How to shrink space on a Virtual Machine's hard drive?

Hello:

We are using VMware 5.5 update 2.  We have 3 ESXi hosts that have local storage.  There are a couple of Virtual servers that have hard drives that are too large and I would rather allocate the space elsewhere.

My questions are:

1.  How can I take for example, the E: Drive (data drive) of a VM that is 160 GB large and shrink it to 110 GB large?

2.  Is it the same procedure as in 'extending volume' except that i must 'Shrink volume'.
        a.  If no, then how may I shrink the volume?

Please see the attached word document explaining how I have added more space(extended the volume) to some drives using the VMware Web Interface.  I do not have a test VM to try it on; hence, I wanted to ask.

I am working with Windows 2008 R2 servers.
Add-space-to-VM-VII.docx
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Simple, you use "VMware Converter", and perform a V2V, I've written an EE Article here, Step by Step Tutorial, with screenshots....

Part 13: HOW TO: Shrink or Reduce a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) using VMware vCenter Converter Standalone v5.5.2

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 6.0

6.0 is the latest download, download and use this, and follow my EE article, as 5.5.2... it's just the latest version but same procedure.

I've written extensively about "VMware Converter".
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
to shrink you use the operating system to shrink the drive first then you change the drive size in esxi.. simply the reverse order of what you do in your document.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
OK,

I am glad that I asked because it appears that one cannot shrink the volume the same was as one may extend the volume.  Correct me, if I am wrong; but, if I understand your instructions correctly one must:

1.  Download the VMware converter tool from: https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/details?downloadGroup=CONV553_OSS&productId=370
       a.  Then install that tool on the very same VM that you want to chage.

2.  Be sure that you know the local administrator username/password of that VM.
        a.  Be sure to know the Virtual Machine version number (ie 7 or 8 or 9).

3.  Select the 'source' and 'destination' to be the same VM.
      a.  Source = present Vm that you are on.
      b.  Destination = VCenter Server.

4.  Then in the inventory screen (of the wizards) specify that name of the VM that you would llike to change the drive space of.
      a.  Then, when ready click the 'Next' button.

5.  Then, please click on 'Edit' button located to the right of "Data to copy" option.
      a.  Then, click on the drop down box, next to the C: drive option.
      b.  Then, select "Specify a size in GB or MB".
      c.  Then, type in the size of the virtual disk you require.
      d.  Then, click on the "Next" button to continue.

6.  Then review the summary, and Click on the "Finish" button.

If the above is correct, please let me know.  Also let me know if the VM can be powered on and used in production during these changes.
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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
One person says I must use the converter tool another person says that I can use my document.

David Johnson can you be a little bit more specific in your instructions?  Step1 and step 2?

Will I need to download and use the converter tool?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@ve3ofa, David I'm afraid there is no reduce/shrink option in VMware vSphere, ESXi! The ONLY supported method is a V2V using VMware Converter!

See my EE Article, it shows how to do it.....in my first post, did you look at it, and understand it   ????

There is no method of reducing the size of the virtual disk in VMware ESXi or VMware vCenter server, only increase is possible!

Will I need to download and use the converter tool?

YES, YES, YES, YES, SEE MY EE ARTICLE!

A more advanced option is here...I've also written an EE Article....

HOW TO: Shrink a VMware Virtual Machine Disk (VMDK) in 15 minutes
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Andrew Hankock,

Were the 6 steps that I listed above correct?  Did I understand your article and instructions correctly ?
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
And i though Vmware ESXI was the standard that hyper-v was striving for..  I'm pretty sure that vmware workstation allows expanding/contracting drives.. mea culpa
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
1. Download version 6.0. Your link is to an older version.

2. You would have to know the Local Administrator account, to install any software on the VM!

Virtual Machine version number is irrelevant, however I would always recommend converting to 8.0.

Please follow the steps in my EE Article, it shows step by step how to do this.

The machine can be used, but you may want to turn it off, if changes are being made, otherwise they will be lost.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@ve3ofa no-can-do in VMware Workstation, Player, or ANY hypervisor! Not a shrink or reduce VMDK, or virtual disk!
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Andrew Hancock,

I am note really sure if I understand your instructions on your Web Article.   Specifically regarding what to put down as the source and destination Virtual Machines.  That is why I wanted to double check with you.


1.  Download the VMware converter tool version 6.0.
       a.  Then install that tool on the very same VM that you want to change.

2.  Be sure that you know the local administrator username/password of that VM.

3.  Does the VM need to be powered down?
        a. How will I trigger the Conversion tool, if it is installed on the same VM?
           
4.  Select the 'source' and 'destination'.
      a.  Source = present VM that you are on.
      b.  Destination = VCenter Server.

4.  Then, in the inventory screen specify the name of the Virtual Machine that you would like to change the drive space of.
      a.  Then click the 'Next' button.

5.  Then, please click on 'Edit' button right of "Data to copy" section.
      a.  Click on the drop down box, next to the C: .
      b.  You can select Specify a size in GB or MB.
      c.  Then, type in the size of the virtual disk you require.
      d.  Then, click on the "Next" button to continue.

6.  Then, review the summary, and click on the "Finish" button.
      a.  Then review the results in Windows explorer, on that Virtual Machine.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
The Source VM is the virtual machine with the disk you need to shrink.

The Destination is your vCenter Server.

Have you ever used VMware Converter ?

Simpler method, Add a new disk of the size you need to the VM, copy all the data to the new disk, remove and delete the old disk.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
Hello Andre Hancock,

No I have never used VM Converter.  If I use this process on an Exchange Server or an Active Directory Server I want to make sure that the process is safe.

Are my steps 7 correct?  Because they sound like they are. Of course you will never know until you actually do it.  Thank you for your time and direction thus far.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Your steps are NOT CORRECT.

1. Install Converter on a computer with a Windows OS, any computer will do....

Okay, lets rewind a bit here...

for servers, such as ....

 Exchange Server or an Active Directory Server

you will NEED to POWER OFF the servers, and complete the conversions whilst they are OFF.

So the Source and Destination are both vCenter Server, when select the VM to convert....

and then follow from Step 4 in my EE Article, where you change the size of the disk.

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PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
OK,  I am looking at your article:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/14299/HOW-TO-Shrink-or-Reduce-a-VMware-Virtual-Machine-Disk-VMDK-using-VMware-vCenter-Converter-Standalone-v5-5-2.html

Is there a differen one that I should look at?


So the pre-requasites of such a shrink volume project are:

- Have a full backup of the VM that you would like to change.
- know the local administrator password of the VM that you want to change.

1.  If I were to shrink the drive space of an Exchange Server or Active Directory Server, then it should be turned off before any changes are made.

2.  Download the VMware converter tool version 6.0.
       a.  Then install that tool on any Domain computer.

3.  Open the VM Converter software and click on the 'Convert machine' button from the toolbar.

4.  If you are powering off the VM's then the 'source' and 'destination' should be selected as.
      a.  Type - powered on machines.
      b.  Source = VCenter Server.
      c.  Destination =  VCenter Server.
      d.  I should use credentials that have administrative privileges.
      e.  Then click on the 'Next' button.
     
5.  Then, in the inventory screen specify the name of the Virtual Machine that you would like to change the drive space of.
      a.  Then click the 'Next' button.

6.  Then, please click on 'Edit' button right of "Data to copy" section.
      a.  Click on the drop down box, next to the C: .
      b.  You can select Specify a size in GB or MB.
      c.  Then, type in the size of the virtual disk you require.
      d.  Then, click on the "Next" button to continue.

6.  Then, review the summary, and click on the "Finish" button.
      a.  Then review the results in Windows explorer, on that Virtual Machine.
PkafkasNetwork EngineerAuthor Commented:
I can only assume that my notes are correct.  I will go over the notes with a consultant when I do this the 1st time anyway.  Thanks,
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