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Extending size of system/boot volume c drive

Posted on 2011-10-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Is there a way to extend the size of the c: drive system volume of windows 2008 standard sp2 server (virtual machine) without using third party utilities. I have increased the provisioned space to "265GB" in Vcenter ESXi 4.1.0, now here's a bit confusing part under disk management of windows it shows only "256Gb", however in local disk c: it says "236GB" total and 5.22Gb free space.

I tried to use diskpart, but I'm getting "diskpart failed to extend volume. Please make sure the volume is valid for extending". Most of the information on the web would tell that system volume/bootdrive cannot be extended when booted or you have to use Gparted and other 3rd part partition utilities in order to extend the volume. Please advise what's the best thing to do for this.
Question by:vanderfield

Expert Comment

ID: 36991052
Hi Vanderfield,

Running the risk of being to obvious, have you tried the method described here ?


LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
ID: 36991093
Converting to dynamic disk theoretically extend must be done.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 36991105
It depends on how the current system is partitioned. You can easily extend a partition of Windows Vista and above (that includes the 2008 server OS's) by going into disk management, selecting the partition you want to extend and right Clicking it, then using the "Extend Volume" option. But it is important that there is free space right after that partition. If there is another partition present just after the partition you want to extend, and the free space is behind the partition that comes right after the partition behind the one you want to extend, then you won't be able to extend it using native tools.

In such a situation you first have to move the partition between C and the free space to the end of the disk, and that you can only do with 3rd party tools, or by deleting the middle partition.

There is a very good free tool you can use though. Get the PartedMagic LiveCD iso image (you can mount that iso and so boot from it when you start the VM, so you don't need to burn a CD from it, although that can be useful for other issues). Then use the Partition Editor Tool which is an Icon on it's desktop to resize and move partitions. One thing though, when you do this, leave a little unpartitioned space on the HD (ca 10MB is enough). I've seen issues where the real space isn't properly reflected in windows when the complete HD is used:

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LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 36991111
No, never use dynamic disks if that can in any way be avoided.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Miguel Angel Perez Muñoz
ID: 36991139
rindi, extend basic system volumes fails almost every time (at least the times I've tried).

Options may be using third party software or converting the disk to dynamic. I think that offline third party is more elegant that converting the disk, but this option not require other software.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 36991161
I've never had problems extending a partition except when I use the full available Disk Space or if there is corruption in the file-system, in which case a chkdsk /x helps. Just leave that 10MB unpartitioned and it will work.
LVL 124

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 375 total points
ID: 36991865
If you cannot extend the partition by right clicking and selecting Re-size/Extend, I would use either of the following options

Before making any changes to the partition structure of the disk, ensure you have a full backup, not a snapshot.

1. Resize partition with Gparted Live CDROM

i. Download Gparted Live CDROM (http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php).

ii. Upload the cdrom iso to the vSphere ESX/ESXi datastore.

iii. Mount the cdrom or iso on the virtual machine.

iv. Shutdown and restart the virtual machine booting from the cdrom.

v. Select Resize partition.

Here is a Tutorial Walkthorugh of how to resize a partition with a GParted Live CDROM



Download VMware vCenter Converter and perform a V2V.


Author Closing Comment

ID: 37016126
Thanks, strangely the extend feature now works from the disk management. Anyways thanks again.

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