Expanding the space on the C driver of a 2008R2 server on ESXi

Posted on 2015-02-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2015-03-12
Is this possible?   I know it is with Zen but when I add space to the vmdk file for the C drive on a windows 2008R2 machine and try to expand it's grayed out.
Question by:wannabecraig
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LVL 126
ID: 40607689
Yes, it's very possible.

Please note if you have a snapshot or IDE disks, you cannot expand the virtual disk, and it will be grayed out, and you will need to resolve that issue.

Do you have a snapshot - check my EE Article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

Once you have Extended the virtual disk, you will also need to alter the OS partition inside the VM, using Disk Management, and Extend Volume,

see my EE Article

HOW TO:  Resize a VMware (VMDK) Virtual Disk

Author Comment

ID: 40607833

I've extended the Volume in VMware, they dives are in  SAN, they're SAS, not IDE.
The 'Disk 0' has no 30GB of unallocated space.
The 'extend volume' is still grayed out.

Author Comment

ID: 40607838
LVL 126

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40607850
Okay, I see you already have extended the virtual disk, and hence the unallocated space.

The reason you cannot use EXTEND volume, is because there is NO SPACE, to extend the volume into, because it needs to be contiguous, e.g. next to the C: volume.

Just as an aside, using Partitions in VMs, is old school, because you get into issue like this....

So options:-

1. Add a new virtual disk (VMDK) to the VM, move the data from D: to this new disk, call it O:, once you have removed all the data from D:, delete the partition, and re-assign drive letter O: to D:.

1. Then you will be able to Extend C:.

OR, you will need to use Third Party tools, as per my EE Article, Gparted Util, and MOVE the D: partition down the disk (to the unallocated area), this will shift the unallocated area to next to C:, and then Expand C:, using  Gparted Util or Disk Management.
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 40607855
You need the free space to be right behind C:, and not D: (it must be between C:\ and D:\).

You will need to boot the VM from a 3rd party tool like GParted, then first move D:\ to the end of the disk, and after that you can extend your System Partition using either GParted or Windows Diskmanagement.


But your disk setup isn't the best way to handle things when in a VM. Normally you don't partition a virtual Disk into system and data partitions (or similar. You rather use 1 Virtual Disk for your OS, another for the Data and so on. It makes management much easier. So rather than moving partitions around like I mentioned above, it would make sense to create a new Virtual Disk and copy your Data partition to that. Then delete the data partition and use your complete first Virtual disk just for your OS.

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