Saturday, December 11, 2010

Expanding the system volume (C drive) for a VMware virtual machine

As most of us know, expanding a Windows Server 2003 system volume C drive isn’t as easy to do as it is in Windows Server 2008. With Windows Server 2008, you can simply expand the drive with VI Client, then go into disk management in Windows, right-click and expand. In Windows Server 2003, you’re supposed to use diskpart to expand disks but you cannot use this for the system volume because Windows will not allow you to. The solution for me in the past few years was to use 3rd party applications such as GParted but as I began searching on the internet for another easier solution last night, I noticed that VMware actually had a KB article on how to do this with a helper VM: http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1007266. Seeing how it was an official KB, I gave it a shot today and it works!

I didn’t bother to do screenshots as I usually do since the link provides a video so if you’d like to see how it’s done, just visit the KB link.

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