Increase the size of a c:\  system boot disk in Vmware ESXi4.1

Posted on 2012-03-15
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Dear All,

I have an ESX 4.1 with one virtual windows 2008 R2 machine with two partitions.

C:\ -> 40 GB containing the system files + pagefiles.sys
D:\ -> 100 GB containing users datas

I need to increase the c:\ drive from 40Gb to 80 GB. What is the best and safe way to do it?. I read a lot of post on the net but different manners to increase the size.
I Have Vcenter to manage all my ESX server. So I would like to do that that from Vcenter

Thks indvance
Question by:madinina
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 37725095

See if these provide the easiest way.
LVL 117
ID: 37725111
LVL 117
ID: 37725113
some other methods

How to Resize a Partition after Disk Expansion

To re-size a disk, select the Virtual Machine, Select Edit Settings, Highlight the Virtual Hard Disk, and select Edit
there is an option to increase size. This only changes the physical size of the virtual disk, it does not grow the partition on the disk. See below.

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 (

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

2. Using DISKPART.exe

(the system disk cannot be re-sized within the virtual machine, but other disks can be resized, eg. D: E: etc

i. Shutdown the virtual machine.
ii. Remove disks from virtual machine (but do not delete them).
iii. Add the disks to another virtual machine.
iv. Start up virtual machine.
v. Use Diskpart in the OS to extend disks.

see here for details on Diskpart usage

3.Use VMware Converter Standalone to complete a V2V (virtual to virtual conversion).
there is an option to increase or decrease the size of target disks on the desintation at conversion.

Download VMware vCenter Converter here

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

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

Best Practice Video Guide here

Also the VMware KB here
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Author Comment

ID: 37725184
Thks to all,

Reading your answer, it is not possible to resize a system drive with Diskpart, corret?.
I would like to avoid using any third party tools.
If I shutdown the server then from an other server, create a disk drive and attached the .vdmk I want to extend. then reattach the extended .vdmk to the first server. Does it make it?
LVL 117

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 280 total points
ID: 37725226
Correct, you cannot resize system drive with Diskpart.

Yes, adding to another VM and using Diskpart is one supported method.
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Nagendra Pratap Singh
ID: 37727616
You can use extpart but that will not work if there is no free space after c:

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