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Unable to increase VMFS5 datastore on ESXi 6.0 free hypervisor

Posted on 2016-10-28
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
I am trying to increase the datastore and running in to an error.

We are working with a Dell Poweredge T630 with a PERCH 330 RAID controller.
We have increased the RAID virtual disk from 2TB to 4TB.
I have rescanned and VMware does see the new storage available; see screenshot attached.
I click on "Increase" and get the error:

Call "HostDatastoreSystem.QueryAvailableDisksForVmfs" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.x.x" failed.

192.168.x.x is the IP address of the host. What am I missing here? Thanks in advance.
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Question by:CCtech
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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You have ran into the common problem, it looks like, is your ESXi OS also installed on the same RAID virtual disk ?

and as such, Increasing the VMFS datastore is not supported from the GUI and can give you an error message, as you have seen, and it's because the method in which the VMFS datastore is expanded, by creating a new partition, but a new partition cannot be created, because 4 partitions already exist.

So you will need to use partUtil

Using the partedUtil command line utility on ESXi and ESX (1036609)

Growing a local datastore from the command line in vSphere ESXi (2002461)

Using partUtil is complicated and it may be quicker and easier to re-install ESXi to an SD card/USB flash drive, and backup and restore your VMs.

This is one of the many recommendations to install ESXi on a USB flash drive or SD card. So you can then use the entire virtual disk, as a datastore.
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by:CCtech
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Thanks Andrew,

The  server does have SD cards and ESXi does appear to be installed on them.

I have found the partition table is MSDOS and not GPT. Very strange, I have not run in to this on any other host in the past. The server was shipped from Dell with ESXi installed, I'm wondering at what point MSDOS is used, as GPT is the default:

https://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-60/index.jsp#com.vmware.vsphere.storage.doc/GUID-5E7B4EBC-2147-42F9-...

I see another person with the same issue on a Dell server with factory shipped MSDOS partition format, who tried to expand via CLI and could not:

https://communities.vmware.com/thread/476720?start=0&tstart=0

Very strange. VMware KB for upgrading VMFS3 to VMFS5 shows the partition format will change to GPT automatically once datastore is expanded past 2TB, however this was obviously VMFS5 from scratch. If ESXi can automatically convert to GPT after an upgrade from VMFS3 to VMFS5, one would think ESXi has the capability to do so even if you have not onverted from VMFS3 to VMFS5, right?

Or, is the only option blow away the datastore; create new datastore using all available space, restore VMs?

On a side note, the storage shows 1.63TB, not 2 so still strange I cannot increase to at least 2TB...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
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Looking at that partition, it would suggest ESXi is installed on the disks. (or was).

As is, either use console and partUtil, or reformat.

Or, is the only option blow away the datastore; create new datastore using all available space, restore VMs?

You need to erase the entire virtual disk, not just the datastore.
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by:CCtech
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Thanks Andrew we will proceed with the rebuild and restore.
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