Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Virtual Disk Too Small

I was working with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 product. After several hours of working with my virtual machine I ran out of disk. After some research I discovered when creating a new image, much like VMWare, during the setup it gives you the choice for a fixed disk or a dynamic disk. Unfortunately unlike VMWare, the size you pick for a dynamic disk is the size that the disk will grow to, not start with.

What to do? Should I throw away the hours of work I had into the VM or try to figure out how to grow the disk? Microsoft does not provide functionality to grow the disks once they are made.

I googled and found the following utility, VHD Resizer. It seems that it would do exactly what I needed to do. I have another virtual machine that I install random software on and will be using it for this effort. I went to install VHD Resize and it requires the .NET 2.0 framework, which I did not have in the VM and had to install that first. With .NET installed VHD has fired up to a very simple gui interface. Pick the drive you want to change, pick the destination you want to save it it, and pick its new size. VHD also gives you the ability to change the drive from dynamic and fixed and vice versa. I have selected a to make a new 20GB dynamic disk.

45 minutes later VHD Resizer has finished. I have booted the new system with the new disk and it is the same size! I quick scan of the forums show that a lot of people have this issue, but no clear directions on how to solve. I googled again and found this article. It mentions that you have to mount the disk as a secondary disk on another VM and use a program called diskpart to extend the partition. The article does not contain directions, and diskpart help is not as good as it can be. At a high level you need to select the disk, and the volume using the select command of diskpart. The list command can be use to figure out the names of your disk and volume. Once you have selected the correct items use the extend command to extend it. My disks is now the full size I gave it.

Now detach the disk as the secondary so that you can boot it is a primary disk back under your original VM. When I booted mine I got a windows hardware update which said I had to reboot. After the reboot I have the VM up and running with a bigger disk!

The whole process took me 2 hours,which was less much work than rebuilding the VM with a bigger disk. Kudos to VHD Resizer!

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