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How do I change vmfs block size

Posted on 2010-09-01
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I'm trying to create a 400g Vm session on my ESXI datastore but it says I'm limited to 256G because of the block size. I found that I need to change that to 4M block size but haven't been able to find out how. Some say to delete and recreate the datastore and that is one of the setup options but when I try and delete the datastore I get 'the resource is in use'
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Question by:Axis52401
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by:paulsolov
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You can't change it on the fly.  You will need to move the VMs off to another location such as another datastore and reformat datastore.
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by:coolsport00
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Yep...you can only do so by removing (deleting) the datastore, then re-adding with the desired block size; follow Paul's guidance since removing the DS deletes all data on the DS.
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by:Axis52401
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How do I remove it, I already make a copy of the one VM I had on there so I'm fine with reformatting it I just haven't been able to find out how.
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by:coolsport00
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Right-click the datastore & select remove/delete.
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by:Axis52401
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I get this error when doing that (screen shot) May have to zoom in to read but basically is looks like something is using the datastore and preventing deletion.
esxierror.doc
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by:paulsolov
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Let's backtrack.

How many datastores do you have?  If your ESXi install is on the same datastore then you will not be able to do this.  You would need to wipe the sytem, create 2 partitions (a small one for ESXi installable or install on a USB) and a second datastore for the VMs.
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by:Axis52401
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OK, but in that case how do I make sure this datastore I create will have the 4M block size I need. I don't recall that being an option when we installed it the first time.
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by:coolsport00
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You cant change during inastall, but there is a way; I'm mobile @ the moment and dont have the link...Paul may have it?
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by:paulsolov
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You can't change it during install, this is why you should create either two arrays or two partitions.  On the first install just the OS.  Once installed create a datastore with the block size you want.
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by:Axis52401
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Ist there a recommended size for the ESXI system partition?
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by:paulsolov
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I keep in under 20GB, it can be as small as 6GB
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by:Axis52401
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I'm just trying the ESXI install from CD and it gives me only the option to install it to datastore 1 856G it doesnt have an option like in Windowas where I can create a partition of a given size and install to that partition.
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coolsport00 earned 500 total points
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Another option is to install ESXi on USB. You dont have RAID protection, but is doable.
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by:Axis52401
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Yes I've done the USB option at one of our other office but would like to avoid that here is possible.
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by:paulsolov
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YOu could create the array use a cd with a runtime linux on it.  Create two physial partitions so that when you load ESXi it will see them and this will allow you to create the OS on the smaller partition
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by:coolsport00
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Here is the VMware KB on the issue:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1012683 and
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1013210

It seems you can do so in earlier version of ESX/i (3.x). You can reinstall ESXi with legacy version and config the proper block size, then upgrade to 4.x. Or, there is a vmkfstools cmd you can run, but I can't vouch for its accuracy as I've not done the cmd before. Since you have no data on the install any longer, it won't hurt you to test it out. At the very least you can just reinstall ESXi.

Hope that helps.

~coolsport00
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