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Option to extend volume on 2008 R2 virtual server greyed out

Posted on 2010-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am running a Windows 2008 R2 Standard virtual server on VMware's ESX 4.  The server has a C: boot partition of 29.3 GB, an E: primary partition of 256.77 GB and 13.83 GB of unallocated space.  I would like to extend my C: boot partition 5 GB but the option is greyed out in Disk Management.  If you need details on the virtual infrastructure I can provide that.
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Question by:tfgeorge
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 33665510
You can't do it from within the running OS. What I always do is to shut down my VM, attach the drive to another Windows machine, and use diskpart.exe on the other machine to expand the volume. I use Hyper-V, but for you I can imagine that you would attach the VMDK to another VM, boot it up, run diskpart.exe, and then shut down the VM, detach the VMDK, and reattach it to original machine.
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by:rindi
ID: 33665722
The unallocated space must be right behind the partition you want to extend. If right after C: you have E: and then the unallocated space, then it won't work. You first need a 3rd party utility to move E: to the end of the Disk, and then you can extend your partition via windows (or also use the 3rd party tool for that, as they usually have that functionality too.

Of course this only works if the partitions are on the same Virtual Disk. If you created a virtual disk for every drive, it won't work.
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by:tfgeorge
ID: 33665730
Maybe I could use vmotion to facilitate this?
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by:tfgeorge
ID: 33665772
rindi, they are on the same disk.  tell me more.  what 3rd party tool will move E: to the end? Any that are free?
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by:kevinhsieh
ID: 33665941
You can use Clonezilla http://clonezilla.org/ to copy your partition to a new drive (VMDK). Vmotion doesn't address this. You will have downtime. You can possibly minimize downtime if there isn't any production information on the C drive and you can work with it offline to expand the partiton and then revert the whole VM to use the new or modified VMDK file. Whether or not that works for you depends on what the VM does and whether or not it's okay to move it back to a previous point in time.
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 33666462
You can boot the VM from a ParteMagic iso. This tool includes GParted and with that you should be able to move your partitions and also resize them. The good thing it is free:

http://partedmagic.com/

If that doesn't work you could check out the Paragon utilities. They will work, but I'm not sure if the trial versions will be able to do the job.

http://www.paragon-software.com/index.html
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