You may have had a requirement to increase the space on the system drive of a Windows Server only to find that even though there is unallocated space to extend into you cannot extend the partition.
There is a neat workaround that I have tried a few times that works very well.
- Power down the Virtual Machine
- Make a backup copy of the Virtual Machine. Depending upon your flavour of VMware this can be done a number of ways. I like to browse the datastore using the VI client and take a full copy of the VM.
- In the VI client edit the settings of the VM and increase the system partitions’ virtual hard disk to the desired setting and apply
- Next you will need a second VM that is also running Windows 2003 Server. Power it down. In the VI client edit the settings of the second VM and Add a Hard Disk.
- Select Use an existing virtual disk and Browse to the actual location of the first VM’s system disk
- After you have added the disk and applied it, power up the second VM
- Open Computer Management > Disk Management and you should see the system disk from the first VM with the accompanying Unallocated space
- Run the Diskpart utility from Start > Run > Diskpart
- Type list volume which displays all available volumes. Locate the volume to increase and type select volume x (where x is the volume number)
- Finally type extend. If it has worked the message Diskpart successfully extended the volume should appear
- Shutdown the second VM and in the VI client remove the hard disk from its configuration
- Power on the first VM and voila, your system partition should now be fully utilising the allocated space