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I have a 150GB disk file (.vmdk, non pre-allocated), where my virtual machine is stored.

The file is currently 20GB, but it is growing everyday, even though I'm not storing anything new in the guest file system.

I have been looking for hours for a way to reduce the maximum size of this disk, so that it never gets to 150GB (I'd like to set the limit to 30GB, and see what happens when the VM reaches this size).

What I have tried:

  • Converting the disk image with VMWare Converter → this does not work, the tools only allows creating a full copy or a 'linked clone'
  • Creating a new blank virtual machine of the desired size in order to copy the 20GB data onto the new .vmdk → I cannot find a way to perform the copy or even connect the new disk to my existing VM (so that I perform the copy using the guest OS)
  • Looking in the .vmx file to check if the maximum size was not set in plain text (it's not)

Althouth this task seems technically quite simple (there is not tricky shrinking involved, just a simple change of size limit), I'm really out of ideas here...

Is there a solution at all ?

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2 Answers

There is a roundabout way of using VMWare Converter to create a new VM and smaller VMDK size, then convert the original VMDK to the newly created, smaller VMDK.

Shrink VMDK

Detailed steps here.

Note that any changes to the VMDK size will also need a corresponding update to the partition table.

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This is a VMWare Workstation VM, and these advanced copy options are not offered by Converter for this type of VM. It just won't let me change the size of the disk. –  Sebastien Jun 29 '13 at 13:33
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Why not simply set the size of the disk involved to 30GB from 150GB.

You'll have to set the sum of all partitions to be less than 30GB. You'll have to shrink the sizes of the partitions down as you go. There is a LOT of documentation on this site on how to shrink partitions down so I will not repeat this here AGAIN.

Why did you create a 150GB (thin partition) if you did not have the space to support it at maximum size? Seems like this is just asking for trouble.

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I did not personally create the VM, this is why. –  Sebastien Jun 29 '13 at 13:34
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