VhdResizer: Another Tool for your Virtual Toolbox
With VhdResizer, resizing virtual hard disk files is a piece of cake.
The folks at VMToolkit.com
have recently added another invaluable tool to their repertoire. With
the free VhdResizer
administrators can solve two of the most common issues involving the management
of Microsoft Virtual Server or Virtual PC virtual hard disk (VHD) files:
- Increasing the size of a virtual hard disk
- Converting a virtual hard disk from one that dynamically expands to
one that has a fixed size, or vice versa
Suppose you're running a Windows Server 2003 VM on a 4GB virtual hard
disk and the disk has run out of free space. With VhdResizer, you can
resize the virtual disk to a larger value (16 GB, for example). Another
handy use for this tool is in converting a fixed-size virtual hard disk
to a dynamically expanding virtual hard disk. This is useful when you
need to reduce the size of a virtual hard disk file, which is especially
helpful when you plan to store a VM on a DVD or frequently copy it over
To use VhdResizer, you need to download it from VMToolkit.com. Once downloaded
and unzipped, just run VhdResize.exe. When the tool opens, you will need
to click Open, and then browse to and select the VHD file that yo want
resized. Next, you need to specify the name of the resized VHD file in
the Destination VHD field, and then indicate the new virtual hard disk
size with the New Size slider.
When ready to resize the disk, click the Resize button.
|Figure 1. VhdResizer is simple and effective
If you are increasing the size of a virtual hard disk, the new disk space
will appear in Disk Management as unpartitioned space on the hard disk.
Note that you will need either to create a new VM and select to use the
newly resized virtual hard disk, or to copy the resized virtual hard disk
back to the source disk location and rename the new disk to the name of
the original source disk. Before copying the resized disk back, its
recommended that you rename the original source disk (such as disk1.vhd.old)
prior to copying the new virtual disk. This way if a problem occurs during
conversion, you'll still have the original disk.
Once the VM boots with the new virtual hard disk, you can then partition
and use the space as a new logical drive or mount point. If you have to
expand a single logical drive to use the new unpartitioned space, then
you can use the diskpart command-line tool, third-party imaging tools
or a third-party disk partitioning tool. Those tools are further discussed
in my article, "Virtual
Disk Dead End," which covers VMware .vmdk virtual disk resizing.
Chris Wolf is VMware's CTO, Global Field and Industry.