Do you know that you can create very large VMDKs with Linux sparse files ?
The result is a vmdk-format that can be used in a VM while it does not use the VMware standard vmdk format and so is easy to manipulate with dd for example.
Works on Linux hosts ...
Create descriptorfile like this:
# Disk DescriptorFile
# Extent description
RW 17179869184 FLAT "8tb-flat.vmdk" 0
# The Disk Data Base
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"
Create flat.vmdk like this:
dd if=/dev/zero bs=512 count=1 seek=17179869184 conv=notrunc of=8tb-flat.vmdk
A vmdk like that uses very little diskspace after creation - way way less than a regular vmdk.
Dont know if they are longterm stable - I use them often and dont need them longer than a few days ...
Advantage: super easy to partition / or format without the need of a VM - just use
In case you need sparse files in Windows.
Create a zero byte file, set it to sparse format, then resize it to the desired size.
fsutil file createnew sparse-flat.vmdk 0
fsutil sparse setflag sparse-flat.vmdk
fsutil file setEOF sparse-flat.vmdk 1099511627776
Check file type, size, etc.
fsutil file layout sparse-flat.vmdk
You can also see the file size, and disk space usage in the file's properties in the Windows Explorer.