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Thick to Think Disk VMWare ESXi 4.1

Posted on 2011-03-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
Hi Experts,

1. How do I convert a Thick to Think Disk in VMWare ESXi

This Command is for ESX "vmkfstools –i <srcDisk> -d thin <dstDisk>" im looking for ESXi. I know i can use gparted but there should be a way with VMware to do the conversion.

2.  If you have an 100GB Thin Provisioned Disk with 20GB of data on it, the actual usage on the Physical Storage Device would be 20GB. If you then add an extra 40GB file to the disk it expands out to 60GB. If that 40GB file is then removed the disk will not shrink back to 20GB it will stay at 60GB.

How do we shrink the disk down to the origjnaL 20GB after the 40 GB file has been removed?

Thanks
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Question by:gs1uk
15 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35107358
you can specify the size in the vm settings if its a scsi drive as an ide drive cannot be resized
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 35107833
Hi

You can change Thick to Think with vConverter, and also can reduze the disk size using the vConverter.

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35108172
you can do it in vclient itself why use converor its in the vm setting the only reason to use vm comvertor is if its ide not scsi as ide size can not be changed you need to wipe the vm from the inventory if its ide and start again from a backup
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coolsport00 earned 250 total points
ID: 35108235
Conversion is probably the most common way (maybe); you can see these other options: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1026146, http://blog.tpv.dk/?p=3, http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1028042, use Storage vMotion (svMotion) if you have the licensing to do so (Enterprise). Shrinking depends also on the guest OS a little bit, depending on what you wanna do. See the above articles to help. Or, you can try these - if you have W2K3 and below, and it's a system volume you're talking about, yes, you either need Converter Standalone or a 3rd party tool like GParted, Paragon, etc. If it's Win7 or Win2K8, Disk Mgmt comes with the capability to 'shrink' the volume (as well as expand it). If the volume in question is not the system volume, you can either use a 3rd party tool after the virtual disk modification, or use diskpart. And, whether it's a system volume or not, even another option you can do is remove the virtual disk from the VM, attach it to another VM, resize it as needed, then use diskpart to modify the partition in Windows. Once complete, detach it from this 2nd VM then reattach it to the orig VM it belongs to. So, as you see...many options for you.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 35108364
Hi

@IanTh you need to use vConverter, or other 3rd party, because you cannot shrink a disk in the vClient VM settings. This is for IDE or SCSI disks.

So if you need to do both things, just use vConverter and shrink the VM disk without any issues.

And also many users cannot understand or work with the vmkfstools, so the easy way is to use vConverter.

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35109412
ok I always use scsi so I can do it in vclient for that very reason
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by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 35109534
Hi

Sorry IanTh you cannot.

You shrink a disk in the VM with VM tools, but after you need to use vmkfstools.

You can reduce the disk on Windows 2008 or Windows 7, but you always need to use a 3rd party Partition Tool(and if is a system disk you need to do in a different way).

But you cannot do this automatic in the vClient editing VM settings. You need always use Diskpart, 3rd party Tools, or vmkfstools.

You can change and reduce a disk, but this new space will never be allocated in the Windows System Operation.

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35109603
No not windows I am using esx inside of esx and linux and theyt can be resized in the vm settings in viclient as I have done it loads I know windows can have a problem
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 35109702
Hi

Sorry but still I cannot understand how you can do that. Windows or Linux is the same.

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35109801
well it worked
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Expert Comment

by:Luciano Patrão
ID: 35109830
Hi

Ok if you say so... you can expand a disk in the VM settings(but still needs to be expanded on the System Operation), you cannot reduce.

Jail
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35109832
you see I build an esx server inside of esx and forgot to specify the hdd so I went off and built it and then trioed to setup a vm inside the virtual esx and I found no space when I set the hdd for the vm so I went to the esx vm settings and it had 8gb I think as I had used any linux 64 bit when setting up the virtual esx and that set it at 8gb which is not enough for a virtual esx server
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35109838
thats why thin provissioning doesn't shrink it only grows
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Author Comment

by:gs1uk
ID: 35110472
So, As we have discussed there is no way or script to Automiaticly Shrink a Thin Disk. My servers are mostly Win 2003 and couple of Win2008.

Regards to my question above:

" If you have an 100GB Thin Provisioned Disk with 20GB of data on it, the actual usage on the Physical Storage Device would be 20GB. If you then add an extra 40GB file to the disk it expands out to 60GB. If that 40GB file is then removed the disk will not shrink back to 20GB it will stay at 60GB."

---> after the 40Gb is removed and the disk is still 60GB how can I monitor that the disk is using 60GB of thin space and is there any tool in market showing "You have a thin disk 100GB but technically using 60GB but acctully has data of 40GB." So in this way I can know that the disk needs to be shrinked and carry on..

Hope this makes sense.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:IanTh
ID: 35110687
as was discussed earlier you cannot shrink a windows disk as windows cannot handle it you have to use a 3rd party disk resizing application after setting the new size in vmware

see
http://www.vistax64.com/powershell/52460-free-disk-space-network-share.html

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