Resizing Virtual Disks With Step by Step Instructions

Resizing Virtual Disks With Step by Step Instructions

Disclaimer: This is a personal document and is NOT official or endorsed by VMware. I take no responsibility for data loss or any other issues that may occur by using this information.

ANY MENTION OF THIRD PARTY PRODUCTS IS NOT AN ENDORSEMENT OR SUPPORT FOR THESE PRODUCTS BY MYSELF OR VMWARE.

BEFORE YOU PERFORM ANY DISK RESIZE OPERATION, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF YOUR VIRTUAL MACHINE IN CASE YOU ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS AT ANY STEP!

Feedback, suggestions, and edits are welcome.

-


When you run out of disk space in your virtual disks, you have two choices to add more disk space to your virtual machines.

  • Add a second virtual disk to your virtual machine

  • Resize your existing virtual disk to be larger

There are a number of advantages of adding a second virtual disk to your virtual machine when you need more disk space.

  1. It is very simple to add a second virtual disk and it doesn't require using third party tools make the disk space available. Just shut down the virtual machine, go to Settings, click on plus button and select "Add Hard Disk". Select the hard disk size you want and the interface type and click OK. You then to go into Windows Disk Management and format the second virtual hard drive.

  2. You can move all your user data to the second virtual disk, separating your data from the Windows operating system. Separating user data onto a separate disk makes it easier to only protect only the data you care about.

While it is easy to add a second virtual hard disk, many users would rather expand their existing virtual disk so they don't have to change application or data locations.

VMware Fusion 2 includes tools that resize your existing virtual disk hardware to a larger size. VMware Fusion increases the size of the virtual hard disk, which effectively adds more "virtual spindles" to make the disk larger.

The challenge is that most users expect the increased virtual disk size to mean that Windows (or other operating systems) sees the increased disk size immediately.

However, Windows (and operating systems) work with partitions on a hard disk. You need Windows (or other operating system) specific disk management tools to increase the existing partition size to match the larger virtual hard disk size.

Most modern operating systems including Windows Vista, Mac OS X Leopard Server, and some versions of Linux provide built-in disk management tools that can resize live partitions to use additional hard disk space.

NOTE: BEFORE YOU PERFORM ANY DISK RESIZE OPERATION, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF YOUR VIRTUAL MACHINE IN CASE YOU ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS AT ANY STEP!

How to Resize A Virtual Disk With VMware Fusion 2 Disk Management Tools

1) Shut down your Windows (or other) virtual machine so that it is powered off.

2) Bring up the Settings dialog for your virtual machine and click Hard Disks

3) Select the slider or enter the new virtual disk size you prefer and click Apply.

4) After a few short time and a brief flash, your virtual disk will now be resized to the new size.

Resizing Partitions To Use Larger Virtual Disk

As we stated above, you now need to use operating system specific tools to resize the existing file system/partitions to use that new space. So, below are steps for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X Leopard Server.

Resizing Windows XP Partitions

Unlike Windows Vista or Mac OS X Leopard Server, Windows XP does not include disk management tools to resize a live partition, so you need to use third party partition management tools such as Symantec's Partition Magic, EASEUS Partition Master, Acronis Disk Director, or open source projects like GParted to resize an existing partition to take advantage of the added virtual hard disk space.

Below are options with step-by-step tutorials for resizing partitions with two different tools: EASEUS Partition Master and GParted.

Option 1 - Resizing A Windows XP Startup Partition With EASEUS Partition Master

BEFORE YOU PERFORM ANY RESIZE OPERATION, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF THE VIRTUAL MACHINE IN CASE THE OPERATION FAILS!

Lifehacker recently ran an article about a free personal edition of EASEUS Partition Master, which is a Windows utility that provides disk and partition management tools that Windows XP that is free for home use. This is exciting for VMware Fusion personal users who want to resize a Windows XP partition.

See Lifehacker article at:

Download the Software

1) Download the latest EASEUS Partition Master

Resizing A Windows XP Startup Partition Has Two Distinct Parts

1) Use VMware Fusion to resize the virtual disk (See above)

2) Use EASEUS Partition Master to resize partition

Part 1 - Use VMware Fusion 2 to resize the virtual disk

See "How to Resize A Virtual Disk With VMware Fusion 2 Disk Management Tools" above

Part 2 - Use EASEUS Partition Master to resize partition

1) Install EASEUS Partition Master in Windows XP

2) Start EASEUS Partition Master from Windows XP Start menu

3) When EASEUS Partition Master launches, it takes over the full screen and shows your virtual hard disk with partitions and unallocated space on the disk

4) To resize your partition to take up the existing space, grab the separator between your "C:" drive and Unallocated and slowly drag the separator to the right to take over all Unallocated space

5) In the Partition Operations pane on the left, click Apply to save this change

6) In the Apply Changes confirmation dialog, click Yes

7) EASEUS requires that you restart to finalize the partition resize, so click Yes in the confirmation dialog to restart the virtual machine

😎 When EASEUS reboots the VM, do NOT touch the keyboard as EASEUS needs to run at boot time to resize the partition and mouse or keyboard at boot will cancel the operation

9) After 10 seconds, EASEUS will finalize the resize of the partition in text mode and then restart the virtual machine when complete

10) Windows will boot to the desktop and after a short period Windows will recognize the newly configured hard drive as new hardware, the larger hard drive, is now available. You need to restart Windows for the resized disk to be available.

11) When Windows XP reboots, go the Start Menu and select My Computer. Select your updated hard drive and notice that the size is now updated to your desired size.

Option 2 - Resizing A Windows XP Startup Partition With GParted

BEFORE YOU PERFORM ANY RESIZE OPERATION, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU MAKE A BACKUP COPY OF THE VIRTUAL MACHINE IN CASE THE OPERATION FAILS!

This solution will use two free tools to help resize the Windows XP startup partition/file system after you resize the virtual disk with VMware Fusion's included disk management tools.

VMX Extras - A tool by Eric Tung. We will use this to make it easier to access the BIOS.

Gparted Live CD - An open source tool that provides partition management. We will use this to resize the partition on the expanded disk so Windows can recognize the additional space.

Download the Software

1) Download the latest VMX Extras

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

Resizing A Windows XP Startup Partition Has Five Distinct Parts

1) Use VMware Fusion to resize the virtual disk (DONE AT THIS POINT)

2) Changing the BIOS boot order to boot from the Gparted Live ISO

3) Use GParted to resize the partition to use larger virtual disk

4) Restore the prior BIOS boot order

5) Boot into Windows to complete the resize operation

Part 1 - Use VMware Fusion 2 to resize the virtual disk

See "How to Resize A Virtual Disk With VMware Fusion 2 Disk Management Tools" above

Part 2 - Changing the BIOS boot order to use Gparted

Since the VMware Fusion BIOS flashes by very quickly, we are going to use VMX Extras to add a 5 second delay to the BIOS boot to make it easier to change the boot order.

1) Launch VMX Extras and select Open from the File menu

2) Navigate to the virtual machine package for the virtual machine in question and select the VMX file, which contains all the virtual machine settings, and click Open.

3) Click on the VMX Extras Preconfigured Options tab:

4) Click on BIOS Delay and change setting to 5 seconds and click Change. Quit VMX Extras and you will be presented with a save changes dialog. Click Save.

5) Launch VMware Fusion, select the virtual machine, and click the Settings button or type Command-E to bring up the Virtual Machine settings dialog.

6) Click on CD/DVD. Make sure "Connected" is selected, and choose the "Use disk image" option and click "Choose..."

7) Select the Gparted Live CD ISO and click Choose.

😎 Click the Start button in the VM to power on the VM and click into the Window and type F2 (or Fn-F2 on laptops) to bring up the VMware BIOS.

9) Before proceeding, make a note of the boot device order so you can restore to the defaults after resizing your virtual hard disk. Next, use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate to the Boot menu of the BIOS. With the Hard Drive selected, use the minus key β€˜-β€˜ on the keyboard multiple times to move Hard Drive and Removable Devices so that CD-ROM Drive becomes the top item in the boot order.

10) Type F10 (or Fn-F10 on laptops) to save changes to the BIOS and continue booting the virtual machine.

Part 3 - Use GParted to resize the partition to use larger virtual disk

1) VMware Fusion will proceed to boot off the GParted Live CD. Click Enter to select the default "auto-configuration" settings to proceed.

2) You will need answer two separate questions by hitting enter to make GParted proceed with the default keyboard settings for English.

3) The virtual machine then boots directly into GParted

4) Select your existing virtual disk partition and click Resize/Move. GParted will put up the resize dialog.

5) Select your existing partition at the right arrow and drag it completely to the right to take up the newly added virtual hard disk size.

6) Click on the Resize/Move button.

7) With your newly updated partition selected, click the Apply button.

😎 Click Apply to the GParted Confirmation dialog.

9) GParted will proceed to repartition the virtual disk and at the completion will put up a confirmation dialog. Click Close to proceed.

10) Now that the partition resizing is complete, click on the Exit button in the upper left hand corner to exit GParted.

11) Select Shutdown from the GParted confirmation dialog and click OK.

12) Once GParted exits the UI, it will finish the Shutdown in text mode.

Part 4 - Restore the BIOS boot order and delay time

1) In VMware Fusion, select the powered off virtual machine, and click the Settings button or type Command-E to bring up the Virtual Machine settings dialog.

2) Click on CD/DVD and change the option back to your previous CD/DVD settings from "Use disk image" and click OK.

3) Now we should restore the boot order to the default or your previous settings. Click the Start button in the VM to power on the VM and click into the window and type F2 (or Fn-F2 on laptops) to bring up the VMware BIOS.

4) Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to navigate to the Boot menu of the BIOS. Then, use the minus key β€˜-β€˜ on the keyboard multiple times to restore the boot order to the previous settings you recorded in step 10.

5) Type F10 (or Fn-F10 on laptops) to save changes to the BIOS and continue booting the virtual machine. Once the VM starts booting again, select Shut Down Guest from the Virtual Machine Menu

6) Launch VMX Extras and select Open from the File menu.

7) Navigate to the virtual machine package for the virtual machine in question and select the VMX file, which contains all the virtual machine settings, and click Open.

😎 Click on the VMX Extras Preconfigured Options tab:

9) Click on BIOS Delay and change setting from 5 seconds to No BIOS Delay and click Change. Close VMX Extras and you will be presented with a save changes dialog. Click Save.

Part 5 - Boot into Windows to complete the disk resize operation

1) In VMware Fusion, click Run to power on the virtual machine. When Windows begins to boot, it will start with a disk check for consistency. This is expected, as this is the default setting of GParted to ensure that the partition operation was completed successfully.

2) Once the Windows disk check is complete, Windows will boot to the desktop and after a short period Windows will recognize that new hardware, the larger hard drive, is now available. You need to restart Windows for the resized disk to be available.

3) When Windows XP reboots, go the Start Menu and select My Computer. Select your updated hard drive and notice that the size is now updated to your desired size.

Resizing Windows Vista and Windows 7 Partitions

1) Click on the Start menu in your Windows Vista virtual machine

2) Right click on Computer and select Manage

3) Windows Vista requires your permission to open the Computer Management application. Click Continue.

4) Open up the Storage category and click Disk Management

5) Your existing virtual hard disks and their partitions will be listed in the Disk Management pane

6) Right click on the existing partition you’d like to expand and select Extend Volume

7) Windows Vista will present it's all so intuitive "Extend Volume Wizard" and Click Next to begin

😎 The Extend Volume Wizard automatically selects the newly added disk space, click Next to continue

9) Click Finish to complete the "Extend Volume Wizard" and expand your existing partition

10) Close the Computer Management application

11) Click on the Start menu and select Computer

12) The C: drive will now have the increase size you expect

Attachments
Comments

Excellent instructions. I used EASEUS Partition Manager and it was a piece of cake.

Thank you, fantastic very clear instructions. I had easily managed to increase the disk size but it was not showing in Vista so these instructions fixed that within minutes.

I get this far:

How to Resize A Virtual Disk With VMware Fusion 2 Disk Management Tools

1) Shut down your Windows (or other) virtual machine so that it is powered off. (Virtual Machine menu>Shut Down Guest)

2) Bring up the Settings dialog for your virtual machine and click Hard Disks

3) Select the slider or enter the new virtual disk size you prefer and click Apply.

And it's here I find that my Hard Disk (SCSI, 20Gb) settings are grayed out, and so, there is no slider to apply changes to.

What am I missing? Newest version of VM Fusion 2, 2.8G intel duo-core iMac, Vista Home Premium

Is there any error message? For example, if you have a snapshot, you won't be able to adjust the disk size (and there should be a message to this effect).

Virtual Machine/Snapshots has a box next to "Only show my snapshots".

If you untick the box, you might find a snapshot to delete.

Once you have deleted the snapshot, the options you want become available.

It worked for me. I hope it works for you.

VincentM2.

OK this guy should be paid by VMWare because this was simple and worked. At least this should be in the knowledgebase for expansion. Outstanding reply! Thanks so much.

Where is this Virtual Machine/Snapshots box? I have a similar issue (want to change the size of hard disk but option is grayed out)

Click on Virtual Machine in the menu bar.

Then click on Snapshots.

Untick "Only show my snapshots" at the bottom of the popup box.

Delete any snapshots that appear.

Try to change the size of the hard disk.

With luck, it will work.

I tried looking for the option but it isn't there (under Virtual Machine there is a "Take Snapshot", "Revert to Snapshot", or "Discard Snapshot"). Does this mean that I cannot change the size of my hard disk?

Snapshots can prevent you from changing the size of your hard disk.

You need to discard snapshots before you try to reduce your hard disk.

You might not see the snapshots if the box next to "Only show my snapshots"

is ticked.

The box is located at the bottom of the popup box, below the items you listed.

If you untick the box and snapshots appear, you can then discard them and

change the size of your hard disk.

This problem (and solution) applies to version 2.0.1.

If you are not getting the right result, you might check the version you

are using before trying anything else.

I forgot about possible upgrades - I was only on version 1. After downloading the update I was able to follow the steps you mentioned. When I got to reducing the size of the hard disk, I couldn't do it (it wouldn't let me - I can only make the disk bigger). Any words of wisdom? Thanks in advance for your assistance - you've been very patient & helpful.

If the snapshots have been deleted and you still cannot reduce the size of the hard disk, you might try shrinking the one you have.

Double click on the VMWare Tools in the tray.

Click on Shrink.

Click on Prepare to shrink and then shrink.

If that does not produce an acceptable size, you might have to revisit the whole topic of disk size from the start.

Instructions for Vista worked perfectly! Thanks.

I followed all the instructions for increasing the size of the virtual machine. I am on version 2.0.1 and have deleted all available snapshots leaving only the machine state in the snapshot window. However, the slider for changing the size of the hard disk is still grey and not available. The message in the window still indicates that a snapshot is still on the machine when none actually appears. What can be done to delete remnants of a snapshot that may not appear in order to access the hard drive to increase the size?

You might like to try the following:

1. Create a new snapshot

2. Delete the new snapshot

3. Try changing the size of the disk again.

I was just infuriated with VMware for their LOUSY support after I increased the size of the hard disk and couldn't understand why XP didn't use the extra space. I even shelled out $25 for the right to have them read e-mail from me (just this once, mind you), only to learn that they might get around to responding within 4 days...FOUR DAYS!

So, you can imagine my delight in finding these instructions and discovering that they, and the EASEUS software, worked exactly as described.

If I could get back that $25, I'd send it to YOU.

Thanks!

It looks like vicbarra's Version 8 of this document differs from Version 7 only in the addition of some white space.

Is that correct?

Thanks!

That's what it looks like to me. Keep in mind that (currently for this document) anyone can edit it, so not all changes are guaranteed to be useful (or accurate). We may revisit the open-ness question if people abuse it.

How about using VMware Converter as an alternative? I expanded the sizes of my XP machine disks when I moved from VirtualBox to Fusion; I presume one can use Converter on a VMware virtual machine as well. Probably a little slower than the system outlined above, but then it doesn't require making a backup, as the original system stays intact. Also does away with any snapshots in the process. Any other pros/cons?

Seek and ye shall find! A HUGE Thank You Pat! Now the next BIG question. O.K. I am using a 500GB drive WD drive in my Mac Pro (has 4 WD 500GB Drives)and on Drive 4 is my WinXP virtual partition that take up only 200GB (yes I can go to ~450GB using your extraordinary procedure). However, I realize I need to really upsize my drive to 2TB to give me the space I really need going forward. I do a lot of photography for my Real Estate business and I just need to buy time with a bigger drive and not be worried about running out of space. With that said how do you transfer the entire VM Ware Fustion Win XP virtual partition from my 4th Drive to a larger 2TB internal drive so that when this procedure is complete the new 2TB HD with my transfered partition opens and functions just like my current drive / partition?

If your computer can see both drives, all you need is:

copy from one drive and paste to the other.

If you close the VM you wish to copy, locate the VM -

it is probably in your Library - then copy and paste.

When the paste is complete (which could be quite a while),

open you new VM and you will be asked if you copied or moved it.

If you say move, it will retain all its old settings. If you say copy,

some settings will change.

You should then have the desired result.

I have copied and pasted my VM with no problem but

I have never copied one as large as you described.

If the procedure fails, you might consider the size

as the reason.

In addition to what vincentm2 said, make sure that Fusion is not running when you do the copy.

Well each journey starts with a single step. I'll give it a try. I have 16 Gigs of RAM onboard with 3 gig quad procesors I'll just remove one of the drives I use for storage. This sounds too easy (maybe that is why I had so much trouble finding online information!) I know from years of trial and error with windows, that migrating from one drive to the other was a "mind field" event even when you use MS software to copy.

Thanks so much! You are a real resource. Smiley Happy

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for pointing out this document. I am encouraged!

As a side note: I did figure out what was eating up my Virtual Drive... As a precaution, before first defragging my hard drive, I ran the Backup and Migration tool from CA. It was taking up 9 GB of my 20 GB HD!

I copied that folder to my iDisk and deleted it from my WIN XP documents and was then able to defrag. So, the good news is that I will be able to do this as an anticipated need vs. a crisis need.

"Full HD" might be a keyword to bring this up in Search, as I didn't have the right keywords to bring this doc up.

You don't need to change the BIOS boot order to use Gparted (Part 2 of the instructions). Once you download the disk image, go to CD settings, select the GParted disk image in the Use Disk Image dialog. Then go to the advanced settings and set it to boot from the CD.

GParted worked for me to resize the partition, but the "Capacity" of the drive on XP had stayed the same.

Had to click on check drive in GParted after resizing to ensure resizing of NTFS file system.

Also: adding the following line to *.vmx file enforces bios start (seems easier to me than installing extra software for this):

bios.forceSetupOnce = "TRUE"

It may have already been mentioned, but I'm wondering if the re-size will trigger the Windows Product Activation, forcing me to call Mumbai.

(Imac 17" 3GB RAM, 160 GB Hard Drive/ Tiger 10.4.11 / Fusion 1.1.3- too scared to update, since I'm not too savvy with this stuff).

I am currently running a Virtual machine,( that is 20 GB of hard disk space, I use it mainly for MS office for College, but it's now only got 12.9 GB left after the Office install.

Should I add another Virtual Disk (Advantages vs. Disadvantages), or re-size the one I have? : I also have an external Hard Disk with 40 GB allocated to Windows.

I would greatly appreciate any advice that the enlightened masters might bestow upon me.

Fantastic article. Only one suggestion for the GPARTED users:

The tool is nice but using the mouse can be a nightmare due to the X server settings.

So after you boot with GParted it will asks about the keyboard mapping and language then will ask about the video mode.

At this question select 1 "Run Forcevideo" and then 5 (1280x1024)

I found that in this resolution is much better and the mouse works fine.

StockTrader.

I run VMWare Fusion 1.1.1 on Macmini. Follow the thread about how to increase hard disk space, but settings are grayed out so cannot change. There are no snapshots as far as I could see. Many thanks in advance.

You could try taking a snapshot and then deleting it to see if that helps.

1. Click on Virtual Machine, Snapshots, Take Snapshot.

2. Click on Virtual Machine, Snapshots, Action, Delete Snapshot.

When that is done, you could try again.

vincentm2,

As suggested, created snapshot and discarded it. Shutdowned Windows 2000 Pro and the virtual machine. Hard disk is still grayed out!

The problems might be due to the version of the software you are using.

You might update the software to version 2.0.6 and try all the steps again.

Perfect! This problem has haunted me for a while and this post solved the problem within minutes. Thank you Pat Lee!

You should download and try fatVM

fatVM is a reliable, robust, and safe, 1-click solution for extending the C drive of your VMware Fusion virtual disk that is becoming full.

  • It provides a simple, intuitive, interface and a reliable process that hides the technical complexity of extending a virtual disk.

  • It is robust because it can extend virtual disks having snapshots and clones.

  • It is safe because it preserves your original disk, which remains available to you for when the need ever arises.

Thank you for posting the instructions. Resizing the drive with VM Fusion virtual machine set up was easy and I used EASEUS Partition Master to have XP recognize the newly allocated space.

Thank you for these clear and simple step by step instructions - just like the heading promises!

Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
β€Ž08-30-2008 01:39 PM
Updated by:
Β