Virtual server 2005 VHD file keeps growing in size

Posted on 2005-05-09
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
I have a Windows 2003 server (Dual Xeon 3Ghz - 2GB MEM), which is running Virtual Server 2005.
I have 5 guest OS and recently I have had a big problem with one of them.

The guest OS is a Windows 2003 standard runnning Sharepoint Portal Server 2003 with the latest patches applied.
The guest OS is configured to use a virtual hd with a Maximum size of 8GB, if I check the status in the guest OS 4GB of the 8GB is used.

My problem is that the vhd file has grown to 51GB and it seems to keep growing.
What can I do to shrink this file? It shouldnt be able to grow past 8GB, but somehow it found a way to do it.

Any help appreciated!

Question by:Grodel
    LVL 82

    Expert Comment

    Try to compact the hard disk; the necessary steps are described in the Virtual Server help. You might want to make a regular backup of your guest OS setup, just in case (copying the 50G is probably out of question ...)
    Open the "Master Status" page, then click the "?" button in the upper right corner. In the Help window, choose "All Topics" in the top row, expand "Work with Virtual Disks", expand "Manage Virtual Disks", choose "Compact a virtual hard disk".
    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Thats a good tip, however it seems its too late for that.
    I get a message that there is not enough free space to perform the operation.
    I tried this first time when the VHD file was at 35GB.

    Do you think I could somehow move the 50G file to a bigger physical garddrive not located in the server and somehow perform the operation?
    Or will I have to install VS2005 in order to do this?

    LVL 82

    Accepted Solution

    Certainly worth a try; you'll probably have to install VS on the "compact" server as well, as I don't think VS will handle disk files residing on a network share; not to mention that it would probably be rather slow.
    Another possibility might be to use Symantec's Ghost or something similar; create a bootdisk and boot the virtual machine with it, write the disk to a network share, then create a fresh harddisk, and restore the image with the boot disk (did that successfully when testing something else; network throughput is rather slow, but it works).
    Or backup whatever's necessary and recreate the server.
    As usual, it all depends on what suits your situation best ...

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