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Hyper-V Increasing Hard Drive Space

I have Windows 2008 Server R2 running on a Dell Box.  A Raid 5 Array is setup for hard drive utilization and the available Hard Drive Space on the C: Drive of the Dell Box is 272 Gig.

I used Hyper-V to setup 6 Virtual Machines on this box.  Each was configured with 1024 gig of Ram memory and the default 127 gig Hard drive size.  

Today, I received calls that the end users could no longer login to any of the VM's.  

When I logged in remotely to the Dell Box and then into Hyper-V Manager, I could see that all the VM's were "Paused".  I was able to click on "Resume" and login to each of the VM's (one at a time) to see that only 30 gig of the default 127 gig hard drive size was being used.  I looked at this to see if low disk space on the VM could have caused the VM to go into the "Paused" state.   None of the VM's are remotely close to utilizing the default 127 gig assigned when the VM was created.

However, when I look at the C: Drive of the Dell box itself, only 180 mb of 272 gig of physical hard drive space is available.  I'm assuming that this is insufficient free space to allow the VM's to continue to allow access.  I'm new to Hyper-V, so I'm guessing here.

I don't think there's a way to "shrink" the assigned 127 gig of hard drive size on the VM's.

Would adding larger hard drives to the Raid 5 Array on the Dell box resolve the issue.  If there are other possible solutions, please advise.
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baleman2
Asked:
baleman2
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2 Solutions
 
Norm DickinsonGuruCommented:
It would be best to store the VMs on a non-system volume if possible. The C drive of a server is not a recommended location for such files, nor other transactional types such as SQL or Exchange databases, etc. It should be set up on a different volume, which will solve the problem.
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Svet PaperovCommented:
Yes, there is a way to reduce the disk size of an existing VM if it is 2008/Vista or latter.

But the problem you have is not related to the disk size. I think it’s because of the shadow copies of your system drive C:\ and the fact that the VHD files are located on the same drive. You can use vssadmin tool to list the existing shadow copies. http://www.techotopia.com/index.php/Configuring_Volume_Shadow_Copy_on_Windows_Server_2008

PS: I agree with the previous expert – the VHD files should not be located on the system drive.
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baleman2Author Commented:
Both of you make good points describing the errors I made in configuration of the VM's.  Now I'm stuck attempting to find a resolution so end users can begin to login to the VM's again.

For "tqfdotus":  With so little space left over on the physical box, how can I move these VM's to a non-system volume?

Tor "Svet":  Once I see the shadow copies, so what?  Can these be deleted to provide more space?
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Svet PaperovCommented:
vssadmin delete shadows http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc788026.aspx

You don't need to move the VM, just the VHD files:
1. Shut down the VM
2. Move the VHD file to the new volume
3. Attach the VHD back to the VM

Hyper-V Manager UI http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc770494.aspx
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Norm DickinsonGuruCommented:
I'm not sure what you are going to need to do in order to come up with additional hard drive space, but perhaps you are trying to get more than the box you are using is capable of. The servers I typically build have a lot of room for additional hard drives, additional RAM and expansion cards and are housed in big cases with large, redundant power supplies, etc. If you have chosen a small form factor PC with a small hard drive for a server, this will be an issue that causes you some similar concerns as you ask your server to perform additional roles. Depending upon the demand placed on the VM's you may be able to get by with placing them onto an external storage unit, such as a NAS (network attached storage) or maybe even a USB 3.0 external hard drive for occasional use - but keeping them on the system drive is not really a viable option. And yes, I agree with Svet Paperov that it doesn't have to be the whole VM, just the actual VHD files - but I really consider keeping the files all in one place a good practice.
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