How to shrink a VMware ESXi server virtual disk

Posted on 2011-02-15
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)


It shows
Question by:sidartra
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2

Assisted Solution

alreadyinuse earned 250 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 250 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 250 total points
ID: 34903723
oops, meant Can't do that with a clone.

Assisted Solution

alreadyinuse earned 250 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.

Featured Post

Free eBook: Backup on AWS

Everything you need to know about backup and disaster recovery with AWS, for FREE!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) Host Server, using the VMware Host Client. The virtual machine has Windows Server 2016 instal…
In this article we will learn how to backup a VMware farm using Nakivo Backup & Replication. In this tutorial we will install the software on a Windows 2012 R2 Server.
To efficiently enable the rotation of USB drives for backups, storage pools need to be created. This way no matter which USB drive is installed, the backups will successfully write without any administrative intervention. Multiple USB devices need t…
This Micro Tutorial walks you through using a remote console to access a server and install ESXi 5.1. This example is showing remote access and installation using a Dell server. The hypervisor is the very first component of your virtual infrastructu…

728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question