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    Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions

    Pat Lee Master
    VMware Employees

      There have been a number of questions on how to resize virtual disks and confusion around how this works with regards to Windows partitions.

       

      While the vdiskmanager tools to resize the virtual disks are pretty quick, you still have to use third party tools to get to the desired end point of a larger Windows system virtual disk or actually partition in this case.

       

      To make it easier for people to resize their virtual drives and operating system partition, I took some of my fleeting personal time to write this overview that includes all the steps required to resize a virtual disk with vdiskmanager GUI and then resize the partition with the open source GParted Live CD (ISO).

       

      LEGAL STUFF

      This is my personal document and not supported in any way by VMware. Also, I take no responsibility for any of the tools recommended or issues in my write up.

       

      As always, make a backup of your virtual disk before performing resizing your disk as actions like these that could make your virtual machine unbootable. Don't say I didn't warn you!

       

      Hope this is helpful to folks. Any and all feedback is welcome.

       

      Pat

        • 1. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
          Obeechi Hot Shot

          Well, the bit about creating a second disk and using it just for Data never occured to me... I suppose that could be on an external drive... of course you could also move the Data to an external drive formated non-virtually in NTFS... and then what about using MacDrive to save this same data to an HFS+ partition.. would that mean you wouldn't have to set aside a virtual disk area within the same HFS+ partition... but someone here was concerned about using MacDrive in a Virtual environment... gee and I just forked over money for it thinking I would need it... (so does this mean I should only use MacDrive in a native environment, which I really don't plan on using anymore... )

          • 2. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
            nshirey Novice

            This is what I was looking for, thank you.

            • 3. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
              Obeechi Hot Shot

              I used this guide to resize my disk and then my partition, and I used gparted... and used my Vista installation disk afterwards to make repairs... then... I did it again... only this time, I didn't use gparted, but instead just used vdiskmanager to expand my disk while the VM was shut down totally, and Fusion was quit, ... then booted to Vista VM and used Vista's Computer Management snap in to resize (expand) the partition... both steps were ultra quick..

              • 4. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructio
                av_boy Lurker

                This seems like a very involved process...

                 

                I just switched to VMWare from parallels and I am needing to resize a disk.

                 

                Will someone explain to me why the way I did it in parallels wouldnt work for vmware?

                 

                Basically what I would do is use the disk tool to make the disk bigger.

                Mount the disk to "a different vm with windows" (not the boot disk)

                Boot to the "other windows vm" and Use the windows partition manager to expand the disk.

                 

                 

                Thanks!

                 

                -sean

                • 5. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructio
                  RDPetruska Guru
                  User ModeratorsvExpert

                  That process will work too.  It requires another Windows virtual machine, which some users may not have... and it requires a version of Windows new enough to contain the DiskPart utility.

                  • 6. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructio
                    Hux Lurker

                    They need a Mac OS gui or Linux tool.

                    • 7. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                      hejish Novice

                      The PDF needs new links - the old links to vmware sites for the software do not work

                      • 8. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                        rcardona2k Champion

                        Hmm... they worked for me:

                         

                        1) Download the latest viskdiskmanager GUI 

                        New version: 0.2007.06.18

                         

                        2) Download the latest VMX Extras

                        VMX Extras

                         

                        3) Download the latest Gparted Live CD disk image (ISO)

                        GParted  LiveCD

                        • 9. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                          Studio7Media Lurker

                           

                          Hi All,

                           

                           

                          If you have Ghost (I use 2003), you can easily resize your drive without the risk to your data:

                           

                           

                          note: I am using VMWare Fusion 1.0 / resized from 5gb to 20gb

                           

                          1. Create/Add a second Virtual Drive to your machine that will represent your desired larger HD size.

                          2. Boot Virtual Machine so that the OS recogizes the second drive.  Restart

                          3. Go into VM BIOS by pressing F2, and change your default boot order: CDROM, Floppy (if you want), HD.

                          4. Boot with Ghost 2003 or older , and clone drive

                          5. Boot VM with new Virtual HD.

                           

                          In my case I created a new virtual machine (because I also wanted to upgrade from XP Home to Pro); in the VM wizard, I manually selected the newly created vitural drive and booted.  My new OS drive was now 20gb's instead of 5gb's.  All this worked great, and only took about 10 minutes!

                           

                           

                          LEGAL STUFF (as mentioned by Pat Lee)

                           

                           

                          This is my personal document and not supported in any way by VMware.

                          Also, I take no responsibility for any of the tools recommended or

                          issues in my write up.

                           

                          As always, make a backup of your virtual disk before performing

                          resizing your disk as actions like these that could make your virtual

                          machine unbootable. Don't say I didn't warn you!

                           

                          Hope this is helpful to folks. Any and all feedback is welcome.

                           

                           

                          • 10. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                            zyx100 Enthusiast

                             

                            here is a good article which explaines a different method to change Virtual Disk size:

                             

                             

                            http://www.vmweekly.com/articles/expanding_the_virtual_disk_size_in_4_steps/1/

                             

                             

                            • 11. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                              Guru

                              here is a good article which explaines a different method to change Virtual Disk size:

                               

                              Actually, it's the same technique. Pat's detailed instructions comprise steps 3b and 4 of your link, except Pat used a GUI instead of the shell, and a gparted ISO instead of diskpart from a backup Windows VM.

                              • 12. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                                rcardona2k Champion

                                FWIW, many of the steps in that article do not apply on a OS X (nearly steps 1 - 3a).  But it does encourage making a backup which can't be stressed enough.  It also discusses deleting snapshots which may not be obvious for expanding base disks.  Using diskpart is an alternative, but for me it has not been as convenient as booting into gparted.

                                • 13. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                                  clive_long Enthusiast

                                  Hi,

                                   

                                  Thanks for these instructions. I increased the disk size by a slight variation on the given instructions, but essentially it is the same technique in the detailed instructions given. The "challenge" is to have any easy-to-use (that means graphical for me) application to resize the disk partition, but one cannot resize active/mounted partitions. So the idea is to have the disk resized by an environment where the virtual disk is not mounted/active. In the instructions given, that is booting GParted , in my notes that is run GParted in a "slave" Linux guest - that's the only variation in approach.

                                   

                                  Host: Linux with disk space under the control of lvm (Logical Volume Manager)

                                   

                                  Guest 1: Win XP << This has drive C: that needs to be increased in size

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  Guest 2: Linux

                                   

                                   

                                  1. Backup    on Linux host the virtual disk to be increased, in my case the vmdk assigned to Win XP guest 1. This is made easy by VM because all the relevant files are in one directory.

                                   

                                  2. Run vmware-vdiskmanager in Linux host and increase size of virtual disk (see User Guide for syntax and examples)

                                   

                                  3. Attach, as a new disk drive, the vmdk file that contains the Win XP C: drive to Linux guest 2 VM. Start the Linux guest 2 and install GParted. 

                                   

                                  4. Start GParted in Linux Guest 2. In GParted go to menu (GParted > Devices) and change the "device" to one of the /dev/sdx options. It should be apparent from the "Flags" which is the correct device. In my case it was "boot". Set up the partition resize (as in the detailed written instructions) and run it.

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  5. Stop the Linux Guest 2 and restart Win XP guest 1. As in detailed instructions, Windows checks the partition then starts. The C: drive is resized.

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  Notes

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                   

                                  GParted cannot resize lvm (Logical Volume Manager) partitions - so can't be used to increase size of my host partitions. But maybe there are tools to resize lvms. I need to look into that.

                                   

                                   

                                  For me, the really clever thing about the technique that has been given in the original posting, is that although the host uses lvm, and the virtual disk is actually a vmdk file on the host, within either vm, the file appears as a boot partition or extended or logical partition and GParted can do its resizing work on it in the guest.

                                  • 14. Re: Resizing a Virtual Disk for Windows Guests with Step by Step Instructions
                                    damax99 Novice

                                    I'd like to a pass along a problem I had with with step 12 of Pat's procedure and how I was able to extend the partition by using Vista's Disk Management function.  It appears to work but I welcome thoughts from others on if I may have another problem that I don't know about.  I should also say that I'm new to Mac OS X and am using an iMac.

                                     

                                    I successfully got through steps 1-11 in my attempt to extend my virtual hard disk from 20GB to 40GB.  My problem began on step 12 when I couldn't get F2 to startup the BIOS setup program.  Every time I tried to press F2 it just increased the screen brightness screen and after the BIOS delay, Vista would start up.  Perhaps there's something different I need to do to get the BIOS setup to start. 

                                     

                                    After shutting down Vista and trying step 12 several times, I went into Vista's Computer Management / Disk Management and could see that I had 20GB allocated and the new 20GB Unallocated.  I performed the Extend a Volume action (More Actions / All Tasks / Extend a Volume) entered the remaining amount as displayed (about 20K MB) and then saved it.  The volume now appeared as 40GB in Disk Management and shows the full 40GB in other places.

                                     

                                    In short, it seems to have worked but I'm a bit concerned because it appears that this thread recommended using another VM instance of XP or Vista to change the partition.  I used the active VM to make the change.

                                     

                                    Any thoughts are welcome on if there might be an issue with what I did and also on why I couldn't get F2 to startup the BIOS setup.

                                    Thanks

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