks vdk to install the driver.

  • To start the driver.

Even though the driver is installed , it is'nt running.To start it issue the following command,

vdk start

What it does,

vdk    - Starts the application.
start  - Starts the driver (vdk.sys) itself.

  • Mounting the virtual drive.

Again, suppose you have the virtual drive in C:\ReactOS\ReactOS.vmdk or ReactOS.img (raw) . In the vdk directory issue the following command,

vdk open * C:\ReactOS\ReactOS.vmdk /rw 

What it is doing,

vdk  - Starts the application.
open - Initiates the command to mount the virtual drive.
*    - Mounts the virtual drive to the first available drive letter.
.... - It is followed by the path to the virtual drive. ( ReactOS.vmdk or ReactOS.img)
/rw  - This option mounts the drive with read as well as write support.
  • Then the drive is properly mounted. And you can copy the required files as usual.

  • Unmounting the virtual drive.

Once done the virtual drive needs to be unmounted. It will save the files to the virtual hard disk eg.ReactOS.vmdk or ReactOS.img . This is done by issuing the following command in the vdk directory,

vdk close * 

What it does,

vdk   - Starts the application itself.
close - Initiates unmount.
*     - Unmounts all mounted virtual drives.
  • Once this is done the files will be available in the virtual hard drive.

  • Stoping the driver.

If you want you can stop the driver using,

vdk stop

More details and options are available in the Readme.txt in the previously downloaded .zip file.