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VMWare file size too large

Posted on 2015-01-13
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Last Modified: 2015-01-13
Hi,

I installed a few test Win 7 machine. A couple went smoothly, but one had some kind of glitch, and I ended up with a .vmdk file that was over 130GB. The other two are only about 30GB total.

What went wrong?

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:Go-Bruins
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LVL 119
ID: 40546861
You created a snapshot maybe ?

see my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Do you still have the VM, we can check ?
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40546869
No, this was prior to any snapshots. When I tried to compact, it got stuck as well.

Would snapshots cause it to blow up like that? could a snapshot cause it to balloon even bigger than the contents themselves?
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LVL 119
ID: 40546896
Yes, if you had created a snapshot, it would grow, and grow, and grow, and grow to the size of your host disk and more!
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40546901
I see. thank you. I'm sure this isn't snapshot related, as the other VM's have snapshots also, and are well below 35GB.

Any kind of operation that's disk-related seems to get stuck. I may be dealing with a corruption issue of some sort...
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LVL 119
ID: 40546912
It depends on how active the VM is, snapshots can grow 1GB an hour!
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40546946
So from reading a couple of your articles, it seems you aren't a big fan of snapshots.

What do you do to backup guests? Do you install a backup program on every one of them?
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LVL 119

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 40546952
Installing a backup program or agent on a VM is old fashioned.

COPY the entire VM.

I'm not a fan of snapshots, and wish they would disappear, they are dangerous, VMs running on them perform poorly, and the honest answer, is VMware users, believe they are a backup, they are not, they are a point in time snapshot, which may help you with updates, but if a VM is running on a snapshot, performance is poor!

They are not understood, and people get into issues with them and LOSE VALUABLE DATA!

SNAPSHOTS are EVIL!
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40546967
Thank you so much. I loved the concept of Snapshots and was using them liberally. I will stop.

I will just start doing a straight COPY of the contents of the VM, as per your suggestion.
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LVL 119
ID: 40546999
The best method, I find, with VMware Workstation, is to use the CLONE option, so before you make any changes or backup, create a CLONE of the VM.

Should you find an issue with the current VM, after updates for example, just delete the current VM, rename the CLONE, and startup again!
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40547081
Good stuff - thanks.

What are your thoughts about storing VM's on a NAS box? The Hypervisor would still be a PC, but the files would be stored on a NAS box.
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LVL 119
ID: 40547242
Technically new question, fine, but be careful of performance, network access is slower than local disk, PC and NAS configuration can also add to latency!
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Author Comment

by:Go-Bruins
ID: 40547246
Ok - thank again.
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