howto resize a disk in Vmware ESX

update : this is an outdated article.  You really should consider upgrading to the latest versions of vsphere with new features such as storage vmotion, thin provisioning, and soon storage drs.

There are multiple ways to resize or enlarge a disk in Vmware ESX.

One way would be by using the vmware converter.  Easy!  This enlarges your disk both on the ESX as on Windows.

If you’re using ESX 3.5, you can resize the disk using the VI client, while the VM is online!  After this, you still have to resize the disk in Windows.  (or *nix.)

If you’re using a previous version of ESX, you can resize the disk with this command.

  • vmkfstools –X 20000M /vmfs/volumes/volumename/machinename/xxx.vmdk
    where 20000M is the new size, not the amount you’re adding!

After this you still have to resize the volume by using a disk management / partition utility.  You could also boot with Bartpe and use diskpart, or add the disk to another VM, and run diskpart from there.

  • diskpart
  • list volume
  • select volume X (x being the volume)
  • extend

However you cannot resize the active boot volume.  In this case, boot with a BartPE cd of add the disk to another machine).

Another way is to resize the disk with vmkfstools, as described above, and then resize the disk in windows using extpart (tool from dell).  works on VM’s http://ftp.dell.com/app/ExtPart.exe

Another solution, would be to resize the disk with vmkfstools, and then resize the disk with Gparted.  You can download a bootcd here : http://gparted.sourceforge.net/

Doesn’t matter how you do it, just always take a good backup!!!!

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4 responses to “howto resize a disk in Vmware ESX

  1. In vSphere apparently you can reize disks on the fly now! There is another good explanation with pictures here:

    http://www.jjclements.co.uk/index.php/2009/09/14/vmware-esx-vsphere-resize-disk

  2. The size flag can be set in either M (mb) or G (GB).

    eg. To resize a VMDK to 150GB.

    vmkfstools –X 150G /vmfs/volumes/volumename/machinename/xxx.vmdk

  3. i recommened this one
    http://www.filesonic.com/file/716134321/AcronisDiskDirector10.rar
    i tried it and successfully changed the disk c from 30GB in to 60 GB. lol

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