EdT201110141
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How to get VMware disk into 2Gb files

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Using VMWare Workstation 15 on Windows 10 64 bit host. Trying to get the 175Gb of virtual hard disk on a development VM into more manageable chunks.

Using this command: vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -r "c:\path\to\source.vmdk" -t 1 "c:\path\to\target.vmdk

According to the documention, this should convert the virtual disk into files of 2Gb each, but no matter how I try, each vmdk is around 5.7Gb .

Is my documentation out of date?  Do I have to export to a FAT32 file system to get 2Gb files?

All help appreciated

Thanks

EdT

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wila
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Hi,

Yet another answer.

Not sure where you saw the documentation, but yes it is out of date.

VMware changed the split disk scheme as disks started to be getting bigger and as such they sometimes resulted in an unwieldy amount of disk slices which started to have an effect on how well the VM would run.

The split disk scheme since Workstation 11 is:


Capacity                    Extent size
================================
<=128GB                 4GB (increased from 2GB)
>128GB && <2TB     Capacity / 32 (so maximum of 32 extents)
>=2TB                      2TB


So as long as your VM disk is under 128 GB in size you should be able to split it in such a way that you can save it on a FAT32 formatted partition.

Once you go over that size, the disk slices will be too large.

Hope this helps,

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

The only way to create a new VMDK split into 2GB slices is to use the "multiple expand" approach.
There is also no way to convert an existing VMDK into one using 2GB slices.
So the only option for you is to convert the VMDK with an older version of vmware-vdiskmanager.
To create a new VMDK with 2 Gb slices you create a first vmdk with size of 2GB.
Then you expand that one to 4 GB , next you expand that one to 6GB and so on ....
Here is an example on how to create a vmdk with CD-size slices ....

vmware-vdiskmanager -c -a ide -s 670Mb -t 1 cd-slices-disk.vmdk

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 1340Mb cd-slices-disk.vmdk

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 2010Mb cd-slices-disk.vmdk

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 2680Mb cd-slices-disk.vmdk

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 3350Mb cd-slices-disk.vmdk

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 4020Mb cd-slices-disk.vmdk

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 4690Mb cd-slices-disk.vmdk[

Do you need support with a recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
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a_p_
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Just a quick addition to the previous response.

So the only option for you is to convert the VMDK with an older version of vmware-vdiskmanager.

Version 7 is attached to https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/1023856

André

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wila
Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

Yet another answer.

Not sure where you saw the documentation, but yes it is out of date.

VMware changed the split disk scheme as disks started to be getting bigger and as such they sometimes resulted in an unwieldy amount of disk slices which started to have an effect on how well the VM would run.

The split disk scheme since Workstation 11 is:


Capacity                    Extent size
================================
<=128GB                 4GB (increased from 2GB)
>128GB && <2TB     Capacity / 32 (so maximum of 32 extents)
>=2TB                      2TB


So as long as your VM disk is under 128 GB in size you should be able to split it in such a way that you can save it on a FAT32 formatted partition.

Once you go over that size, the disk slices will be too large.

Hope this helps,

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva

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EdT201110141
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks everyone - this has answered my question.  My VM is actually around 175 Gb so not capable of 2Gb slices.

Appreciate the quick responses

Cheers

Ed

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wila
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Leadership

Hi,

You can still have 2GB slices AFAIK, but you would have to use either the older version of vmware-vdiskmanager like Andre said, or manually create the disk as Ulli mentioned.

So not exactly "out of the box", but possible.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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Pickwick81
Contributor
Contributor

VMware changed the split disk scheme as disks started to be getting bigger and as such they sometimes resulted in an unwieldy amount of disk slices which started to have an effect on how well the VM would run.


What negative impacts exactly? I have 750 GiB VMDK file in VBOX splitted into 2 GiB chunks working just fine. 

The "new" splitted disk scheme seems like a step backwards to me. First of all, the docs for the tool itself seem pretty often to still be wrong, that version of the tool already splits at 4 GiB instead of 2 and is not that old.

C:\Program Files\VMware-vix-disklib-6.7.0-8173251.x86_64\bin>vmware-vdiskmanager.exe
[...]
  Disk types:
      0                   : single growable virtual disk
      1                   : growable virtual disk split in 2GB files
      2                   : preallocated virtual disk
      3                   : preallocated virtual disk split in 2GB files

Second, that new approach isn't implemented by e.g. by VirtualBox, which is otherwise pretty compatible and can read and manage VMDK files as well. Would be better to coordinate such things a bit across hypervisors.

Splitting VMDK files was e.g. a good way to improve backup performance a bit with tools like RSYNC, because depending on the guest, not all individual chunks are touched over and over again. With 4 GiB chunks such improvements became a lot less likely. In my opinion, it would have been sufficient to use larger chunks for e.g. 1 or 2 TiB+ only. Chunks of 32 GiB for 128 GiB+ seem far to big to me already.

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