Shrinking Thick Provisioned VM Disk

Posted on 2014-03-26
Last Modified: 2014-04-11
Our file server is Windows 2008 R2 virtual server running on VMware ESXi 5.1. The file server has four virtual disks located on different datastores. One of the virtual disks is 1.8TB, in windows it has 500GB of unallocated space. I want to remove the unallocated space and shrink the virtual disk. I cannot use VMWare Tools because the virtual disk is thick-provisioned.

What is the best way to shrink the virtual disk and reclaim the unallocated space in VMWare vCenter?
Question by:adlertech
LVL 119

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39957407
The VMware supported method is to create a V2V using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.

Please see my EE Articles

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

A quicker, and un-supported method is to use my EE Article, using this article you can, litterally "chop off the 500GB unallocated portion".

HOW TO: Shrink a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) in 15 minutes

Whichever, method you select, please ensure you have a FULL BACKUP not a snapshot before, altering partitions and disk sizes, to prevent data loss.
LVL 62

Expert Comment

ID: 39958181
You can use microsoft drive eraser from sysinternals to zero free space on the disk, and then vmotion..

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