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How do I expand a virtual disk while fault tolerance is running in vmware 4.1

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am trying to add 10% hard drive space to a virtual server using server 2003. The virtual server is running fault tolerance. The initial error I get is: Description: Error message on sever1 on x.x.x.x in domain: Failed to extednd disk scsi0:1.
Error Stack:
>Failed to extend disk scsi0:1
>Hot-extend is currently supported only for VMFS flat virtual disks without snapshots opened in persistent mode.

So.. I turned fault tolerence off and tried extending the drive again and the error states "A general system error occured: unkown error" Since the web server is live I want to reboot it as a last resort.
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Question by:JRome225
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LVL 120
ID: 34912477
Do you have any snapshots?
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LVL 120
ID: 34912482
If you have snapshots, you'll have to delete them all before extending the disk.

or use VMware Converter to convert and migrate to a new virtual machine, and insrease the disk size of the destination Virtual Machine disk.
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by:coolsport00
ID: 34912573
As mentioned above, you need to 'commit' your snaps first. The only way to do a 'live' disk modification is via vCenter Converter or Converter Standalone. The other methods require the VM to be powered down (power down, edit VM settings, modify disk size, use tool to expand the Windows volume). See KB:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004047, and
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004071
Is this a system volume or 2nd'ary drive/volume?

~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 34912705
If the volume you need to expand/increase is not the system volume, you can detach it from your VM (Edit Settings -> remove the virtual disk in question but *DO NOT DELETE FROM DISK*). On another VM, go into its Settings and 'Add a hard disk'. Select to use an existing virtual disk and browse to the datastore and within the VM folder that has this data disk. This 2nd VM needs to have access to the same datastore the orig VM is on. Select the appropriate vmdk/virtual disk you want to expand (hopefully it's different in size than the system volume). Once added, power down this other VM with the newly added disk. Increase the size of the disk, then power on the VM and use diskpart to increase the volume within Windows. Once increased, remove this vmdk/virtual disk from the VM the same way you removed it from the orig VM. (again, *DO NOT DELETE FROM DISK*) Go back into the orig VM's Settings and re-add this (existing) virtual disk (should obviously be in the same folder as the rest of its files...so just browse the current datastore).
Diskpart help - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590

This can all be done with the orig VM still live, but again...only if this is not the system volume.

~coolsport00
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by:JRome225
ID: 34921768
The disk is a 2nd'ary dynamic drive from a Clarion SAN. It is running the guest OS 2003...It stores our websites. If I detach and follow the instructions above will it shut down our websites?
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Accepted Solution

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coolsport00 earned 500 total points
ID: 34922148
If your websites are on the 2nd'ary/data disk...yes. The only other real way to do it 'live' is by using Converter within vCenter (if you have it) or Converter Standalone, as mentioned above, and modify the data disk to the size you want. The orig VM is 'live' while the conversion runs. Once the VM is converted, you take down the orig and bring up the (new) Converted one. Regardless, there is no way to do this with absolutely no downtime...only minimal downtime.
Here's Converter Standalone download if you need it:
https://www.vmware.com/tryvmware/?p=converter&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4GGLL_enUS371US371&q=vcenter%20converter%20standalone

~coolsport00
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