Extend C: drive of Vmware GSX guest

Posted on 2008-02-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-04-15

I have a Vmware GSX host that contains a couple of Windows 2003 guests.

At the moment, each guest has a 10 GB C: partition and 20 GB D: partition, although they are both held on the same virtual SCSI disk.

Is it possible to extend the C: partition by another 10 Gb or so without losing any data?

Any help appreciated!!!!
Question by:kam_uk

Accepted Solution

almilyo earned 1200 total points
ID: 20802661
You can use vmware-vdiskmanager to expand the virtual disk files. RUnning:

vmware-vdiskmanager -x 100GB virtual_disk.vmdk

Would change the virtual disk 'virtual_disk.vmdk' to be 100GB.

This won't change the size of the partitions on the virtual disk. You'll need to expand these in the guest to do that.

Make sure you have a backup of your virtual disk before using vmware-vdiskmanager

LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 20802670
Just like a real machine you could download gparted on a bootable CD (its like partition magic but free) and resize the partition.

You can download a cd from here:

Of course you don't even have to burn the CD, you just mount it as a virtual CD and boot the guest from it.
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 20802676
Ah ya, as almilyo says, if you don't want to take away from that 20gb partition but want to add more space then you have to do that in vmware first, then expand the partition.  Depending on the type of disk (basic, dynamic, etc) you could do it either right in windows, or from the gparted boot cd.
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Author Comment

ID: 20804114
Thanks guys, would it be more straightforward if I took from the D: and gave to c:?


Author Comment

ID: 20804122
Sorry, quick note for arrkerr1024 - using gparted won't affect the data on the existing partitions (although I will take a backup first)?

Thanks again for the great help.

Expert Comment

ID: 20804162
In my experience, it's not possible or recommended to extend a Windows boot volume virtually.  I see some good suggestions here for extending NON Windows boot volumes, but Microsoft says you can't do it.

If you do have success in this - please post your exact steps and prove me wrong! :)  
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 20804847
gparted will (should) not affect the data on either one of your drives, it will just resize the partitions.  I've used it, with good luck, on windows machines with normal partitions and NTFS file systems.  But I'd sure take a backup first (which is easy with VMWare :-)).

If you really didn't want to mess with your production machine you could copy the vmware machine over to your laptop and to a test re-size there (if you have vmware workstation - you could always download an evaluation if you don't or run server).

Assisted Solution

svs earned 800 total points
ID: 20810071
trivalent: it is possible; just make another VM (or clone this one) and attach virtual disk you wish to resize to it.  It's pretty straighforward from then on -- first, use vmkfstools to extend virtual disk; second, boot cloned VM and use diskpart to extend the partition.
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 20851878
The easily (and safest) solution to this is to attached another virtual hard drive (what ever new size you want) and then use a tool like Ghost (or any partitioning or disk copying tool) to do a disk to disk copy.

For me this is a fairly simple process as I have a BartPE ISO and extending a 10GB OS drive takes only a few minutes.

This is the safest solution since you never touch the original drive/data.

I am not sure, but maybe gparted can do a partition copy, which would also work. You might have to fix the MBR to boot though.

Once your partitiion/disk is copied to the new drive, you remove the old drive from the VM config. I hope that helps.

Author Comment

ID: 20857214
Thanks everyone...I managed to get this done! :)

I used vmware-vdiskmanager to extend the disk to 40 GB. Then added that disk to another VMware guest and used diskpart to extend the partition. Then remove from that guest and start the original and, hey presto!, the C: drive has been extended!

Once again, thanks to everyone...

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