montechnology
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Enthusiast

VMWare esxi 5.5 - is it possible to shrink a thick provisioned hard drive?

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Hey Guys

I recently increased the hard drive size of one of my VM drives to 300GB when I only needed 200GB.

The drive is thick provisioned. From memory I don't think you can shrink a thick provisioned drive from the VMWare 5.5 client.

So my question is, is there an alternate way I can shrink that thick provisioned hard drive so I can recover the unused space?

Kind Regards

Aaron

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Shocko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes, technically, if you have a 300 GB windows volume backed by a 300 GB thick .vmdk you could do the following:

  1. Defrag the guest filesystem with Raxco Disk defrag or the like as use the option consolidate free space
  2. try and ensure that as many fee blocks towards the end of the partition (use boot defrag options for pagefile and $mft etc)
  3. Shrink the partition to 200 GB
  4. Storage vmotion the VM and set the destination format as thin

That  .vmdk will now never take up more that 200 GB unless the windows partition is grown but the .vmdk is thin nonetheless. Otherwise, vmware standalone converter or vmkfstools the way to go. If prefer vmkfstools.

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Anjani_Kumar
Commander
Commander

The best and easiest way is V2V conversion which can shrink your thin provision disk and give you the unused space back .

Thanks

Please consider marking this answer "correct" or "helpful" if you found it useful. Anjani Kumar | VMware vExpert 2014-2015-2016 | Infrastructure Specialist Twitter : @anjaniyadav85 Website : http://www.Vmwareminds.com
montechnology
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

HI Anjani_Kumar


Thank you for your reply Smiley Happy


Can I do a V2V on just the 1 hard drive?


Also what V2V software do you recommend using?

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vfk
Expert
Expert

You can use VMware converter,VMware vCenter Converter: P2V Virtual Machine Converter | VMware United Kingdom, to do V2V conversion, the alternative is to keep the 300GB and make it thin provisioned VMDK by storage vmotion the VM to another datastore. 

--- If you found this or any other answer helpful, please consider the use of the Helpful or Correct buttons to award points. vfk Systems Manager / Technical Architect VCP5-DCV, VCAP5-DCA, vExpert, ITILv3, CCNA, MCP
montechnology
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hey vfk, I think I might be out of space to move the vm to another location unfortunately. So maybe v2v is my best option.

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

If there is a way to resize the partitions in a first step with gparted for example - the thick vmdk can be resized with dd.
I admit - that may sound scary for some users - but its possible.


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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Shocko
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes, technically, if you have a 300 GB windows volume backed by a 300 GB thick .vmdk you could do the following:

  1. Defrag the guest filesystem with Raxco Disk defrag or the like as use the option consolidate free space
  2. try and ensure that as many fee blocks towards the end of the partition (use boot defrag options for pagefile and $mft etc)
  3. Shrink the partition to 200 GB
  4. Storage vmotion the VM and set the destination format as thin

That  .vmdk will now never take up more that 200 GB unless the windows partition is grown but the .vmdk is thin nonetheless. Otherwise, vmware standalone converter or vmkfstools the way to go. If prefer vmkfstools.

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