expand a spanned volume on windows server 2008r2


I have a virtual file server running Server 2008R2 SP1 on VMWare 5.  
The file server has 3 disks:
Disk 0 (Basic) - C: - 40GB
Disk 1 (Dyanmic - Spanned) - F: - 325GB and 125Gb
Disk 2 (Dyanmic - Spanned) - F: - 100GB

The file server was getting low on space so my plan was to shutdown the server expand Disk 1 by 125GB and then power back on and then through server manager expand Disk 1 to incorporate the new volume of 125Gb.  Well being late at night I failed to notice the dynamic-spanned setting (duh!!!).

So my lack of awareness has caused a small issue.  The F: is still showing 425GB and not 550GB even though the 125GB is also showing part of the F: but not being recognized in the total capacity.

Just wondering what my options are to either get the 125GB to get recognized or best way to clean up and undo.

thanks in advanced!
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would not use Dynamic Disks, and I would certainly not use SPANNED DISKS ? across VMDKs?

Why not just create a 550GB virtual disk?

Is this because datastore is not correct, e.g. block size ?

or datastore are not large enough?
EA-170Author Commented:
Probably should have noted that I am very new to the company so the reasons for the setup of the server, vmware environment was before my arrival at the company.  And you first question probably the reason I am in this issue in the first place of WHY???  but....

that being said unfortunately there is not enough free space to create a whole to new 550GB drive on the data store - so just looking for the cleanest way to undo what I did or make the 125GB usable.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
As a newbie, it would have been better for your to advise "The Management" you need a budget to expand the Datastore with more disks.


can you screenshot, in DIsk Manager, what we've currently got....

You could add a Disk3, and "Span" this to include a third spanned disk of 125GB.

Did you add 125GB to the virtual disk? e.g. You Edit the VM Disk Settings, and increased to 550GB.

The issue is, you cannot decrease the size of the VMDK, only GROW....

I have a new EE Article of how to shrink here...

HOW TO: Shrink or Reduce a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone v5.5.2
Simplify Active Directory Administration

Administration of Active Directory does not have to be hard.  Too often what should be a simple task is made more difficult than it needs to be.The solution?  Hyena from SystemTools Software.  With ease-of-use as well as powerful importing and bulk updating capabilities.

EA-170Author Commented:
agreed - about the storage - non profit so funding takes time....

I attached a screenshot

So there are three VM disks.  I expanded the VM disk from 325 an extra 125 to 450. then there is another 100GB vm disk

Would I be safe just to delete the 125Gb volume on disk 1?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would not delete the 125GB if it's now part of the spanned volume, this could cause disk corruption.

So when you expanded, you Edited the VM settings, and increase the number?

If you did this *CANNOT* be undone, (other than restoring you backup, you took before you altered the VM!).


1. Add a new disk of 125GB

e.g. a Disk 3 (or fourth disk!)

then span across all three disks.

OR, backup F:

destroy all the disks, and Restore F:

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
EA-170Author Commented:
okay - that's what I figured I guess I needed to read it to believe it instead of kicking myself for not looking closely enough at the existing setup! As I edited the VM settings and increased the number.  

thanks for the help!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems. Good Luck
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Microsoft Server OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.