Resize vhdx

Resize vhdx

I recently received an email from someone who attended one of my presentations asking if I had a blog article on using PowerShell to compact and optimize VHD files. The process itself is fairly simple. The examples shown in this blog article are being run on a Windows 10 computer which has Hyper-V enabled on it. There are a number of parameters for the Convert-VHD cmdlet so be sure to take a look at the help for it. One thing to keep in mind is the conversion process is an offline operation.

The Optimize-VHD cmdlet is used to optimize the amount of space used by dynamic virtual hard drive files. When this cmdlet is run, it compacts the virtual file as shown in the following example.

resize vhdx

Based on the information found in the helpthis cmdlet not only reclaims unused blocks, but it also rearranges the blocks to be more efficiently packed, which also reduces the size of the VHD or VHDX. The shrink operation will fail if a size smaller than the minimum size is specified as shown in the following example. Be sure to take a look at the help for the Resize-VHD cmdlet to determine all of the available options.The same with physical hard disk drive, you can resize virtual partitions for Hyper-V virtual machine without losing data.

Otherwise, you'll receive below error and cannot boot in Hyper-V Manager after resizing virtual partitions. As the error message shows " There is a mismatch in the identified of the parent virtual hard disk and differencing disk. It is easy to understand, the size of the partitions after resizing is different with the size in Checkpoint. Otherwise, you'll receive error "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

Step 1: Open Disk Management in physical computer. Right click Windows flag on bottom left, or press Windows and R keys together, type diskmgmt.

Then this virtual disk is attached. As you see in the screenshot, the icon of Disk 2 is different with other 2 physical hard disks.

Then drive D will be shrunk and some Unallocated space will be made on the left side of it. Then drive K is extended in virtual mode. Step 7: Click Apply on top left to take effect. Partitions won't be resized until click Apply to confirm. As long as there's free unused space in any partition, you can shrink it to expand another one on the same virtual disk. After resizing virtual partitions, remember to detach VHDotherwise, when you power on this virtual machine in Hyper-V, you'll receive error " The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.

Note: before expanding virtual disk with PowerShell, you should also shut down guest virtual machine and delete all associated Checkpoints. After expanding virtual disk, additional space will be shown as Unallocated on the endthen run NIUBI Partition Editor and merge Unallocated space to other partition s. Follow the steps in the video:.I have looked all over the net for easy ways to resize VHDs. Now for years I have played with virtualization, normally with VMWare or Virtual Box The latter being free which has always dealt with some form of virtual hard drive, however the VHD and now VHDX has become a standard with virtualization, so much so that you can actually boot Windows off of a VHD without virtualization software.

Both Windows 7 and 8 flavours of Windows support this feature.

resize vhdx

So if you are like me, in charge of several systems, and you want to reimage them all, the best and easiest way is to do it via VHD. If you use a static disk, which has a slightly better performance not by muchthe drive file would be GB, which makes it harder to transport, and time consuming to transfer over from system to system.

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The best practice is to know your target a head of times, by this I mean know where your VHD is going, know what the physical hard drive limitations are, know what you are putting on it. Making the VHD the right size first time round, is the best practice. That being said, stuff happens. This allowed me to spend more time updating than installing. The issue then of course is that you are at the mercy of Microsoft who decided 40GB was enough hard drive space to test with.

What about the reverse? This is probably one of the most sought after questions on the net, I know, I looked. Method 1: If you have upgraded to WIndows 8. To enlarge the drive is very simple if you have Hyper-V installed. This will enlarge to drive to GB, assuming the file was of course less than GB. ITs really that simple with he right tools. You can also expand the Disk size in Diskpart a little more lengthy, but great if you can;t install Hyper-V.

Enlarging the Volume This I usualy do in DiskPart, you can also do it from within Windows, however I would caution against it as working on the drive while the OS is in use may cause problems.

resize vhdx

Once we have attached the Vdisk, we need to take a look at the volumes to make sure we select the right one. If you only wish to extend it a bit and not the full size you can use the size switch, such as the following code would make it GB:.

Voila, your Drive and Volume are extended.

Resizing VHD Files, the easy way.

If you chose to not extend the volume, you can make another partition in Diskpart, or use Windows. To do it in Disk Part once you have the Volume selected, you can use the Srink command.We get lots of cool tricks with virtualization.

Among them is the ability to change our minds about almost any provisioning decision. We can shrink VHDX files with only a bit of work. No supported way exists to shrink a VHD. Once upon a time, a tool was floating around the Internet that would do it. As far as I know, all links to it have gone stale.

However, you cannot resize an AVHDX file a differencing disk automatically created by the checkpoint function. It does not impact its contents. The files, partitions, formatting — all of that remains the same. You will need to perform additional steps for the contents.


The shrink operation must occur on a system with Hyper-V installed. The tools rely on a service that only exists with Hyper-V. If no virtual machine owns the virtual disk, then you can operate on it directly without any additional steps. Be aware that if a. Shrinking needs a bit more. Sometimes, quite a bit more. The resize directions that I show in this article will grow or shrink a virtual disk file, but you have to prepare the contents before a shrink operation.

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We have another article that goes into detail on this subject. A very important question: do you need to turn off a Hyper-V virtual machine to resize its virtual hard disks?

The answer: sometimes. The generation of the virtual machine does not matter for virtual hard disk resizing.

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If the virtual disk is on the virtual SCSI chain, then you can resize it online. The guest operating system and file system do not matter.

However, the act of resizing the virtual disk does not change. That might lead to the impression that you can only resize a virtual hard disk while a virtual machine owns it.

Hyper-V: VHDX Expand Shrink VM Size Online

Fortunately, you can easily resize a disconnected virtual disk. PowerShell is the preferred method for all virtual hard disk resize operations.I have a standing recommendation for virtual machine resource allocation: start small.

You can add or grow almost all virtual resources with very little, and sometimes no impact. On the other hand, you have more work to do if you need to take resources away. The most difficult resource to remove from a Hyper-V virtual machine is drive space.

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If need to remove an entire disk, you can do that easily. Making a virtual hard disk smaller requires a significant level of effort.

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Compacting does not alter the maximum size of the disk, nor does it report anything different to the guest operating system. The above image shows a theoretical comparison to illustrate the differences. Shrinking a fixed VHDX always reduces its size on disk. Reducing a dynamically-expanding VHDX might, if it had expanded beyond the new shrink size. What to remember: A compact operation reclaims the space from empty blocks. A shrink operation reclaims the space from unallocated blocks.

We will make the distinction more obvious when we look at the shrink operation. If you want to know how to compact a dynamically-expanding VHDX, we have a different article for you. The above image represents a plausible scenario. You could just leave it alone. If that admin used defaults, then this disk is dynamically expanding.

If it only has an operating system, it will probably never grow past 30 or 40 GB. Second, new administrators might believe everything that they read on the Internet, so they might convert the disk to fixed mode based on the plentiful FUD on the matter. That will leave you with 90GB or so of completely wasted space.There are various tasks that a Hyper-V administrator can perform to keep a Windows Server Hyper-V environment running optimally.

One task that comes with maintaining and optimizing a Hyper-V environment is making sure the actual virtual disks themselves are running optimally and are efficiently sized. With later generations of Hyper-V, the new VHDX virtual disk format provides some really great new functionality from this perspective.

The VHDX file format improves upon the legacy VHD virtual disk file format to incorporate powerful functionality and features that allow Hyper-V virtual environments to be much more efficient, error-free, and scalable than in previous generations.

The VHDX virtual disk file format was introduced with Windows Server and provides a much more powerful virtual disk format that helps to solve some of the scalability and performance constraints that exist with the VHD file format. The 64 TB virtual hard disk size certain opens up some pretty interesting use cases.

However, for most, there will be no disk that will not fall within the boundaries of this new disk size and most will not even come close to this new configuration maximum.

This also will negate the need to perform pass-through storage provisioning if this was necessary for size reasons. With the improved logging features that are contained within the VHDX virtual disk metadata, the VHDX virtual disk is further protected from the corruption that could happen due to unexpected power failure or power loss. This also opens up the possibility to store custom metadata about a file. Users may want to capture notes about the specific VHDX file such as the operating system contained or patches that have been applied.

Aligning the virtual hard disk format to the disk sector size provides performance improvements. VHDX files automatically align to the physical disk structure. VHDX files also leverage larger block sizes for both the dynamic and differencing disk formats.

Resizing a VHDX file without missing a beat

This greatly improves the performance of dynamic-sized VHDX files, making the difference in performance negligible between fixed and dynamic. The dynamic sizing option is the option that is preferred when creating VHDX files. Guest clustering is an interesting option to run a clustered Windows Server configuration on top of a physical Hyper-V cluster to allow application high availability on top of virtual machine high availability.

If a virtual machine fails, you still suffer the downtime it takes to restart the virtual machine on another Hyper-V host.

resize vhdx

When running a cluster inside a Hyper-V cluster, when one virtual machine fails, the second VM in the cluster assumes the role of servicing the application. This is accomplished with the optimize-vhd cmdlet. The Compact operation is used to optimize the files.

This option reclaims unused blocks and rearranges the blocks to be more efficiently packed which reduces the overall size of the VHDX virtual hard disk file. The optimize-vhd operation can only be performed with the virtual hard disk detached or attached in read-only mode if the virtual machine is running.

If the disk is not attached properly for the operation specified or in use, you will see the following:. Error received when trying to optimize a VHDX file that is in use. Starting with Windows Server R2, you can no perform a resize operation on a virtual hard disk of a running virtual machine in Hyper-V.

This was not possible with previous versions of Hyper-V as the virtual machine had to be powered off. The new functionality is called dynamic resize which allows increasing and decreasing the size of a file while virtual machines are running which has opened up a good deal of possibilities for organizations to do maintenance operations while production virtual machines are running.

Choose the Edit option for the virtual disk file and then you can choose to Expand, Shrink, or Compact. With PowerShell, you run the Resize-vhd cmdlet to resize. You can easily see the information regarding the virtual hard disk with the get-vhd cmdlet. Using get-vhd cmdlet to see the filesize, size, and minimumsize parameters of the virtual disk.

Below we are using the resize-vhd cmdlet to resize the file to the minimum size. You can see the file size has indeed changed when comparing the above cmdlet return for information compared to the below-returned file size information. The minimum size parameter will resize the VHDX to the smallest possible size. Again, this can be done while the virtual machine is powered on.Another benefit of the VHDX format is being able to change the size of the virtual disk while the virtual machine is still running.

To change the size of a virtual hard disk under Microsoft's previous VHD format, you would need to shut down your virtual machine VM. VHDX removes that issue -- and the downtime -- by allowing online resizing. You can change the size of the virtual hard disk without your users even knowing.

Because of these new options, it's worth reconsidering how you set up your VMs. This makes the fixed disk option more favorable than it was previously. Fixed disks are great if the amount of data on your virtual disk stays static, while dynamic disks expand as additional storage is needed, with a small performance hit. With dynamic disks there is the risk of running out of physical disk space, whereas fixed disks can now be expanded or even shrunk as required.

Generally there is no need to shrink a virtual disk, unless you're desperately low on physical disk space, but the process of shrinking and expanding is almost the same. If your VM is not in a cluster, you need to use Hyper-V Manager to make the change, but if it's a clustered VM, the options will be greyed out and you'll need to use Failover Cluster Manager instead.

Once in the correct management console -- regardless of which one you choose -- the process is very similar. This will launch the Edit Virtual Hard Disk Wizard and, depending on the scenario, you will see up to three options: compact, expand or shrink. You then need to specify the new size of the disk and click Finish to let the wizard complete the task. Here's an example of the simple commands:. This would either expand or shrink the virtual disk to GB. Compacting a dynamic disk is just as easy, with a command such as this:.

The Extend Volume option is used on the existing volume, which can then be changed to use the full virtual disk capacity.

Resizing virtual disks in Hyper-V is an easy process, and even more convenient with the added feature of being able to do it in online mode. Please check the box if you want to proceed. VMware's vRealize suite and its acquisitions of CloudHealth and other startups bolstered its cloud management reputation.

Use VMware Host Profiles to keep configuration consistent between hosts and clusters across your vSphere, and avoid common errors VMware vMotion is a function of vSphere that enables live migrations of VMs to ease load balancing and maintenance.

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