Vmware and Windows OS: Expanding and shrinking disks

Posted on 2013-10-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-10-09
Sometimes we might have the need to add temporary disk space to vm guests and then remove the disk space later. Usually we add a disk and then remove it later when it is not needed any more. Another option, I guess is to use a thin provisioned disk that can be shrunk to reclaim unused space.

1. I was however wondering if there are any tricks or tools that let me add a disk to a dynamic partition, and then remove the disk later without breaking the whole partition? I guess the data is striped over the disks in the dynamic set.

2. From what I know, a thick provisioned disks file system can be shrunk, but the disk itself can not be shrunk even though the file system is not using the whole disk. Is this fact the same today, or are there any tricks out there that let me shrink a thick provisioned disk as of today?
Question by:itnifl
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LVL 126

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 39558011
It's not easy to remove disk space or shrink disks in VMware vSphere.

It's very easy to grow disks, but the only supported method of shrinking or resizing disks is to use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1, and create a V2V of the existing VM, you will then have the option, when creating the new VM, to alter VMDK size, which will adjust the OS Partition, and you can also specify thick or thin disks.

see my EE Articles

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

HOW TO: Improve the transfer rate of a Physical to Virtual (P2V), Virtual to Virtual Conversion (V2V) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.0

Author Comment

ID: 39558102
Thank you for your articles. However, I am looking for ways to shrink thick disks or remove a disk from a dynamic partition. I guess that is not possible still today? Looks like your articles are mostly handling disk extensions.
LVL 126
ID: 39558191
The articles will expand and shrink virtual disks!

Dynamic disks are now supported in Converter 5.1.

If you need to do any other manipulations, with partitions, the same rules apply to OS Partitions, as to physical computers, there is no difference.

You will need a partition manager which handles Dynamic Disks, which there are few.

Author Comment

ID: 39558476
Okey, so you are saying that I can use  VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 to clone a vm to another and then shrink the thick provisioned disks in the process?
LVL 126
ID: 39558487
That is correct.

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