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I have created a VM with a expanding VMDK set to a 500GB, however, I want to change the size of the VMDK to 40GB, is that possible?

I have searched solutions but most of it are just "compacting" the VMDK (I mean removing fragments) and also expanding the VMDK, but none for my requirements.

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VMware Converter Standalone will let you change the hard drive from thin provisioned to flat (full size allocated). This will create a VM with a 500GB disk, however.

You can use a Linux LiveCD with GParted to resize the partition, however you don't mention the OS, but procedure varies depending on the partition type.

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I assume you mean to use the partition program inside the VM right? But that would only affect the partition; as far as the guest system (BIOS) is concerned, the drive is still the same size as before because that is what the VM software is telling it. –  Synetech Jul 13 '12 at 1:06

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