Extending a virtual disk only extends a virtual machine's disk it will not automatically increase the size of the file system (such as NTFS for Windows and ext3 for Linux) within the guest. For more information on how to extend the virtual disk, see the documentationfor your VMware product.
This article describes increasing the size of a disk partition. The virtual disk may have unallocated space that you now want to use. You may also have increased the size of a virtual machine's virtual disk but are unable to see the new space from the virtual machine's operating system.
While you can expand the size of the VMDK disk while the virtual machine is online you will need to reboot the guest OS in the virtual machine so that the guest OS is aware of the change in size of the VMDK disk.
You also need to ensure that your virtual machine is not running on snapshots as it will prevent the VMDK being extended.
Depending on the guest OS in the virtual machine there are a number of methods of increasing the file system within the virtual machine.
If the partition you are extending in the virtual machine contains the Windows Operating System then you may need to use a 3rd party tool (a number of 3rd party tools are mentioned below) to extend the partition.
If you have another Windows virtual machine with the same version of the Operating System you could temporarily attach the Operating System VMDK to this virtual machine (known as a helper VM) and extend the file system on the VMDK from this virtual using the Windows DiskPart tool.
If the VMDK disk you need to extend does not contain the Operating System disk then you can use DiskPart in the original virtual machine without the need for a helper VM.
For more/related information on extending a VMDK disk using DiskPart, see Extending partitions in Windows using DiskPart (1007266).
Note: Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 can expand the volumes from the Disk Manager in Computer Management. Right-click on volume and click Extend Volume. For more information, see Microsoft's documentation.
If you encounter a situation where you add more storage to an existing VM's disk volume, and DISKPART allows you to (apparently) successfully extend the volume, and yet from Windows Explorer, the disk still shows the original size, check to ensure that the volume you are trying to extend does not contain the page file. For more information, see the restrictions on volume extending in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 325590, specifically:
"You cannot extend the partition if the system page file is located on the partition. Move the page file to a partition that you do not want to extend."
If you are running a file system other then ext3 you may need to research an alternative way of accomplishing this.
Reiser has its own tool for accomplishing this, GParted Live CD is another popular tool for this.
|7tools Partition Manager||http://www.7tools.com/pm/index.htm|
|EASEUS Partition Manager||http://www.partition-tool.com|
|Paragon Partition Manager||http://www.partition-manager.com|
|Ranish Partition Manager||http://www.ranish.com/part|
|System Rescue CD||http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page|
|Windows DiskPart utility||If you are using the Windows DiskPart utility, it can only extend (expand) data volumes. If you use the DiskPart utility to extend a system or boot volume, you may get an error. For more information about extending partitions with the DiskPart utility, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 325590.|
The preceding links were valid as of June 19, 2009. If you find the links to be broken, provide feedback on the article and a VMware employee will update the article as necessary.
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Based on VMware KB 1004071