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ESX Thick to Thin still same size

Posted on 2010-09-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a virtual server that was a 60gb thick disk. I used vmotion to move it to another datastore and changed it from thick to thin but its still 60gb on the datastore but inside the vm its only using 30gb of the 60gb disk. How can i get the vmdk to size down to just the used space like thin is suppose to work. This is on vmware ESX 4.0
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Question by:cisconoshut
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11 Comments
 
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 33643231
rescan the controller and/or refresh the VI Client.
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Author Comment

by:cisconoshut
ID: 33643242
that makes no difference the size is still 60gb on the datastore.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ppdogs
ID: 33643438
was this machines HDD any time filled up to close to 60Gb?
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Author Comment

by:cisconoshut
ID: 33643448
Yes its also a p2v.
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LVL 28

Accepted Solution

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bgoering earned 250 total points
ID: 33643461
Take a look at the summary page for the Virtual machine - under resources does it show a difference between provisioned size and used storage? Or in the Datastore browser a difference between Size and Provisioned Size?

Often it is a VM that has been around for a while, space won't be reclaimed if it isn't set to binary zeros. There is a Microsoft Sysinternals tool that (for Windows anyway) called sdelete (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897443.aspx) that will clear unused space to binary zeros - then another storage vmotion to thin will reclaim all that unused space.

Usage: sdelete -c c:
if c: is the drive to reclaim

If it isn't a Windows OS let me know what it is. I believe I found such a tool for Linux at one time but off the top of my head I can't recall what it is.

Good Luck

 
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:danm66
ID: 33643560
are you using NFS storage by chance?
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ppdogs
ID: 33643574
as bgoering said. if it was full one time even if the files were deleted vmware may not be able to see any clear white spaces. defrag and zero the emprty space and try.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:danm66
ID: 33643670
you could cat out the descriptor file to verify that the disk is actually supposed to be thin.  It should have the line ddb.thinProvisioned = "1" within it.  See http://virtualbox-provenpractice.blogspot.com/2009/04/thick-disk-to-thin-disk.html if you are unsure how to do this.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33643829
You should not even have to defrag (though that is not a bad idea for other reasons) if all you want to do is recover the physical disk space. If you do decide to defrag, do it before zero the unused space otherwise you will have used space wherever defrag moved files or file fragments around.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:chkdsk01
chkdsk01 earned 250 total points
ID: 33646349
You will need to reclaim that storage space.  Because the disk was originally thick, all 60 GB was allocated.  Then you converted it to thin....  The thick to thin conversion does just that, convert.  It does not reclaim the 30 GB of "empty" space.  Check out this article.
http://www.virtualizationteam.com/virtualization-vmware/vsphere-virtualization-vmware/vmware-esx-4-reclaiming-thin-provisioned-disk-unused-space.html 
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Author Closing Comment

by:cisconoshut
ID: 33647571
Thanks so much that solved my issue.
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