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How to login to the esx console and increase the c drive in a VM

How to login to the esx console and increase the c drive in a VM
Manjunatha T
Manjunatha T
1 Solution
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you want to manage the ESX server, you would download the vSphere Client from the host ESX server, by using a web browser pointed to the ESX server e.g. http://ip address of the ESX server.

Once you have downloaded the vSphere client, you can edit the properties of the Virtual Machine's hard disk, and extend the virtual disk, but you must then use, a third party tool to extend the OS partition of the VM, e.g. you can use gparted livecdrom for this here http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
Which version of ESX server u r using
if u r using esx 3 or 3.5

Access any of your server through browser

http://ip (ip address of your esx server
if u access that page
then download and install VMware Infrastructure Client from this server
then login to your VMware Management server
select the your sever where u want to increase the C drive capacity
right click >> edit setting
select your harddisk increase the space
As hancoccka indicates this task is most easily accomplished via the gui vSphere (for 4.x) or VMware Infrastructure (for 3.x) client. However, if you really wish to accomplish this via the command line you would use the vmkfstools command with the -X parameter to expand an existing virtual drive. See http://www.esxguide.com/esx/content/view/18/25/ for some instructuctions on using vmkfstools.

For the system drive in a Windows virtual machine you will have to also let the OS know about the new size. This can be accomplised a number of ways: Through a third party tool such as gparted or partition magic (as indicated earlier in this thread) or through utilizing a "helper" vm to expand the OS partition as described in http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007266. If you have Windows 2008 or Vista or later you can extend the drive through the built in disk manager. See http://www.petri.co.il/extend-disk-partition-vista-windows-server-2008.htm for the details.

Good Luck
There are two parts to increase C drive on a VM.  First would be to increase the VMDK file itself in ESX and then increase the size in the operating system that is Windows.

To increase the VMDK size in Vsphere, if the VM is on a shared storage increase the baseline volume on the storage first.   Browse to the Datastore and click properties and there is a tab for increasing the volume.    the volume would be then increased for the Datastore.

Now once this is done, the underlying Datastore would be increased to accomodate the VM c drive increase.  Now log on to the VM and use third party tools like Partition Magic or if you would like to use free tools then boot using a Linux LIve Cd  and use gparted to increase the drive in an offline VM mode.      

Alternatively,  you can use Windows "extpart" to increase the partition in Windows, but this would take all the additional space into the volume that has been increased using the SAN on teh base volume or the Datastore.   If the volume has to be expanded only uptill a limit and the rest of the space to be given on the other partition, please use any other third party tool


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