Expand A Virtual Hard Disk

I recently created a new virtual server for development purposes, and made the newbie mistake of leaving the maximum hard drive size set to 16GB. Even though I set it up to be a dynamically expanding hard disk, it was only after I installed Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, CRM, SharePoint, Office, Visual Studio and 25 other tools, that I realized I was about to run out of space on my system drive. As a Microsoft fan, I use Virtual PC 2007, which in this case meant that my toolset was a little limited in managing my VPC images.

After doing a bit of searching, I came across numerous posts that had a lot of cumbersome ways to expand the system partition on a virtual machine. Laziness being the mother of invention, I was determined to find a simpler way. And I am glad to report that not only did I find an easy way, but it was also totally free. Here's what I did:

1) Download and install VMWare's VCenter Converter.

2) Convert my VHD to a VMWare hard drive. VMWare Converter lets you specify a new size for the new hard drive. I set it to 40GB. The conversion took about 15 minutes, and the result was a 14GB vmdk hard drive file. (No need to boot it up in VMWare).

3) Downloaded and install the VMDK2VHD utility - also free - from http://vmtoolkit.com/files/folders/converters/entry8.aspx.

4) Launched the VMDK2VHD and pointed it at the file I had just created with VM's Converter.

About 40 minutes later I had a new VHD file. I pointed my original VMC file to use this new VHD file, started it up, kept my fingers crossed, and...voila! I now have a bunch of free space on my image!


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