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I'm trying to get ESXi4.0.0 to increase the VMFS partition to match my newly increased RAID 5. I went from ~850GB to 1250GB on the RAID virtual disk, and VMWare is showing the correct amount of space. Yet if I go to hit the "increase" button on the datastore it doesn't list anything available, it's completely blank. Furthermore, when I hit add storage the display is blank there as well.

To test I created another virtual disk for testing on two spare drives and I was able to create a VMFS partion and expand/increase/add it without issue.

The only difference I can see is that my primary virtual disk has multiple partitions like this:

Device: Capacity:

Dell Disk (####) 1.23TB

Primary partitions

  1. DOS 16bit 4MB
  2. DOS 16bit 4MB
  3. VMFS 832GB
  4. Extended 896MB

Logical Partitions

  1. DOS 16bit 250MB
  2. DOS 16bit 250MB
  3. VMWare Diagnostic 110MB
  4. DOS 16bit 286MB

So does it matter that all these other partitions are here? Is that what's interfering with expansion of the VMFS partition?

Some posts suggested connecting directly to the host and not through vCenter, and I'm doing that already.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

When you added the new capacity to your virtual disk, the RAID controller added it onto the end of your "disk". In your situation, the extended partition is at the end of the disk and as such, that's the only partition that has access to the extra capacity.

You have a couple options.

  1. You can create a new partition with the new space and expand your current VMFS using extents.
  2. You can use a tool like the gParted livecd to move your partitions around so that your VMFS partition is at the end of the disk. You have a relatively complex partition layout, and I really have no idea if gParted will let you do what you need to do.
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Thanks for the advice, I've posted to other forums as well and they all say the same thing. Effectively you can't expand a VMFS partition unless it's the last partition in line. Also people will generally create a "system" virtual disk for VMWare, and put the VMFS partition on a separate virtual disk. – Ryan Oct 7 '10 at 22:35

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