Add extra HDD space to Windows XP / Server 2003 in XenServer VM

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I came across this issue when I first started using Citrix XenServer on version 5.5, and strictly speaking isn't a limitation of XenServer but of the Windows guest operating system.

There is no native method to expand the SYSTEM partition in Windows XP / Server 2003.  Later versions, Vista onwards on the client side and Server 2008 onwards can Extend the system partition either using DISKPART command line tool or in Disk Management.

My method for increasing the space available to a Server 2003 VM is as follows.  It relies upon having a running Server 2008 or Vista PC to perform some steps:

| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Begin Instructions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Shutdown the VM
On the storage tab, increase the size of the Virtual Disk as required
Detach the Virtual Disk from the VM
Attach the Virtual Disk to your running Server 2008
Use Disk Management to Extend Volume on the Virtual Disk, to fill the newly created extra space
Right click, and set this disk to Offline
In XenCenter, Detach the Virtual Disk from the temporary VM
Re-attach the Virtual Disk to the original VM
Boot the VM
| - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -End of Instructions - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Once you've completed these steps your VM will have the required extra storage available.  This is a great way to achieve the desired result using built in Microsoft operating system commands, without having to resort to 3rd party paid for software.

Be careful to DETACH the Virtual Disk from the VM, rather than DELETING it!
Author:Mark Damen

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