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Shrink vmdk without additional storage space ESXi5.1

CWilbourne asked
Last Modified: 2018-05-24
Hi Guys,
We have a VM running under ESXi5.1 with a second vmdk (so NOT the system disk) which has been defined way too large.
As we now need some of this "wasted" space back, I followed the excellent instructions in the following article:


All went well until I realised that the article says that we need to migrate/copy the VM to another datastore.. Hmm.. I only have 1 datastore and it's too full to allow a copy of this entire VM..

Is it necessary to copy the entire machine? Could I just copy the 1 vmdk?
Secondly, does it really need to be a separate datastore, or just another directory?
Do we actually need to copy/migrate it at all? (Someone in the comments of the other thread suggested that a simple reboot of the machine reduced the reported disk capacity after making the necessary edits).

Thanks in advance.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Expert of the Year 2017

Use a V2V using Converter
System Engineer
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Many thanks for your replies Guys..

@Andrew: neither VCenter nor VMWare Converter are available :(

@Mr Tortur: that sounds like a good plan, thanks.

Maybe I worded my question a little badly - it is more a question whether a move/copy of the entire VM was necessary, whether I could just copy the vmdk (and then copy it back) or if indeed a copy/move is at all necessary :)

Mr Tortu(r)eSystem Engineer

Closing, because no updates lately (2 weeks) and I think the question has been answered.

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