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I want to copy a VMware Workstation 8 VM to a ESXi 4.1.0 Server and reduce the maximum disk size. My source VM has a size of 1.5 GB, the disk space is NOT preallocated and the maximum size is 100GB.

Source VM WMvare Workstation 8

If I upload the vm with VMware workstation 8, the target vm in ESXi has a hard disk with 100GB preallocted disk space. This cannot be changed with VMWare cvSphere Client 4.0.1

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How can I copy/move the vm and keep disk space NOT preallocated and reduce the maximum disk size to 20GB? I tried to reduce the maximum size on the source vm, but shinking is only reducing the current size of the hard disk.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

From VMware vCenter Converter you can upload a vmware without to preallocate all the disks size. In VMConverter set all the settings you want and when you are in "Options" click on "Edit" for "Data To Copy". You will see the list of disks, change the type from "Flat" to "Thin" for each disk. The only thing is that the maximum size of a disk cannot be changed here.

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In the meantime I managed to shrink the data files, but to lower the maximum size seems not to be possible at all. I want to move the VMs to another ESXi Server with less physical disk space than the current one. If I cannot reduce the maximum size of a single VM, the total maximum size of all VMs will be higher than the physical available disk space. – markus Oct 5 '11 at 13:27
Once I "changed" the disk size of a vm, but is more a trick. You cannot do it from any vmware soft (as i knew) but you can do it from another vm. I think I did something like this: - First, I created a new virtual disk with the desired size with the vmware workstation - I attached the new disk and the old disk (the 100 Gb disk) to a other vm. You will see in the vm 3 disks, the vm disk, the new disk and the old disk - I used the Norton Ghost to clone the old disk into the new created disk - Finally, put the new disk in the directory of the old disk with the same name (rename the old one). – Scott Oct 5 '11 at 14:53

VMware vCenter Converter can do that if I'm not mistaken.

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I tried it with the converter. It also creates a 100 GB Disk on the target VM. – markus Sep 29 '11 at 11:11

I don't know much about the VMWare products (almost nothing really) but here's a generic method that has served me well for many years.

  • Ignore the fact that these are virtual machines.
  • Using whatever partitioning software you like, shrink the source partition to something no larger than your intended destination size.
  • Migrate your machine from source to destination. This could be done with native tools or an imaging package, such as Ghost.
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