Thursday Dec 06, 2007

ZFS disks, VMWare, and WinXP disk management

In VMWare and 4 physical hard drives I talked about how I couldn't get VMWare Server to use the 4 physical drives I had my ZFS pool on. I ended up archiving the contents (which was mainly blowing away duplicate copies or previous archives to get to the core of what I needed) and recreating the pool on 2 drives.

I wanted to clone my build 77 Solaris image, but I didn't have enough space. Since I had a couple of extra disks sitting there in my system, I thought I would go ahead and move my virtual machines to all of that free space. And there the problems started.

If we look at the Disk Management snapin under WinXP, we can first see that VMWare must be capping the physical drives at 128G:

Not shown

Okay, I can live with that for right now, but why can't I right-click on either of the two free drives and do anything? Anything at all!

If you look carefully, you will see that the disks are labeled as 'Healthy (GPT Protective Partition)'. And that is what is keeping me from doing anything with them. Microsoft has this to say about Windows and GPT FAQ. And wiki defines GPT as GUID Partition Table. But I found both of these much later. And I only found this Microsoft TechNet note now: Change a GUID partition table disk into a master boot record disk.

In short, the Disk Management snapin is not going to be able to do anything with these GPT disks.

I tried to use QTParted off of a Knoppix live disk to fix the problem, but Knoppix refused to see the disks. So I booted into a nevada b77 dvd and selected a single user shell. I then used fdisk to blow away the partitions on the two disks. Finally, I rebooted and the Disk Management snapin could manipulate the disks:

Not shown

I then started off a copy of the VMWare simulators to the new disk area.


Originally posted on Kool Aid Served Daily
Copyright (C) 2007, Kool Aid Served Daily
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