Increasing the size of a vmware virtual disk

I use VMWare Workstation on my personal laptop to run my work environments. The brief reasoning behind this is to separate work and home on my machine.

My base system is windows 7, but I have a VM with windows xp sp3 with all of my development tools installed. The environment started running out of space, and I needed to expand the virtual disk. I thought (incorrectly) that this would be a simple fix, and I was wrong.

First, it should be noted that it is simple to add a virtual hard drive to your virtual machine. However, I wanted to expand the partition that the machine was on – which is a much trickier operation.

Here were the steps I followed:

— I exported the current version of my work VM to a new VM. This was to remove any snapshots that are currently in my machine. This was to avoid any issues with the old snapshots I have saved – just in case.

— Next, I went to the installation directly of my VMWare Workstation and used vmware-vdiskmanager.exe /? to get a grasp of the syntax and then expanded the hard drive to the new size.

— Finally, I used the free tool gparted – located here – to boot the VM, and used the tools included to re-size the partition.

— The machine booted up and required a reboot, but other than that I’ve had no issues.

Hopefully this will help a few folks out, as searching for a solution online was surprisingly difficult.

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