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VMware View Administrators will be interested in this blog post from Hasan Mahmood, a TSE in our Burlington offices. Dealing with user data in a View environment has a couple of caveats Hasan explores below.

During the life cycle of a View pool you may find that you need to move a user’s data from one desktop to another. This may be to recover from a failure or due to operational needs.

Depending on the type of pool, your user’s data might be located on a separate disk or on the same disk as the OS in installed.  In the case of Linked clones with persistent / User Data disks, we can use the procedure described in Knowledge Base Article:

Moving a persistent data disk to another View desktop (1033286)
This KB requires us to use ESX console commands and have root access to the ESX server. In case of a cluster with ESXi the vMA may also be required.

In case we do not have access to the ESX we can use another approach which doesn’t require access to the ESX host. This approach is the same as what we would do in a purely physical world:

  1. On the Source Virtual Machine share the drive / folder that need to be copied over.

  2. On the destination Virtual Machine assign the user and have her login, thus creating the profile.

  3. On the destination Virtual Machine login and administrator and connect to the share on the source.

  4. Copy over all required files.

The procedure to use will depend on your particular circumstance. KB 1033286’s approach can only be used when you have to move data between Persistence or User Data Disk, and the source and destination disks are of the same size. It also is good in situations where a group of disks need to be moved in a batch; you can write a script to handle all the moves.

When you are moving data from a Persistent or User Data disk of one size to one with a different size, the Windows copy approach is required. That also goes if you are moving data from a Linked clone pool Virtual Machine to an Individual or Manual Virtual Machine pool or vice-versa. You have to use the Windows copy approach here too.