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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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by:David Brennan
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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
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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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by:gtapcs
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I will give Gparted a try, I will let you know of the results.
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by:David Brennan
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Make sure to backup VM beforehand!
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by:kevinhsieh
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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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by:gtapcs
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I've already tried the solution provided by kevinhsieh and it doesn't work for me :(
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by:kevinhsieh
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Which part failed, because it has worked for me every time with no issues.
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by:gtapcs
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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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by:kevinhsieh
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Is the disk basic or dynamic? Which OS if the disk from, and which OS are you mounting it on?
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by:gtapcs
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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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by:kevinhsieh
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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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by:gtapcs
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Thats the problem. It won't let me import it.
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by:noxcho
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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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by:gtapcs
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Sorry, I need a free solution
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by:David Brennan
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have you tried gParted ?
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by:gtapcs
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No, I haven't. I will hopefully try today.
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by:David Brennan
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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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by:noxcho
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Gparted will not run on dynamic drives.
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by:David Brennan
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fair enough
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by:David Brennan
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by:kevinhsieh
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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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by:noxcho
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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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by:kevinhsieh
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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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by:gtapcs
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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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by:noxcho
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Dynamic drive is your trap. Get yourself out of it first.
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by:gtapcs
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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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by:noxcho
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What OS is used?
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by:gtapcs
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Win2003 Standard
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by:noxcho
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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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by:gtapcs
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by:noxcho
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What is there with your partitions? They have no file system and you could hardly read data on them.
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by:gtapcs
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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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by:noxcho
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So there is no data on both 17GB and 19GB drives?
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by:gtapcs
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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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by:noxcho
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But you see both are now having problems. Are you able to browse 19GB partition and see your data?
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by:gtapcs
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Yes i can see what's in the 19gb. I just need the drives to be 1
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by:gtapcs
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As you can see they are listed as 2 seperate partitions
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by:noxcho
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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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by:gtapcs
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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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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 333 total points
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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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by:gtapcs
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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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by:noxcho
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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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by:gtapcs
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Ok. Will try and I let you know the results.
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by:gtapcs
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Do I have to install this software on the host or the guest machine?
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by:noxcho
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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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by:gtapcs
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Thanks. I will try this and let you know the results.
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by:gtapcs
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I tried it and it doesn't work. Im not able to boot from the restored drive
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by:noxcho
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What error do you get when trying to boot from it?
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by:gtapcs
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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
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Only a partial solution. I will have to use another method to accomplish my goal
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