n an ESXi or vCenter environment, without network connectivity to a virtual machine from your administrative workstation it's quite hard to bi-directionally transfer files.
This post discusses a simple method I use for small quick file transfer from a secure virtual machine to my administrative workstation, using virtual floppy drives managed from the command-line.
This process uses vfd.exe, but presumably any virtual floppy software on your workstation could be used. The virtual machine also needs to have a floppy drive...
To bi-directionally transfer files from a non-network connected VM to my administrative workstation:
- Create a virtual floppy disk on my workstation
- Mount that floppy disk file as a virtual floppy drive on my workstation as A:
- Through VI client, connect the VM to the A: drive
- On the VM, copy files to/from A: drive and disconnect from the floppy
- On my workstation, copy files to/from the virtual A:
- Close the virtual floppy
- vfd install
- vfd open c:\temp\new.flp
- Use VI Client to connect to A:
- Copy files, then disconnect the VM virtual device
- copy a:\*.*
- vfd close
The obvious limitation of this is that the size is limited to 1.44MB. I tried with a 2.44MB floppy and the virtual machine didn't recognise this disk.
This doesn’t work with a virtual CD-ROM, as it’s mounted as read-only in the VM, so bi-directional copies aren’t available. You can still use a similar process for creating an ISO to copy files into a VM though. For this I use oscdimg.exe (Microsoft utility) to create my ISO from the command-line.