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Mandeep Singh Bahra

HowTo: Expand a VMware Virtual Disk

Recently, I ran into a situation where the existing disk allocated to a Windows XP virtual machine ran out of space. I had allocated 40GB thin provisioned disk to the virtual machine. But over the time, with additional softwares and data, it was all consumed.

To expand the size of .vmdk, we have primarily two options:

  • Use the expand option available in VMware Workstation
  • Use the VMware vCenter Converter Standalone

Option 1: Using Expand option in VMware Workstaion

If you are running a Type – 2 hypervisor, such as VMware Workstation or Fusion, follow the following steps. I have included the screenshots for reference. Make sure the virtual machine is powered off and all the snapshots have been removed. It is highly recommended to backup the virtual machine before proceeding to the following steps.

1. Click on the “Edit virtual machine settings”

2. Under the Hardware tab, click on Hard Disk. On the right hand side column, you will see the “Utilities” button.

3. From the Utilities dropdown menu, select the “Expand” option

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4. Specify the new size of the virtual disk in the highlighted field below:

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5. Click on Expand button to complete this process. Once done you will see the new size of your virtual disk. Now power on the virtual machine and you should see the new disk size here as well.

Option 2: Using VMware vCenter Convertor

It might be possible that you may want to deploy the existing Type 2 Hypervisor virtual machine on a Type 1 Hypervisor such as VMware  ESX. It is always a good idea to foresee what a virtual machine will be used for and then adjust all the parameters based upon your analysis. One of them may be the disk space requirements. Though you can expand the size of the virtual disk on the fly, provided you have installed the latest VMware Tools on the virtual machine, it is a best practice to do the analysis before provisioning.

The first step will be to convert the .vmx to .ovf for you to deploy it on ESX. I will discuss this is another post. Below are the steps to expand the size of the existing virtual disk.

1. On the VMware vCenter Converter, click on “Convert Machine”

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2. Select the source type and source .vmx file for the virtual machine in the highlighted field.

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3. Select the destination type i.e VMware Workstation or ESX, the VMware product used for the virtual machine and the destination path for saving the virtual machine. Put all this information in the highlighted fields.

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4. Now we have to edit the parameters we need to change. You will be shown the current settings and an “Edit” button next to them to change the settings. Click on the Edit -> Data to Copy. Select Volumes to Copy option.

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5. Select the volume for which you want to change the size. Under the Destination Size column, select “<Type size in GB>” option. Specify the new size for the volume here. You can use this option to shrink the volume size also.

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6. Click Next and you will see the summary dialog box. Under Destination Customizations, you will now see the Reconfigure virtual machine is set to Yes. Click Finish and the convertor will convert the virtual machine to the new specifications listed by you during the process.

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