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Expand VMWare VMDK File

Posted by Steve Pietrek on July 8, 2009

I wrote earlier about expanding a VHD file. My virtual machine application preference is VMWare Workstation. As more “stuff” was added to my virtual machine in the last year, I found myself running out of space. In the past when this happened, there were two options:

  1. Use VMWare Converter
  2. Use vdiskmanager

About a year ago, I ran into issues when attempting to use vdiskmanager. You cannot extend a HDD without a 3rd party application (:) see below). Another option is to use diskpart but who can’t run diskpart on a drive which is bootable (which in my case). In any event, I ended up expanding the VMDK file using VMWare Converter 3.0.

Yesterday, when noticing I was dangerously close to running out of disk space, I decided it was time to expand again. I saw there was a new version of VMWare Converter (4.0) so I downloaded that. This morning I installed VMWare Converter and went through the steps to convert an existing VM to a new one. Everything worked fine; however, I could not find the setting to define the new disk size. I am sure I missed it but didn’t have time to search; so frustrated, I decided to use vdiskmanager. I figured I would just go ahead and purchase a 3rd party application (i.e. Partion Magic) to extend the partition.

Below are the steps I followed:

  1. Turned off virtual machine.
  2. Commit and remove all snapshots. I don’t use snapshots but I remember reading this is required previously.
  3. Back up all files.
  4. Open a command prompt and navigate to the VMWare folder (i.e. C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation).
  5. Type in the following command: vmware-vdiskmanager -x 40GB “MOSS.vmdk”
  6. The command will run. It took about 60 seconds for the command to run.
  7. Open the virtual machine. My host is Windows Server 2008. Not sure about the other operating systems but Win2k8 allows you to extend a disk volume. No need to purchase a 3rd part application.
  8. Open Control Panel and select System and Maintenance then Create and format hard disk partitions.
  9. Right-click on the disk and select “Extend Volume”. Run through the wizard.
  10. It will take approximately 60 seconds to extend the disk.
  11. Voila, new disk size.

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