I am using ESXi 4.0, I have a few VM's on the machine. I have just copied teh .vmx and .vmdk to create a new copy of the VM. They are normally 100GB but I want to create a few of these that are 50GB. Is there a way of resizing the copied VM or do I need to create a new one and go through the whole install process?

I tried just going into the edit settings section when the VM was off and changing it but it just reverts back to 100GB.



You can use the VMWare Converter to clone the machine, but change the size of the virtual disk in the process. When configuring the Source Data, indicate that you want to "Select volumes and resize to save or add space". You will then be able to specify the size of the destination drive in the "New Disk Space" column below. If you're simply trying to resize rather than clone and resize at this point, you can then remove the original once you verify the converted version works.

  • this method is actually the method recommended by VMware technicians – Charles Oct 11 '09 at 15:46

You can expand virtual hard disks, but you can't shrink them natively in ESX(i).

One popular strategy is to attach a second smaller virtual HD to the VM, run a cloning tool (Ghost, Acronis...) in the VM to clone the first disk to the second one and then replace the first disk with it.


An other solution constist to : - stop the VM - Expand the disk size in the VM settings - boot the VM with a Gparted live CD - move and resize partition - and reboot the VM from the hard disk

  • This is how I have resized all VMs. No problem so far. The VMs were on ESX 3.5, ESX 4.0, ESXi 4.0 – Mircea Vutcovici Sep 29 '10 at 17:25

The method discussed by joe is actually the recommended method by VMWare, however vizioncore makes a product which will actually do a disk shrink as well as other things. This might be something you would want to consider as it is a very nice product with quite a few features.

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