After converting vm disk from Thin to Thick, it still shows as Thin in the GUI?

Posted on 2010-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
The Inflate process ran fine, but after completing it still shows as Thin under vsphere client > VM > Summary > Edit Settings > Disk.  Is there a Command line that I can run directly on the host to verify if the disk is currently thin or thick format?  
Question by:dkraut
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 33433175
I would do a refresh, since it appears not to do one automatically.

I hope this helps !
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 33434428
You could take a look at the disk header. From vmdk format specification:

cat test.vmdk
# Disk DescriptorFile
# Extent description
RW 4192256 SPARSE "test-s001.vmdk"
RW 4192256 SPARSE "test-s002.vmdk"
RW 2101248 SPARSE "test-s003.vmdk"
# The Disk Data Base
ddb.adapterType = "ide"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.geometry.heads = "16"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "10402"

Pay special attention to the create type - sparse indicates a thin format:

This line describes the type of the virtual disk. It can be one of the following:
• monolithicSparse
• vmfsSparse
• monolithicFlat
• vmfs
• twoGbMaxExtentSparse
• twoGbMaxExtentFlat
• fullDevice
• vmfsRaw
• partitionedDevice
• vmfsRawDeviceMap
• vmfsPassthroughRawDeviceMap
• streamOptimized
The first six terms are used to describe various types of virtual disks. Terms that include
monolithic indicate that the data storage for the virtual disk is contained in a single file.
Terms that include twoGbMaxExtent indicate that the data storage for the virtual disk
consists of a collection of smaller files. Terms that include sparse indicate that the virtual
disks start small and grow to accommodate data. Some product documentation refers to
these virtual disks as growable disks. Terms that include flat indicate that all space
needed for the virtual disks is allocated at the time they are created. Some product
documentation refers to these virtual disks as preallocated disks.
Terms that include vmfs indicate that the disk is an ESX Server disk.
The terms fullDevice, vmfsRaw, and partitionedDevice are used when the
virtual machine is configured to make direct use of a physical disk — either a full disk or
partitions on a disk — rather than store data in files managed by the host operating

Hope this helps - Good Luck

Author Comment

ID: 33447912
Thanks... My create type = vmfs, yet it is showing Thin in the GUI.  Does this mean the GUI is wrong?   >

# cat vm-red1.vmdk
# Disk DescriptorFile

# Extent description
RW 104857600 VMFS "vm-red1-flat.vmdk"

# The Disk Data Base

ddb.virtualHWVersion = "4"
ddb.uuid = "60 00 C2 96 24 ff 76 59-dc 25 98 26 99 9d 53 ba"
ddb.geometry.cylinders = "6527"
ddb.geometry.heads = "255"
ddb.geometry.sectors = "63"
ddb.adapterType = "lsilogic"
ddb.thinProvisioned = "0"
ddb.toolsVersion = "2147483647"
LVL 28

Accepted Solution

bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 33447947
It appears to be a thick formatted disk to me. What flavor of VMware and GUI are you looking at? If it is the vSphere client try to

1. Remove it from inventory
2. Use datastore browser to browse to the datastore holding your vm, right click on the vm-red1.vmx file there and select add to inventory
3. Check the GUI again and see what it reports.

This should force a total refresh of what the GUI is seeing.

Let me know...

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