Really having a hard time extending the c drive of my virtual 2003 server...

Posted on 2011-02-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
 The server is running Server 2003 standard with a C drive that has less than 200MB on a 10Gig drive. I need to extend it to 40GB. I've gone into the vCentre (4.0) ESX 4.0 btw and done and 'Import machine...' 3 times to make a new vm with the bigger hard drive. It completes successfully but when I log in all I get is a blank desktop with no icons and no start button or task bar. Just a blue freakin' screen. 3 times and I was trying different settings every time. I've shut the vm down and extended the C drive and then used diskpart.exe but it wont extend the drive either. Does anyone have any other suggestions? I've been googling all day!!
Thanks a million,
Question by:bwinkworth
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Expert Comment

ID: 34973764
Have you tried gparted?

(download of the live cd)

Open in new window

Does your machine have the necessary space, if it does, is there any other driver letter occupying even an small amount of space?(hard disks are just like tapes, if you have one letter between the letter you wanna extend and the free space, you will not be able to do much)
LVL 121

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 350 total points
ID: 34973800
Be very careful with the latest versions of Gparted, it's been none to re-size the disk, but not update the partition tables.

otherwise use VMware Converter Standalone (free download) to convert and grow the partition.

Conversion tips here written by my fellow Expert Bestway

Author Comment

ID: 34973984
vCenter Converter is installed as a plugin on my vCenter. I was doing an 'import machine' from the host and doing a V2V convert and was able to change my hd size. It completes ok. It puts in the OS key that I supplied then reboots after it installs some stuff. When I log in the next time I get the warning that I need to activate the key. If I hit no not right now it logs me off. If I hit Cancel it shuts down the VM. If I hit yes and activate the key it activates fine and then sits at a blank blue screen with no icons, start button or task bar. If I reboot it in safe mode it gets to the black screen with 'safe mode' in all 4 corners and that's it. Nothing. There are a few services running like IIS, MySQL, SQL server 2005 because it is a test website.
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LVL 121
ID: 34974029
Okay, if the machine is already virtual, there is no need to install VMware Tools again, they should already be installed? (this is what the shutdown and restart could be).

As for supply a new OS key? Why is it asking for a new key? It's possible, it might require activation again, because there has been a change of "disk".

Author Comment

ID: 34974070
Yes because just before it shuts down again I do notice the vmware tools icon down by the clock in the bottom right corner.
When I do an import machine it asks for the key in one of the steps.
I might have to go with a 3rd party tool or something.
LVL 121
ID: 34974091
Don't put the key in, and don't install tools. (no need).
LVL 121
ID: 34974097
if using gparted, be careful with re-size option if may be broken!
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 34974100
Use the latest version of the Standalone Converter 4.3 (not the vCenter plugin).
LVL 16

Assisted Solution

danm66 earned 150 total points
ID: 34974635
When I need to extend the system drive on a windows server I...:

-shutdown the VM, edit settings and extend the disk.  hit ok to save and exit.
-edit settings on another 2003 vm and add .vmdk from first VM to it.  (can do this while the helper VM is powered on)
-go into diskpart, select the new disk and it's c: volume, extend it and exit diskpart
-edit settings on helper, again, remove disk from VM (don't select delete from datastore!), hit OK
-power on VM and verify that the C: drive is seeing the new size.

Just make sure that you have a good backup of both VM's prior to the operations just in case there's a crash.

Author Comment

ID: 35009396
Grrrrrrrr. Not enough space to install converter!! I have freed up as much as I can.
danm66: Please see my image attached of where I stand on the VM. Can I still do it your way?

LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 35009489
To tell you the truth, I'm not aware of any limitations on the free space within the volume that you want to extend.  I've extended some some that were under a GB free, but I don't remember how little the free space was down to.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35016912
Thanks everyone. I ended up grabbing a 3rd party tool and it worked great.


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