rickardnobel
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Does MS support extended system partitions through extpart.exe?

In Vmware official courseware for vSphere (Install, Configure and Manage) you use the tool extpart.exe to extend the system partition on Windows 2003 while the VM is running.

The tool is from Dell and could be found at: without logon so I guess it is free. It is just an small exe file and seems to work great for virtual Windows 2003 to extend the C: partion after increasing the virtual disk size. In Win2008 there is native support for doing this, but not on Win2003 Server, so the possibility is very useful.

However, does anyone know if Microsoft is "supporting" this? Should this be thought of as a hack not for test machines or could it be used for production VMs?

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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AWo
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I don't know if MS supports anything else than MS but this (http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2009/12/dell-extpartexe-extend-volumes-easily.html) tells me that it can be used.


AWo

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AWo
Immortal
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Even with its own tool Microsoft rejects support in case of a system volume: http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B325590&x=7&y=8


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PduPreez
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I have used this utillity on over 60 Win 2003 Machines (Physical) with no problems.

I have used this utility from dell 100+ times in my career on a variety

of different servers, including VM’s. It has always done the job and I

have never had an issue

I did however come accross problems on forums:

If you get the error Unable to connect to c: or it does not exist then

try restarting Windows in safe mode. If the Disk Management Console is

open or VMware tools are running, close them because they are the

primary causes of this error.</span>

In in Short Microsoft does not state that this is supported, but this utillity is used on Production machines globaly.

rickardnobel
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I don't know if MS supports anything else than MS but this (http://www.vmwareinfo.com/2009/12/dell-extpartexe-extend-volumes-easily.html) tells me that it can be used.

It is perhaps a variant of the question I had about Vmware and "unsupported" actions. Microsoft would naturally not give support on how to use 3rd party tools and similar, but my question was more if this would be a very unrecommended / "unlegal" thing to do from MS point of view.

(As in this made up example: Someone trying to open a support case at Microsoft for some problem, say a Active Directory related one, and on the same server has the C: partition been extended with a 3rd party tool - if this could cause MS not wanting to support it at all?)

But it might be me that is still not getting the "unsupport" meaning.. Smiley Happy

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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rickardnobel
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Even with its own tool Microsoft rejects support in case of a system volume: http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B325590&x=7&y=8

From what I read from that KB it says more that the builtin tools in Win2003 does not have the capability to increase the size of the boot/system partition?

I have used this utillity on over 60 Win 2003 Machines (Physical) with no problems.

Thank you, that is very valuable information.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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AWo
Immortal
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From what I read from that KB it says more that the builtin tools in Win2003 does not have the capability to increase the size of the

boot/system partition?

Reject support for something which can't be done?

They wrote: "Only the extension of data volumes is supported. System or boot volumes may be blocked from being extended, and you may receive the following error:"

So if it is not blocked it is still not supported.


AWo

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rickardnobel
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They wrote: "Only the extension of data volumes is supported. System or boot volumes may be blocked from being extended, and you may receive the following error:"

So if it is not blocked it is still not supported.

Ah, good, I missed that line. "Only the extension of data volumes is supported". So this should be understood that if using other tools than diskpart to actually extend the boot/system partition then it would be unsupported. And that is still a mystery for me what that would mean ..

I wonder if there is anything more to it than such tool just edit the MBR and make the partition larger? Or if it also involves changing NTFS metadata to be able to use the new space?

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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AWo
Immortal
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It is perhaps a variant of the question I had about Vmware and "unsupported" actions. Microsoft would naturally not give support on how

to use 3rd party tools and similar, but my question was more if this would be a very unrecommended / "unlegal" thing to do from MS

point of view.

(As in this made up example: Someone trying to open a support case at Microsoft for some problem, say a Active Directory related

one, and on the same server has the C: partition been extended with a 3rd party tool - if this could cause MS not wanting to support it

at all?)

But it might be me that is still not getting the "unsupport" meaning.. Smiley Happy

I think the whole "is supported" thing it's sometimes really a pain in the

=Send "Posting" to 911 for only $999999,99!=

vExpert 2009/10/11 [:o]===[o:] [: ]o=o[ :] = Save forests! rent firewood! =
PduPreez
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

"Thank you, that is very valuable information"

I was just stating that I used this uttility on allot of Win 2003 Machines (Physical and Virtual) It does not really matter, extending on a physical or virtaul Machine is the same thing. Also I've logged some Microsoft Calls on these machines and never got an answer of: "Sorry sir, you extended your C:\ Drive 2 years aggo, we cannot help you"

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rickardnobel
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"Thank you, that is very valuable information"

I was just stating that I used this uttility on allot of Win 2003 Machines (Physical and Virtual) It does not really matter, extending on a physical or virtaul Machine is the same thing. Also I've logged some Microsoft Calls on these machines and never got an answer of: "Sorry sir, you extended your C:\ Drive 2 years aggo, we cannot help you"

PduPreez, I hope you did not thought my comment was ironic, as that was certainly not the intention. I meant exactly what I wrote, that it was very valuable information for me. Getting real world experiences from colleagues is great and I thank you for that.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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PduPreez
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

I did think your comment was ironic, and now I feel like a idiot :smileylaugh:

Sorry for that

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rickardnobel
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I did think your comment was ironic, and now I feel like a idiot :smileylaugh:

Sorry for that

No problems of course, I am glad it was sorted out. Smiley Happy

Just as it is good to know what is officially supported and supposed to work, it is equally good to get a feeling for what has been working for others. The same with hearing for example "it worked for me 30 times, but 5 machines did never boot again". That also gives information for future use.

But the expierence gives you a feeling for when you can "leave" that conformity. For example, when best-practises invole a tool which was used successfully by others.

I think if you try to be always in line with all support conditions and terms of all involved parties, you do not survive in IT or at least you can't move.

By getting educated, collecting (field) expierence, read the README's and (if possible) do good testing before you start,

All this is very true. It is always a nice feeling to have when you have the amount of knowledge and experience to be able to look at some spec from Microsoft or other vendor and could make educated guesses of which conditions really must be followed and which could be safely altered.

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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AWo
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All this is very true. It is always a nice feeling to have when you have the amount of knowledge and experience to be able to look at some spec from Microsoft or other vendor and could make educated guesses of which conditions really must be followed and which could be safely altered.50% intuition

30% cheekiness

20% knowledge

will do it 10528_10528.gif

AWo

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chayka
Contributor
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I ran into the same issue this week. I had run extpart many times on expanding the C:\ drives or any other partition. I ran into two servers that when trying to run extpart C: 10240 I received an error stating "Unable to connect to C: or it does not exist"

After reading a few threads I was going to attempt to boot into Safe mode to try and make the changes.

I had sent an email to my colleagues in Europe to see if any of them ever ran into this issue before? They came back with a "No". One of them (Shaun) ran Process monitor on the system and it came back with c:\ having a sharing violation. He attempted to look at all the services that would have an effect on the disk and decided that it must be the "Indexing Service ".

"Indexing Service creates indexes of the contents and properties of documents on your local hard drive and on shared network drives. You can also control the information included in the indexes. Indexing Service is designed to run continuously and requires little, if any, maintenance."

Thoughts were that this service had continuous access to C:\ and locked it preventing us to run extpart.

After the service was stopped extpart worked like a charm! We restarted the service and we were done.

Hope this helps!

Thanks

Jeff

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