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Let me start off by mentioning I am really really new to this whole VMWare ESX/vSphere thing, so apologies if this is a FAQ or asked a million times before using better wording. Also, please correct me if I'm using the wrong terms all over the place.

We just got this brand new VMWare EXS server, and we started importing virtual machines from around the office. Some of them were originally based on VMWare, others are converted from MS Virtual Server.

One of these machines needs a bigger disk, but in the vSphere Client the disk size spinedit is disabled. Disk type is thick. However, for other machines, with the same disk type, the spinedit is enabled and I can happily resize their disks.

So here is the question: why can't I resize this disk in particular?

All machines are freshly converted, so I assume there are no snapshots yet, which I read would stop a resize from happening (again, correct me if I'm wrong).

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3 Answers

What version are the virtual machines after they have been imported onto your server? Are you using ESX 3.5 or vSphere?

If your virtual machines are version 7 then you can resize the .vmdk on the fly. If they are version 4 you will need to shut down the virtual machine before you can resize the .vmdk.

You can determine the virtual machine version by right clicking a virtual machine from the esx/vsphere client and then clicking edit settings. The version is displayed in the top right of the window that opens. You will want to upgrade them all to version 7 if they aren't already. You can do this by right clicking the virtual machine and selecting upgrade. The virtual machine will need to be shutdown for this.

After you have increased the size of the virtual disk .vmdk you will need to resize the ntfs partition. There is a good guide on this whole process here:

http://www.jjclements.co.uk/index.php/2009/09/14/vmware-esx-vsphere-resize-disk

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Also worth checking the block size of the datastore, this will limit .vmdk size.

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You may also want to check that all snapshots have been removed.

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