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Extend VMware server's disk

kam_uk asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

Running ESX 3.5.0

I have  Windows 2003 Server guest on the server, and the D: drive is running low on disk space.

Can anyone tell me - is it possible to extend the size of this virtual disk whilst the server is still powered on?
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Top Expert 2010

Unfortunately no; you have to power it off, albeit briefly. Steps:
- power down VM
- go into VM's edit settings and increase the virtual disk size
- power on VM
- log into W2K3
- open cmd prompt
- use disk part utility to modify Windows partition to 'see' the new size

Diskpart can't be used if you have the page file on your D: drive, or if by chance it's a boot partition.

Top Expert 2010
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Top Expert 2010

There is "kind of" a way to increase the 2nd partition (D: drive) with the VM powered on. You can download/install vCenter Converter Standalone on your workstation and do a 'conversion' of your VM. In the conversion wizard you have the capability to increase any of your virtual disks.

Top Expert 2010

@coolsport00 - Are you sure it has to be powered down? I know it doesn't need to be powered down on ESX(i) 4.1, but can't really remember for 3.5!
Top Expert 2010

I know on my 4.0 hosts, the VM doesn't, but if I recall, I thought it did...I forgot now that you mention it as well! :P
Top Expert 2010

Ok...looked at the KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1004047; according to it, 3.5 and newer you don't need to power down the VM.

Neil RussellTechnical Development Lead

You CAN extend the D: drive so long as it is a scsi disk and not set up as an IDE i believe.
Top Expert 2010

I think that is right Neilsr - I just dug out my 3.5 U5 vm of ESXi and tried it - seems to work OK for a SCSI drive, so the task should be doable with no downtime.
Danny McDanielClinical Systems Analyst

but you're right about the pagefile being on the D: drive... You have to disable it, reboot for the change to take affect, then expand and re-enable the pagefile on the drive, but you don't need another reboot for the re-enablement.
FYI, you can do the same on C- OS drive on the fly as well, (or D drive with pagefile on it), without using MS diskpart utility, use Dell's extpart utility.
For Windows 2008, you can do it without downtime by MS GUI diskmanagement to extend volume.
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