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VMware server (free version) - how do I keep my hard drive file from growing?

Posted on 2007-04-11
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Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I set up a Vmware server hard disk as a fixed 31 gigs (the file ending in –flat.vmdk). However, Vmware server keeps adding data to a second VMDK file:
“s2k3r2sps-000001.vmdk”, which is now up to 15 gigs. How do we keep this second file from growing or existing at all? The problem is we are running out of space on the physical host disk.

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Question by:brokeMyLegBiking
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by:sda100
ID: 18890987
Hi there,

Can you post the contents of your .vmx file for that virtual machine, and also a directory listing of the folder where the .vmx file is.

Steve
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by:brokeMyLegBiking
ID: 18891036
Here are the contents of Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition.vmx

The path is "F:\SharePoint Solutions"
( wish I could send a screenshot of all the files in the folder)


config.version = "8"
virtualHW.version = "4"
numvcpus = "2"
scsi0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0.virtualDev = "lsilogic"
memsize = "2048"
scsi0:0.present = "TRUE"
scsi0:0.fileName = "s2k3r2sps-000001.vmdk"
ide1:0.present = "TRUE"
ide1:0.fileName = "G:"
ide1:0.deviceType = "cdrom-raw"
floppy0.present = "FALSE"
Ethernet0.present = "TRUE"
displayName = "SharePoint Solutions"
guestOS = "winnetstandard"
priority.grabbed = "normal"
priority.ungrabbed = "normal"

scsi0:0.redo = ""
ide1:0.startConnected = "TRUE"
ethernet0.addressType = "generated"
uuid.location = "56 4d db 3a 92 66 6b 7f-4f 12 5f 63 6a ad c3 74"
uuid.bios = "56 4d db 3a 92 66 6b 7f-4f 12 5f 63 6a ad c3 74"
ide1:0.autodetect = "FALSE"
ethernet0.generatedAddress = "00:0c:29:ad:c3:74"
ethernet0.generatedAddressOffset = "0"
tools.syncTime = "FALSE"

checkpoint.vmState = ""
checkpoint.vmState.readOnly = "FALSE"

workingDir = "."
snapshot.protected = "TRUE"

annotation = "Moss and Project Server deployed together."
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by:brokeMyLegBiking
ID: 18891069
Is this normal behavior or is my VMserver doing something weird?
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sda100 earned 500 total points
ID: 18891120
This is normal behaviour.  But I suspect this incarnation of the VMware image is a clone or a previous one, or a snapshot because of the name of the .vmdk file.  This is why I asked for a directory listing of the files.  From what I can see, I would say that the .vmdk files with a name like this (s2k3r2sps-*.vmdk) are the ones that will be in use currently.  Do you have any other .vmdk files that don't fit the above format?

Anyway, a VMware disk image will constantly grow as the contents of the file system change.  Even if you delete something, it will not get smaller.  The .vmdk file is like a catalogue of changes made to the file system, so it just keeps on growing.

You need to install and use VMware tools in the virtual machine.  One of the options it gives you is to "Shrink" the disk.  It will not work if you have any snapshots in place so you must delete them first, but it will shrink the VMware disk image down to pretty much it's real size, and start growing again from there.  It's a good idea to do this from time to time if you use a file-based .vmdk disk type.

The other option would be (or would have been) to use a fixed image file size, then the file of say... 10Gb will always be 10Gb regardless of how much or little data is in the VMware image.

I hope this helps,
Steve
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by:brokeMyLegBiking
ID: 18904382
How do you delete a snapshot? Do you just delte the files off the disk? I don't see an option in VMserver console to delete snapshots.
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by:sda100
ID: 18904443
I think the best way to move at this stage, is to create a standalone clone of your VMware image.  This will not carry over any previous or corrupt snapshots.  You should clone to a new directory, then see how much disk space the files take up.  Try this clone, and if it works (it should do), you can ditch the old image folder and continue with this one.
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