This article introduces how to increase virtual disk size in VMware Workstation, Player, ACE Manager, Server and GSX, and how to expand virtual partition after enlarge hard disk.
Applies To: Windows 10/8/7, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019.
With VMware you can build many virtual machines in a single physical computer, it saves much cost. You can easily add, remove and edit the simulated hardware for each virtual computer. You can also change boot mode, create snapshot for check point or fast back up and recovery.
When a disk is running out of space, you can increase size/space of the virtual disk fast and easily, without wasting a long time to clone or restore to other larger disk. Before expanding disk for virtual machines, 2 things you should do:
- Remove the snapshots if you created before.
- Turn off the associated virtual machine.
After expanding a virtual disk successfully, additional space will be shown as Unallocated on the end, then you can extend any virtual partitions with this space on the same disk.
Expand virtual disk size in VMware Workstation (graphical)
VMware Workstation is common used virtual machine tool in Windows computers. It works with graphical interface, so it is better for personal users. Once again, check if there are snapshots created and power off this virtual machine before starting.
How to determine whether there is snapshot in VMware Workstation:
Click Tabs from top menu bar and select the virtual machine, or simply click it in the Library, then you'll see all devices and details on the right.
In my Windows Server 2012 virtual machine, there is a snapshot and its state is Suspended.
Steps to expand/increase size of virtual disk in VMware Workstation:
Applies to: VMware Workstation 7 and later, VMware Player 3.x and later.
Step 1: Click VM from top menu bar, then click Settings, or click Edit Virtual Machine Settings in a virtual machine tab.
Step 3: Enter an amount of new disk space and click Expand.
Then VMware begin to expand disk space.
Several minutes later, it reports disk was expanding successfully.
Turn on this virtual machine and check disk capacity in Disk Management. Yes, the virtual disk is increased to 200GB, there is 80GB Unallocated space on the end of disk 0.
Increase disk size in VMware Workstation, Player, ACE Manager, Server and GSX (cmd)
VMware also provides a command prompt tool vmware-vdiskmanager to increase virtual disk size in VMware Workstation, VMware Player, VMware ACE Manager, VMware Server and VMware GSX. The steps are easy and similar.
Before starting, you should locate two positions:
- VMware installation path, in my computer, it is in "D:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation"
- .vmdk file of the virtual disk that you want to expand, in my computer, it is in "J:\window10-latest"
Steps to expand virtual disk size with vmware-vdiskmanager command prompt:
Step 1: Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, then type cmd and press Enter.
Step 2: Type cd /d D:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation to enter VMware installation directory path.
If you installed VMware in default C: drive, type C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\VMware Workstation in cmd window.
If you changed the default installation path to other drive (like me), remember to type cd /d + your own installation path
Step 3: Type the command vmware-vdiskmanager –x 200Gb vm.vmdk and press Enter.
Replace vm.vmdk with the full path of your own VMDK. If there are spaces in the path, remember to add quotes. To me, it is "J:\window10-latest/Windows10-latest.vmdk"
Replace 200Gb with the amount that you want to increase this virtual disk to.
How to increase virtual partition size after expanding disk
After expanding virtual disk size, additional space is shown as Unallocated on the end of disk in VMware virtual machine, then you can expand the virtual partition with this Unallocated space.
However, if you extend partition with Windows Disk Management, you'll enter issue:
- If the guest Operating System is Windows XP or Server 2003, there is no Extend Volume function.
- To other later Operating Systems, Disk Management can only extend the left contiguous partition with Unallocated space. In addition, the left contiguous partition must be formatted with NTFS. On MBR style disk, the left contiguous partition must be Primary.
It is better to run 3rd-party software such as NIUBI Partition Editor, it has free edition for Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP.
Download it and install to VMware machine, follow the steps in the video to expand virtual partition size.
Explanation: right click any NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical partition and select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window:
- Drag either border towards the other one, then you can shrink this partition to make Unallocated space on either side.
- Drag the border opposite to other one, then you can extend this partition by merging adjacent Unallocated space.
- Drag the middle, then you can move the position of this partition and contiguous Unallocated space.