Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Expanding Disk on VMWare

In the past, whenever i created an image for Windows in VMWare, i set the space so that it would be sufficient for my need and in most cases, it didn't since i need to install more and more application for my CEH classes (security never stopped evolving).

With VMware Workstation 7 and newer, it has supported expand feature in which you can expand the disk capacity from the VMware GUI and avoid using command line anymore. It's much simpler, but it requires two steps.

Expand Your Virtual Disk Setting
Select the image, and click Edit virtual machine settings. Select the Hard drive and click on the Utilities button on the bottom of the screen. There will be four options there: Mount Disk, Defragment, Expand, and Compact. I'm sure you know what to pick right? big grin Go ahead and set the maximum disk size that you like. Click expand when you are done and the VMware will expand it in no time. It would take a few seconds to expand it.

Are we done yet? YES, for the first part, but remember, this only expand the virtual hard drive, but not the real hard drive in your Windows image. What the operation does is adding an unallocated disk space on your Windows hard drive so that you can use it later on.

For example, your current disk space is 10 GB and you expand it up to 50 GB, that means you will have around 40 GB in a new unallocated disk space. What can you do with it? You can create separate partition or you can resize your current disk space to use the unallocated disk space and you will get more free space.

Resizing disk space in Windows
The second operation should be done in the guest operating system itself. If you want to create a new partition, you don't need to use third party tool. You can use Disk Management from Windows to create a new partition from the unallocated disk space. Type diskmgmt.msc in the Start->Run command box and pick the unallocated disk. Right click and pick Create New Partition. That should work just fine.

When you want to resize your current disk space to use the unallocated disk space, the internal Disk Management utilities is not the correct tool. It can't resize the partition, so you will need a third party application to help you. I would suggest Norton Partition Magic to do that. It's by far the best partition manager application i have ever tried. With only quite a simple click, i'm able to resize my partition and in no time, i already got a lot of empty spaces on my Windows image under VMware Yahoo

Now, i don't have to create another Windows image when i need more space. All i need is to expand the disk and i can enjoy more empty spaces to work with. VMware does really a good job on providing this handful feature Applause