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How to shrink a VMware ESXi server virtual disk

Posted on 2011-02-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a server running free vSphere 4 (ESXi4).

I have allocated 200GB to the server C: on thin provision.  Windows 2008 server shows C: as using only 28GB, Windows Disk Manager shows a 200GB disk but I am not able to shrink the windows volume below 100GB.

In VSphere client, I see the vmdk file file as about 28GB, but when I download, it becomes 200GB on my PC.

How do I shrink the server volume to 30GB? and reduce the vmdk file to the same size? (30GB)


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Question by:sidartra
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Assisted Solution

alreadyinuse earned 1000 total points
ID: 34903623
Here is a link that will show more information as to why you might only be able to shrink 50%


Here is a link i use for growing a volume, have not used the shrink commands. But we use only diskpart and not the GUI and have better success.


Now does your environment use share storage or do you have more than one VMFS volume? If so you could right click the VM and choose the migrate option. Then select storage motion or change datastore and you should have the option to resize the disks.

Accepted Solution

omesie earned 1000 total points
ID: 34903708
If Windows is already using the disk and you can't shrink the actual windows disk, you may need to run a P2V import.
i.e. re-import the same VM to a new one where it will give you the option to resize all disks.
I've had to do this in the past and seems the fastest way without messing about.
also good for when you want to remove an entire disk for cloning.

e.g. I have a file server with a 30GB C: and 700GB D: . For testing purposes, I only wanted the C: drive.
You can do that with a clone (it creates the D: then deletes later), but you can with the P2V tool.

Assisted Solution

omesie earned 1000 total points
ID: 34903723
oops, meant Can't do that with a clone.

Assisted Solution

alreadyinuse earned 1000 total points
ID: 34903767
As stated above the migrate will allow you to perform customizations, the VM may need to be powered off if you want to change the drive size and also you would need more than one VMFS volume to do a storage motion procedure.

The P2V is also an option as stated above and you could do this hot, but if the data is dynamic and will change that might be an issue. Although the newest converter from Vmware advertises a last sync of data before cutover.

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