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I need to extend the OS drive on a MS virtual server virtual machine

Posted on 2010-11-26
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hello everyone,

I've been given the task of extending the volume of a boot drive on a Microsoft virtual server VM. I have used VHD resizer to extend but when I use diskpart.exe in the VM i get an error that I can't extend a boot drive. Please assist, I can add another drive but I need the boot drive expanded.
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Question by:gtapcs
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Expert Comment

by:David Brennan
ID: 34217730
What about a free bootable ISO that resizes the partition while the system is offline -
http://www.partitionwizard.com/

Or is downtime a major issue for this VM ?
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David Brennan earned 167 total points
ID: 34217754
Actually the server edition isn't free and I'm not sure if the home version will suit your needs. GParted is a fully free open source solution - http://gparted.sourceforge.net/
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34217802
I will give Gparted a try, I will let you know of the results.
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Expert Comment

by:David Brennan
ID: 34217864
Make sure to backup VM beforehand!
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34218654
There is a safe easy way to do this. Shut down the VM and edit the VHD to expand it to the new size. Attach the VHD to another Windows VM and use Disk Manager or diskpart.exe to expand the partition. Shut down that VM, disconnect the VHD, and boot the original VM.

I have done this many times, and you don't need to use the same version of Windows to expand the partition as what was running. I have used XP to expand the partition of a 2003 R2 server.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34219234
I've already tried the solution provided by kevinhsieh and it doesn't work for me :(
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34219271
Which part failed, because it has worked for me every time with no issues.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34219338
I've added the resized disk to a vm, but when I go to disk management it says foreign disk and I can't import it.
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34219371
Is the disk basic or dynamic? Which OS if the disk from, and which OS are you mounting it on?
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34219376
its a dynamic disk. The OS is server 03 and the OS is the same. Theyre actual the exact same disks
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34219468
Okay, I hate dynamic disks and I always recommend not using them unless that is the ONLY way to get to where you need to go. A dynamic disk needs to be imported under Disk Management before you can do anything with it. You should be able to do that on the new VM, and then extend the partition. I would backup the VHD before doing it, though.

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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34219594
Thats the problem. It won't let me import it.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34221603
Can you take screen shot of your Windows Disk Management and post it here?
Paragon Partition Manager 11 Server Edition can convert dynamic drives into basic without dataloss and then let you resize the partitions on basic HDD. www.partition-manager.com
Worked for me always.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34230228
Sorry, I need a free solution
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Expert Comment

by:David Brennan
ID: 34230257
have you tried gParted ?
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34230289
No, I haven't. I will hopefully try today.
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Expert Comment

by:David Brennan
ID: 34230319
Obviously you will have to boot the VM but use the ISO as CD drive and boot that. But I'm sure you already knew that. Make sure to backup first.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34230391
Gparted will not run on dynamic drives.
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Expert Comment

by:David Brennan
ID: 34230396
fair enough
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by:David Brennan
ID: 34230440
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34231472
I am starting to think that the only way to do this is to convert to a basic disk. The 15 day trial from Acronis may do the trick to backup the VM and and then restore to a basic disk.

http://www.acronis.com/backup-recovery/server-windows/
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34231555
You can convert the drive to Basic by editing sectors of the drive but this operation is potentially dangerous. If you have backup already and ready to risk then I can guide you through the process. And it will be free as you wish.
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 34233127
Good idea noxcho! Backing up a VHD is very easy, so it's not risky like it is for a physical disk. Just shut down the VM and copy the VHD in case it blows up.

Here's a link to some instructions.

http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=191006
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34269775
i still haven't tried these solutions. But does anyone know if this can be done using a V2V in Hyper-v?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34270265
Dynamic drive is your trap. Get yourself out of it first.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34311696
I was able to convert the disk to a basic volume. Now I have 2 partitions and need to merge them into one.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34311884
What OS is used?
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34311961
Win2003 Standard
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34311990
If you have place to copy out data from second partition then copy it out. Delete second partition.
Then boot from Gparted CD - run partitioner there - right click on first parttiion - resize - drag the end to right. Apply changes. In few seconds resize will be done.
This operation is more save than merge.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34312010
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34312097
What is there with your partitions? They have no file system and you could hardly read data on them.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34312219
I am trying to merge the 17gb of space on disk volume 1 with the 19.99gb of space on the same volume.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34312329
So there is no data on both 17GB and 19GB drives?
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34318805
Theres data on the 19gb and nothing on 17gb. Im trying to extend the 19gb to include the 17gb for a total of 36gb
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34319378
But you see both are now having problems. Are you able to browse 19GB partition and see your data?
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34319421
Yes i can see what's in the 19gb. I just need the drives to be 1
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34319430
As you can see they are listed as 2 seperate partitions
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34319437
Ok, copy out data from 19GB partition. Then delete both 19Gb and 17GB drives in Disk Management.
After that create single partition of the 36GB from the free space via same Windows Disk Management.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34319805
But the 19gb is a copy of the system partition. Will I be able to boot from the partition if I use that method?
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 333 total points
ID: 34320961
So your original goal was to move the OS to bigger drive? Then it would be better to give properly formulated question.
Download trial version of Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server: www.drive-backup.com Install it.
Backup your C: drive with it.
Then delete all partitions from this bigger drive.
Restore from backup file to this drive. You can store the backup on network share.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34321543
I have properly stated in my question that I would like to extend the boot drive. I will look into this method.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34322403
Sorry, according to your screen shot it was not listed as boot drive. Backup and recovery with trial version will work for sure. Don;t forget to delete both 19 & 17GB partitions before you restore the image.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34334656
Ok. Will try and I let you know the results.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34334785
Do I have to install this software on the host or the guest machine?
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34336102
If the drive is in guest machine then install it in guest OS. If the drive is in host machine then install the SW in Host OS.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34336142
Thanks. I will try this and let you know the results.
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34348258
I tried it and it doesn't work. Im not able to boot from the restored drive
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 333 total points
ID: 34359060
What error do you get when trying to boot from it?
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Author Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34403815
Im not getting any errors, it just wont boot into the os. I've given up and will just migrate this machine to our esx host and extend it that way. This seems to be the easiest method.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gtapcs
ID: 34442775
Only a partial solution. I will have to use another method to accomplish my goal
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