Expand/Increase size of virtual disk partition in VMware

Published on: July 19, 2019

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:

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.

VMware snapshot

How to remove snapshot of a VMware virtual machine:

  1. Click VM from top menu bar, then click Snapshot > Snapshot Manager.
  2. Click the snapshot before You are Here on the top, then click Delete on bottom right.

Remove snapshot

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.

Settings

Step 2: Click Hard Disk on left panel, then click Expand on the right, and then click OK on the bottom.

Expand disk

Step 3: Enter an amount of new disk space and click Expand.

Enter size

Then VMware begin to expand disk space.

Expanding

Several minutes later, it reports disk was expanding successfully.

Expanding done

After clicking OK, as you see in my VMware, this disk is increased from 120GB to 200GB.

Disk expanded

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.

Virtual disk increased

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:

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:

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.

Video guide

Explanation: right click any NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical partition and select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window: