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"The attempt to shrink the disk failed"

techhealth asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-11
This is what I got when I tried the "shrink" tab on the VMWare Tools screen.  Host is VMWare Server 2.0 on Windows 2003 x64.  Guest is Windows 2000 Professional.  No snapshot or independent disk.  Where should I look for clues?
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za_mkhIT Manager

When trying to shrink the disk it is always recommended to defragment the harddisk from within the VM and then running th
However, some disks are unshrinkable:
From the following link: http://www.vmware.com/support/ws5/doc/ws_disk_shrink.html
  • Unsupported and Disabled Partitions
    In some configurations, it is not possible to shrink virtual disks.
    You cannot shrink a virtual disk if You preallocated disk space when you created the disk. Preallocating disk space is the default option for both typical and custom virtual machine creation paths.
  • The virtual machine contains physical disks.
  • The virtual disk is not an independent disk in persistent mode.

Cloud Architecture Manager
hi techhealth,

please verify the size of the vmdk file (disk space used) not allocated. Verify if you have equal amount of space on the partition where the vmdk is located.

i.e. if your current vmdk file is 5 GB ensure that you have 5 GB or more free disk space on the partition where it is located.

As when you try to shrink a vmdk file what it does it tries to copy the data to at temporary disk and clears out the unused space which otherwise cannot be cleared.


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That's probably it.  The virtual disk is set with size 36 GB.  It's got 8 GB free (so 28 GB used).  And the partition the vmdk is on has less than 8 GB free space.

Do you know if using vmware-mount and vmware-vdiskmanager to shrink at command line  have the same restriction?

Naga Bhanu Kiran KotaCloud Architecture Manager

yes it would have the same restriction. So what you can do is verify by opening windows explorer and check the size of the VMDK and verify the space on the partition where the vmdk is residing.

Either free up disk space so that you have more than the size of the vmdk file or remove the VM from the inventory after shutting it down and move it to a partition where you have disk space more than the vmdk file and run the vmware-diskmanager from the command line. That would certainly help you in shrinking the same.

the disk space occupied shown in the VMs mycomputer will be different than that on the actual disk as the vmdk keeps growing though you time to time reduce the disk usage inside the VM. As vmware does not try to address the disk space issue directly in relation to the VMs and VMDKs



Great advice.  Thanks a lot!
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