I needed to modify the sysprep.inf file inside of virtual disk and I needed a utility that would allow me to just use a vanilla text editor on the file. Why not just power on the virtual machine you say? Well if I were to power it on then I would have to re-create my sysprep.inf from scratch because there would be no way to stop it from running once Windows started to boot.
I have used similar utilities before with things like Symantec Ghost (Ghost Explorer) and certainly a wide variety of ISO mounting utilities. So I went looking for something that would allow me to read a VMware virtual disk and I came across the VMware Disk Mount Utility.
In this particular case I am only using VMware Workstation 6 virtual disks but from what I have read, this utility may work for ESX or VMware Server virtual disks as well. One thing to note is that the download page still says VMware Workstation 5.5 but I had no problems using this tool on a VMDK that was created using VMware Workstation 6.
Just for quick reference here are the commands I used:
Mount the VMDKas drive X:
vmware-mount X: "C:\VMware\VM01\VM01.vmdk" /v:1
Unmount the VMDK:
vmware-mount X: /d