Moving a D drive in VMWare

Running on ESX 4.1, I have a Windows 2008 Server running Exchange 2010 Server. Inside of the Virtual Machine, I have a C drive and a D drive. This entire virtual machine (including both C and D drives) are running on one single RAID 5 storage device.

I want to "move" the D drive so that it is running on a different physical storage device.

Is this possible using VMWare ESX? If so how do I do this? I'm new to VMWare and am trying to learn how the concept of "Windows" drives (like 'C' and 'D') work with physical storage devices.

Do I simply shut down the VM and, using vCenter, "move" drive D? If so how do I do this? and when my Windows Server boots back up (the OS is on the C drive), how will it know how to "find" the D drive?

Hope this makes sense.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, if you have no storage vMotion the fastest option is as follows:-

1. Shutdown the Virtual Machine (probably best, as it's Exchange)
2. Remove the Hard disk 2: Virtual Disk     75 GB   VD Node SCSI (0:2) Hard disk 2
(record filename of this disk)
3. DO NOT SELECT REMOVE from disk.
4. use ssh (putty download (
5. Login to ESX server using ssh.
6. If ssh is not enable look here

7. change folder/directory to /vmfs/datastorename/vm name
8. copy the Hard disk 2: Virtual Disk     75 GB   VD Node SCSI (0:2) Hard disk 2, filename from above to the new datastore.
9. create a directory on the new datastore e.g. mkdir exchange2010
10. using the command cp to copy the virtual disk to the new datastore.
11. cp disk2name.* /vmfs/datastore2

this is the fastest way, as it's a copy operation on the ESX 4.1 server.

12. Once copied.
13. Add disk back to VM.
14. Restart VM
15. If all is well,test test test and test.
16. remove old file disk2 on old datastore
 (when sure everything tests okay)
You can download/use Veeam FastSCP:

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, are you C drives and D drives two different virtual disks?

or are they C and D partitions on one single virtual disk?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you don't know what I talking about, check the Virtual Machine settings, do you have one or two virtual disks defined in the Virtual Machine.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
also do you have the second storage device, what we like to call datastores in VMware terms.
coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Install FastSCP on your local workstation, connect your host to Veeam under the 'Servers' heading, power down the VM, disconnect the hard disk from the VM by rt-clicking on the VM -> Edit Settings. Click on the hard disk you wanna move and select to 'Remove' it from the VM (DO NOT DELETE THE VMDK THOUGH). Once removed, browse the datastore in Veeam till you get to the VMDK you wanna move. Rt-click on the VMDK and select 'copy'. Browse the the other datastore you wanna move the VMDK to, rt-click, and select 'Paste'.

If you created only 1 virtual disk for your VM and partitioned it into 2 'drives' in your W2K8 OS, then the procedure I provided is inaccurate. You will need to do it in a different way. Go into your VM's Edit Settings area and click the 'Add' button (Hardware tab). Select Hard Disk. In the 'Add Disk' wizard, select a new virtual disk. Choose the datastore/storage you want the new virtual disk to be on, then finish it. Once created, what you'll then have to do is simply copy/paste or 'move' the data from the current d: drive to your new drive/disk (you'll need to initialize & format your newly created drive in Disk Mgmt).

ecarboneAuthor Commented:
when I right-click on the VM and select "Edit Settings", I see:

- Memory: 12288 MB
- CPUs: 4
- Hard disk 1: Virtual Disk   215 GB   VD Node SCSI (0:0) Hard disk 1
- Hard disk 2: Virtual Disk     75 GB   VD Node SCSI (0:2) Hard disk 2

The smaller Virtual Disk (75 GB) is my 'D' drive.

I want to move it from one datastore to another.
I have the second datastore already.
Remove it from your VM, install FastSCP, then perform the copy/paste as mentioned above.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, the quickest way copy this disk to the new datastore is as follows.

Do you know if you have Storage vMotion?

Click on the Virtual Machine and Select Migrate?

Follow the prompts, select the same ESX Host, but when you get the options to select datastore, select the new datastore for disk 2 (d: drive)
If you use sVmotion, you must have either Ent Plus license or in trial mode...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Enterprise or Enterprise Plus.
Oops...that's right...thanks "hanccocka" :)
ecarboneAuthor Commented:
oh man this is scary stuff :o ... i'm gonna back up my VM tonight and then follow your steps above.
thanks a million ... i'll report back, hopefully with good news.

ecarboneAuthor Commented:
Just an update ...
I discovered that with VMWare Converter, I can do the following:

- Copy (clone) my existing Exchange VM to a new datastore or physical machine (or both)
- Resize the Virtual Disk
- Relocate the Virtual Disk (to a different datastore)

This is exactly what I am looking for!
However, it seemed to corrupt the VM (my copy of it, anyway).

Here's what I did:

1. I stopped all of my Exchange services
2. I set them all to disabled
3. I shut down the VM
4. Using VMWare Converter (standalone), I 'copied' the VM to a new VM.
5. At the same time, I reduced the size of one of the Virtual Disks from 220 GB to 120 GB.

Converter ran all night, and was successful.

However, if I log into vCenter, select my newly-cloned Exchange Server VM, and click 'Power On'...
I see the BIOS
I see a message "Windows Error Recovery: Windows Failed to Start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause"

My options are:
- Launch Startup Repair (recommended)
- Start Windows Normally

If I select either option, the VM reboots. It's caught in a loop and will NOT boot into Windows.

I have tried converting my Exchange VM two more times, and each time I get the same result.

Why/how could VMWare converter corrupt the Operating System inside of the VM?
I thought these VMs were pretty bullet proof.

Also, I have resized drives before and the VMs have always started up just fine.

Need to know how to fix. This is mildly annoying.
In the meantime, my original Exchange VM is running just fine.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The requirements seem to have changed, because the original question was about moving, and not moving and resizing.

Yes, a conversion will perform those functions. There is always a risk when converting a virtual machine, the conversion can fail. To be honest with you I would trash the converted vm, and start again.

How did you complete the conversion, and did you follow any of these best practices.

For the conversion steps, read fellow Expert Bestway's article.

Best Practice Video Guide here

We are really going off topic, now with why the conversion has failed.
ecarboneAuthor Commented:
sorry, you are correct.

however, assuming the conversion worked, it appears that using VMWare Converter is the best way to 'move' a Virtual Drive from one datastore to another, but I do appreciate the methods described above.

thank you everyone for your assistance.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Personally, I don't like performing conversions, unless I really have to. Because they are exactly that, a conversion, what goes in, does necessarily come out the same the otherside.

As a straight copy of the virtual disk, is a copy. Either Copy, Clone etc
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