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Shrink one drive in large VM (vsphere 5.5)

Posted on 2014-08-07
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-12-06
Hi Experts,

I have a Win2008 server which is about 2.5 TB.  One of my drives is about 500GB oversized, accidentally.  I want to shrink the drive so I have more space to allocate to another archive drive  -- all coming from the same SAN.

I was trying VMware Converter but the conversion is taking days.  Since the server is in use, this is making no sense as the data will be 7 days old by the time its finished.

Is there a way I can migrate just one drive rather than the whole VM to speed up the process?

Question by:svillardi
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Expert Comment

ID: 40253933
Is this already a VM?  If so you could just use VMconverter for just the base system and the C drive...once it's done, you could detach the other drives from the old vm and attach them to the new one and you'll have everything current.
LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Mr Tortur
ID: 40256015
as Black Flag mentioned above, you can migrate just one drive with vmware converter.
At the last step before launching the migration you will have the option to choose which drive to migrate/convert.

In my actual version of vmware converter (5.0.1), which is already rather old, I also have an option (also at the last step of converter) to synchronise the changes after a first migration pass. I did not test this option yet but I think you could look if it is interesting for you or not.
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Author Comment

ID: 40256668
Well, I tried converter and spotted the option to choose just the drive I wanted to resize but the job got stuck, several times.  I am trying a robocopy, but that's not going so well either.
LVL 124
ID: 40256724
Unfortunately, sync changes only works, on like for like VMs, unless they've changed it in 5.5!

so you cannot shrink a drive and sync....

but see my EE Article if interested

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

LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Mr Tortur
ID: 40257914
Hi again,
By the way svillardi, you did not answer Black Flag's relevant question : your server is a VM, or not ?
And another thing, it could be of use to give us info about your VM's drives (I am assuming here that your oversized drive is not your system drive, and that you have only these 2 drives, 1 system and 1 data).

if it is a VM, and assuming you can power it down "a little", one method could be the one I describe below, but note that you will have to create a new VM, and at the end delete the actual one :

1) create a new VM that will replace the actual one ; don't give or create any disk to this VM

2) shut down the actual VM

3) clone the VM system drive vmdk with this KB http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1027876, then power back on your actual VM
Clone the vmdk giving it the name of the new VM, for example VM001.vmdk

4) move the vmdk system drive you just have cloned in this new VM's folder (vmdk and flat.vmdk files) ; attach this vmdk system drive to this new VM, editing its settings

5) the data migration part : create a new vmdk for your new vm, with the size you want (well, in fact, the actual volume of your production VM data drive minus 500GB if I understand correctly) ; then copy your data from the actual production VM to the new one (robocopy or another data migration tool)

6) when you are ready, stop the production on the actual VM, make a last pass of robocopy, and you're done ; you can shut down the old VM and work with the new one.

I tested it, it works, and I manage to have a fine new VM (with clean naming of folder, vm and vmdk files).
You will have to deal with the Microsoft domain when you have both VM, old and new, with same name/ip, and want to migrate your data. But it was not the more difficult part.
Also you will have to set again your ip parameters on the new VM as the network card is recreated during the process.

You can also clone the system drive while VM is powered on, snapshoting it before, but this is not my advice.

Assisted Solution

svillardi earned 0 total points
ID: 40266264
OK, sorry for getting back so late, but here's what's going on:

Yes, this is already a VM.  There are 4 or 5 drives, and this is the 2nd largest drive at 1.2 TB.  I want to reduce it to 600 GB.

I finally added a new drive to the VM and began to robocopy everything.  I had to change my switches, now using:  "robocopy F: G: /MIR /R:0 /W:0 /LOG:C:\copy-f-g.log.

It's taken time but it's working.  Eventually, I will have to stop the services so that the files which are open will get copied and then I simply switch drive letters.

Is there any problems with this approach I am missing?
LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 750 total points
ID: 40266428
that process will work....
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

Mr Tortur earned 750 total points
ID: 40267199
Ok, so it is a VM. Good info ; )

Your approach seems good to me too.
You will have to recreate your shares because robocopy will not do that.
I oftenly use these robocopy's flags, maybe you will want to have a look at them :

Author Comment

ID: 40273794
Mr Tortur,

If the drive letters are being switched, doesn't the shares remain?

LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Mr Tortur
ID: 40287331
Hi Svillardi,
Sorry for the delay. I would say no the shares will not remain, because robocopy does not "migrate" that. There is a small chance, yes, as you try to guess, that after migrating your data, if you delete the old data drive, and reboot the vm (or just lanmanserver service restart, see the link below, at the bottom) with the new data drive having the original data drive letter, that shares work. But I would not do that at the last time without testing if I were you.
If not working, there are several method to migrate your shares, including using another tool than robocopy, but I think it will surely not be free.
I remember there was a registry key you can use to recreate shares easily, depending on your OS version. Well, according to this one it is more difficult for 2008 first release, but not for 2008R2 :
I don't know what is yours.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40484433
I was looking for a faster alternative, but I wasn't comfortable with the solutions provided.  So I went back to robocopy.

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