Add Storage to VM

I have inherited a some vwmare 3.5 servers with a Fibre SAN carved into several datastores. I want to ultimately add space to one of my windows 2003 server's drives. When I look at the datastore inventory it shows almost 20GB of free space. When I edit the settings of the VM it does not show that I can increase the size of the virtual disk. ie - disk size and maximum size are the same.

Other machines with different datastores show free space and the availability of that space to the virtual disks.
SysBUTLERAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
firstly, you only have 20GB free on your datastore.

you are in danger, if you add storage to your virtual machine (vmdk file) for the OS, if the free space on the datastore reaches Zero, you will not be able to start up your VMs, because VMs also use a swap file equal to memory, when they are started, so be warned!

In your example, the Maximum Disk Size is based on the Block Size of the Datastore.

if the Block Size is 1MB which it is, the macx size of disk is 256GB.

see here

• 1MB block size – 256GB maximum file size
• 2MB block size – 512GB maximum file size
• 4MB block size – 1024GB maximum file size
• 8MB block size – 2048GB maximum file size

You will need to MOVE the Virtual Machine to a Datastore, which has a Block Size of at least 2MB.

To create a 2MB Block Size requires the datastore to be "formated/created", e.g. needs to be set on creation.

A workaround, as it's a temp fix....

Add & Create a new virtual disk on this datastore of size 20GB to this VM.

and then update the current required OS disk to Dynamic that you need to expand, and then Expand the disk in the OS, using this new 20GB disk. (Span disks!)

this will give you a 276GB disk spanned over two virtual disks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
Hi,

ESX 3.5 does not allow online expanding of disk spaces when the Guest is running. Also it does not allow the expansion of volume when there are any snapshots associated with the VM.

So make sure that you remove all snapshots and make sure your VM is shut down before trying to increase the virtual disk size.


Cheers,
K.
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SysBUTLERAuthor Commented:
I don't want to add a disk, I just want to expand the one I have. I am battling with free space, and this is a temporary fix until I can get some new servers.
The disks are SCSI and part of Fiber array.
I have attached a PDF with some screenshots.
DiskVMWARE.pdf
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SysBUTLERAuthor Commented:
Great fast and complete answer. Thank you!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
no problems.
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