simon1973
Contributor
Contributor

VMWare FILE (.vmwarevm) is too big

Hello,

I got the following problem. I´ve installed Win Vista 32 Bit Business inside VMWare Fusion on my MacBookPro (MAC OS/X 10.5.2). The size was limited to 100 GB at the time of installation. When opening VMWare settings before starting Vista in the virtual machine, the field for the value of HDD usage is greyed out and cannot be changed from 100 GB to anything else.

Today I found out, that the Vista file (.vmwarevm file type) on my MacBook is 145 GB large and I am left with absolutely no space on my computer which I need to work with on a day to day basis. I keep getting the pop up from VM Ware that disk space is below 150 MB and just deleting files on my Mac OSX HDD solves the problem temporarily. I´ve already done that a couple of times but now there are no more files to delete and the file size seems to keep growing !!!

!!!!!! As I am self-employed and this is my work tool this is a mission critical problem !!!!!!!!!!

Inside Vista I do only have used 75 GB of the 100 GB assigned to it as a maximum size in VMWare Fusion. So actually the file should take no more than 75GB on the HDD but it takes 145 GB instead.

I have tried to shrink the size of it via the VMWare Tools inside Vista but the option is deactivated and cannot use it to shrink. There is only a text displayed saying to check the product documentation which is not helpful at all.

Please let me know a solution immediately as I cannot work with the device right now and I need it every day. Everyday I cannot work with it I loose a lot of money !!! This is really annoying !

Thank you for your prompt reply including a problem solution proposal. Also it would be good to know if I can reduce the file size furthermore than the 100 GB which I assigned during the installation process.

Thank you,

Simon

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8 Replies
borisdusek
Expert
Expert

You probably took a snapshot of your virtual machine in the past, and the snapshot has to store all the contents of the virtual drive from that time, and any changes made from that time must be stored as well. So the old snapshot is probably taking up the space - if you don't need it, just discard it - VMware Fusion menubar > Virtual Machine > Discard Snapshot - it will take a bit of time, but I guess you can continue working with your virtual machine while this is done. I can't help you with shrinking the drive, thought I bet it's possible, but I have never needed it.

Also the size even without a shapshot can (and usually will) be approaching the maximum size of the virtual disk the longer you use the virtual machine, even if you don't use the full capacity - it looks like an unreasonable thing at first sight, but it's actually logical - look at , section Disk size.

admin
Immortal
Immortal

I agree that the OP probably has a snapshot, but you can't shrink a virtual machine with a snapshot. Even if you could, it requires some free scratch space, so would not be an option unless the OP can move the virtual machine to an external drive.

Moving to an external hard drive (HFS+ formatted, please - FAT32 will only work if the virtual disk is already split, and OS X can't write to NTFS by default) would be my suggestion. This will take the pressure off, allow you to work, and you can figure out how to compact the virtual disk when you have free time. In general, I would be worried about doing anything on a very full hard disk (since it's hard to fail gracefully and you risk corrupting the disk) which is why I recommend going with the external drive rather than just discarding the snapshot.

simon1973
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Boris,

thanks for your reply. First of all I want to apologize for the tone of voice in my initial posting - this was my (very frustrated) e-mail to VM Ware Support copied one to one in the community - I should have modified that text prior to doing so.

When deleting the snapshot I got an error message saying that there is not enough free disk space to delete it. It just freed up about 2 GB - no more and now the option is greyed out. But thank you very much anyway

Simon

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simon1973
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Etung,

I also would like to apologize to you about the tone of voice of my posting, this wasn´t actually intended for the community but rather for the support of VMWare when I was very, very frustrated about the whole thing.

Add´l question reg your posting: Can I just move the 145GB file to an HFS formatted external hard drive and that does the job or do I need to do that via the settings of VMWare by adding an additional harddisk and disabling the current one ? Problem there is that I can only choose SCSI or IDE bus but not a USB device...

THe option "add USB controller" is sometimes greyed out and disabled - the HDD in HFS format shows though in Finder. If I connect it to the VM I don´t know how to change the location where VMWare saves the file....

Thanx !! Simon?:|

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mobcdi
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I could be wrong but I think Etung was suggesting moving your vista virtual machine package to an USB external harddrive and run it from there instead of your host harddrive

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borisdusek
Expert
Expert

What Etung meant is to just move the 145 GB virtual machine file to an external hard drive. Be sure to shut down ( not suspend, not leave running) the virtual machine before moving. When done, double-click the virtual machine file in the new location, and it will open and start running. Then you have 2 options:

  1. just delete the snapshot on the external drive (you have a plenty space there, it should be possible), then power off and again move the virtual machine back to the internal hard drive. However, if you take snapshot again and let your disk size grow, you will run into this problem again. The advantage is that you will have your virtual machine on your internal hard drive of your laptop, not relying on external drive (thus able to just pick your Macbook Pro when traveling somewhere and not have to worry about external drive).

  2. leave the virtual machine on the external drive and simply run it always from there. This way, you will never run out of space (but you will have to rely on the external hard drive). If you are mostly home user (i.e. don't travel with the laptop a lot), I think this would be the preferred option.

So just connect the external drive to your Macbook Pro, and from within OS X, copy your shut down virtual machine file to that drive. Then choose the variant from the above that's OK for you.

When VMware Fusion asks you whether you copied the machine, or you moved it, answer that you moved it.

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simon1973
Contributor
Contributor

Hi Boris and Etung,

thanks again for your help. My apologies for coming back to your post with such a delay. After moving the VM back in May I tried to delete the snapshot but for some reason (VM wasn´t runing or suspended - as you suggested) I couldn´t delete it. I contacted VM Support and they couldn´t solve the problems either - using log files and everything.

So what I did in the end was as follows:

1. Did a CompletePC backup of my Vista VM

2. Moved VM

3. Created a new VM

4. Restored the CompletePC backup in the new VM

The alternative - according to VM Ware support - is to create a new VM which is pointing to the old one (shortcut). I did that too and it worked fine for a while, but then the shortcut started "growing" again. So this weekend (July) I have decided to reinstall VMWare completely and make a new Vista installation. I will now move files and settings manually. If his time the same problem occurrs, I will discard VM Ware and just not use it anymore but replace it by using Bootcamp with two different installations.

Cheers,

Simon

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

The alternative - according to VM Ware support - is to create a new VM which is pointing to the old one (shortcut).

I'm not sure why they suggested that, since it's not going to help at all, and can cause other problems. Do you know who it was you talked to?

I did that too and it worked fine for a while, but then the shortcut started "growing" again

As borisdusek noted before, this is explained in and is pretty much unavoidable if you're doing I/O. When you create a new virtual machine, you can tell Fusion to preallocate disk space, which will cause the size to be (large and) constant, unless you do something like take a snapshot.

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