So, this is a strange one to me, but for reasons beyond my control, we have a vCenter server running on a virtualized Windows guest. This vCenter server is also the only vCenter server for the site (vSphere datacenter) it is at, and runs on the same ESXi hosts it manages.

In doing an upgrade to the latest ESXi 5.5 issue, to resolve the e1000 vNIC + Windows PSOD on 5.x.0.0 ESXi versions, I've had to upgrade the vCenter server at this site. It went horribly because the only disk on the server is undersized, so I had to compress it, which seems to have completely mucked up the install because it compressed the VMware ..\Infrastructure\... folders under Program Files and Program Files (x86), which vCenter really does not like - the folder compression/decompression dance I had to do to free up enough space for installation essentially destroyed the vCenter SSO service for both sites, and the vCenter Server service at this site is unusable.

Given that I now have to redo the install on this server, I was hoping to increase the size of the disk drive, which I realized is not an available option to me, because this virtualized vCenter server has to be powered on, and used by itself to run... itself (vCenter).

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So, does anyone know of a way to increase the disk size of this ESXi host, while it's powered on? (Because it has to be powered on, as it is also the vCenter server.)

Bonus points and admiration if anyone knows how to remove that irritating floppy disk device as well.

  • The floppy disk need to have the VM powered off for removal, which can be down by powering off the guest and editing its settings from a direct connection to the host that the guest resides on. And I knew that too. Duh. Not my best day. – HopelessN00b Jun 19 '14 at 12:55

Delete any outstanding snapshots of the vCenter VM, then you should be able to resize the disk while the VM is running.

  • +1 - the key here is that you probably can't resize the disk because there are snapshots on it. Once you have resized the disk in VIC, you can usually use diskpart from within the Win VM. Usually diskpart ⏎ list vol ⏎ select vol 1 ⏎ expand. – jimbobmcgee Jun 19 '14 at 12:30

You can do this by logging into the host that vCenter is running on directly.

  1. Log into the host directly with the standalone console
  2. Shut down the vCenter VM
  3. Make changes (including deleting the floppy drive)
  4. Boot VM
  5. Log into VM and expand the disk
  6. Profit
  • Try doing this with the newest VM generation where you need the web client to make changes... argh! – MichelZ Jun 19 '14 at 6:07
  • @MichelZ - I had not thought of that... maybe keep the vSphere machine the earlier hardware version... – Mark Henderson Jun 19 '14 at 6:12
  • Yes, I hope this is possible for some time and they don't force an update in the future. I definitely keep it that way – MichelZ Jun 19 '14 at 6:13
  • Oh, lovely. More good news. This has been the worst Tuesday ever. – HopelessN00b Jun 19 '14 at 10:16
  • @MichelZ you do not need the web client to make changes. The classic vSphere GUI client works just as fine for simple tasks. – the-wabbit Jun 20 '14 at 11:01

One option might be to create a second disk and junction C:\Program Files\VMware to D:\VMware\x64 and C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware to D:\VMware\x86, using mklink (Vista/2008+).

You'll need to shut down all the apps/services that are using those folders first, then copy the contents of the VMware folders to the new D:, then make the junctions, then start the apps again.

xcopy /e /i /h /f /k /x /v "C:\Program Files\VMware" D:\VMware\x64
xcopy /e /i /h /f /k /x /v "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware" D:\VMware\x86
mklink /j "C:\Program Files\VMware" D:\VMware\x64
mklink /j "C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware" D:\VMware\x64

I do this fairly regularly on my throwaway VMs, so I can keep the C: template disk down to a small size on my lab kit, but I usually make the junctions before I install the app, though.

I've also not tried it with a VMware client install, so YMMV.

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