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I am trying to use gparted to make my ntfs system/boot partition larger. I expanded the disk in ESX, providing an extra 60 GB or so of free space. I confirmed that this free space is available in gparted:

gparted main screen

unallocated space

However, when I try to go to "Move/Resize" the boot partition, there is no unallocated space for me to allocate.

no unallocated space

It will let me resize the "extended" (non-boot) partition, which makes me think the issue is that the partitions are not contiguous.

If it's not obvious, I am no expert in partitioning/storage so any help is appreciated.

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Since this is a virtual machine you may find it easier to simply create a completely new drive and try cloning your boot partition to a separate virtual drive. IMO in VMs you should not be creating multiple partitions in a single virtual drive, it is just reduces flexibility. BTW you did make sure you had a good verified backup before you fired up gparted right? – Zoredache Jul 30 '12 at 16:29
@Zoredache yes I am getting that now... no need for any type of partitioning in VMWare because you can just create new virtual disks... and yes, I made a backup first :-) – tacos_tacos_tacos Jul 30 '12 at 18:10
Just curious - has anyone successfully used gparted on vm? I tried this once, and it just went to 100% utilization and hung. – Greg Askew Jul 30 '12 at 22:23
up vote 3 down vote accepted

First you need to move /dev/sda3 to the right, so that the unallocated space is before it instead of after it. Then you should be able to resize /dev/sda2.

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This is what has to be done because partitions in fact need to be contiguous. As in the layout sda3/sda5 are directly trailing sda2, there is no space for sda2 to extend to. – the-wabbit Jul 30 '12 at 22:56
THANK YOU! It's like the nine squares and eight puzzle pieces... but easier? – tacos_tacos_tacos Jul 31 '12 at 20:24

to be more specific read the following

also read the hotfix info to see if it applies.

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He did shut it down and extend it. Diskpart within the OS will not extend a boot volume. Particularly in a layout like this. – Zoredache Jul 30 '12 at 22:40
shut down vm, after resizing within vsphere all you need to do is mount the vmdk within another w2k3 virtual then do the diskpart, unattach then attach back to the original vm. – tony roth Jul 31 '12 at 2:01
Hi Tony, I think your suggestion (in the comment above) should work, but I went with the other answer – tacos_tacos_tacos Jul 31 '12 at 20:25

We had this grief too. In the end we found it easier to make a new virtual machine with a sufficiently large boot disk to allow for future growth. And all of our machines are cloned off this and get a second disk.

C: is reserved for OS and essential programs. D: is where all user data goes and large programs (in our case Oracle).

Hot expansion of D: is very easy (even with old software like ESX 3.5 and W2K3).

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