Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

What is the best way to minimize the HD space of VMware image when multiple snapshots are used. After taking the first snapshot VMware doesn't allow to shrink the virtual HD anymore.

I'm using the VMware Workstation 6.5 on Windows Vista.

share|improve this question
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you take your snapshot when the VM is in the powered off state, the snapshots are only a few hundred KB. Unless you have a particular need for a snapshot of a running system, i.e., you have something in memory you want to preserve, take snapshots of only powered-off VMs. Snapshots of running VMs require as much disk space as your guest system's RAM (anywhere from a few hundred megabytes to gigabytes depending on how you sized your VM's RAM).

share|improve this answer
that I did not know - thanks :) – warren Sep 25 '09 at 12:08

About the only think you can do is simply remove the snapshot.

For the snapshot to be useful it must save the state of the hard disk exactly as it was when you took the snapshot. If don't need it, you can mark a virtual hard disk as exempt from snapshots.

If you need to minimize space, it might be easier to simply stop the VM and actually backup and compress the VM and store it somewhere else.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.