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Can't extend partition in Windows 7 VM

sglee
sglee asked
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DiskMgmt1DiskMgmt2
I have a Windows 7 computer as a VM in ESX 5.5 Host Machine.
Originally I allocated 2TB, but it is running out of space, so I increased the hard drive size from 2TB to 2.5TB in Edit Settings in VShpere Client. When I run DiskMgmt.msc, I can see the extra 500GB of space, but I see "Extend Volume" option recessed from C drive.
So I thought well then I will just create another Volume and assign the drive letter "E:", but I can't even create a new volume.
Is there a reason why I can't extend the volume of C drive to make it 2.5GB volume?
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Commented:
Read the MORE INFORMATION section of the following link.  This worked for me a few weeks back.  Good luck!

http://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/832316
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator
Commented:
when you built it, it was MBR which is supported to 2tb
beyond 2tb, the drive must be GPT.  anything beyond 2tb on an MBR disk is not usable

the link above does not apply to you because that is for XP/2003 and is irrelevant here

you will need to either reinstall windows on GPT or create a new virtual disk

Author

Commented:
@Seth,
"when you built it, it was MBR which is supported to 2tb
 beyond 2tb, the drive must be GPT.  anything beyond 2tb on an MBR disk is not usable" ---> Now I understand.

"you will need to either reinstall windows on GPT or create a new virtual disk " --->
(1) Is there any adjustment that I can make in VM Edit Settings to make it recognize 2.5TB other than reinstalling Windows 7 from the scratch?
(2) If I want to keep Windows 7 as it is (without creating one from scratch with GPT),
how can I allocate 500GB as a separate partition and assign the driver letter "E"?
(3) If I want to recreate Windows 7 from the scratch with GPT option, how do I do that as I create a new virtual machine?
Scott TownsendIT Director
Commented:
Seth is correct, it's the MBR limit you are running into.

You should be able to use the vCenter converter to make a copy of your VM to a new VMDK that is larger.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
What you need to do is the following:-

Create a new 2.5TB virtual disk in vSphere 5.5, and then manually transfer the data from 2TB to 2.5TB, and then destroy the original.

otherwise use a V2V using VMware Converter.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems Administrator
Commented:
Is there any adjustment that I can make in VM Edit Settings to make it recognize 2.5TB other than reinstalling Windows 7 from the scratch?

as mentioned, vmware converter (only 5.1 and above supports GPT) is an option though i personally haven't converted an MBR to GPT this way

If I want to keep Windows 7 as it is (without creating one from scratch with GPT), how can I allocate 500GB as a separate partition and assign the driver letter "E"?

create a new virtual disk of 500gb; it will appear in disk management.  if it doesn't automatically, rescan disks.  then you can partition and format as E (will appear as disk 1)

If I want to recreate Windows 7 from the scratch with GPT option, how do I do that as I create a new virtual machine?

you will need to create the virtual machine as UEFI instead of BIOS; UEFI is required for GPT - assuming it is hardware version 8
Haydor KhanSystem Analyst
Commented:
If it is a VM, i recommend adding another virtual disk.

Within the Windows 7 VM, allocate the disk as a drive. Navigate to "backup and restore".

Create a system image backup.

Shutdown the VM, remove all disk drives (do not delete).

Create a new disk drive over 2tb (has to be over 2tb) and install a fresh windows 7 (do not worry about licensing just yet).

It will now install windows as a GPT setup provided you are indeed on ESXi 5.5.

Once you are in windows, shut down the vm, re-add the virtual hard disk used to backup the system image.

Follow the following steps to restore windows system image under "advanced boot options" below.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-gb/windows/restore-computer-from-system-image-backup#1TC=windows-7 

Your Windows will restore on a GPT setup exactly how it was, licensed and all your software too including VM tools.

Then, when all is working fine, delete the virtual disk that contained your previous OS.