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Shrink VMware disk to contents size (for VMware Workstation users)

  • When you using dynamically growing disk in VMware then they grow, but don't reduce its size when you delete files in the virtual machine.
  • That's only interesting when you are using VMware Workstation in the server versions the default is a full allocated disk.

  • For example a vmdk file with max size 8 GB starts after installation with a size of 1 GB.
  • Now you copy 1 GB files into the virtual machine then, as anyone can imagine, the vmdk has a size of 2 GB but after the copied files the size is still 2 GB.
  • So it could happen that you have 3 GB data in the VM but the vmdk file has a size of 8 GB.
  • To shrink the disk to the size of the content you need installed VMware-Tools.

Tested with VMware Workstation 6.5.1 and Windows XP

  • This text is translated from a German test-system perhaps other terms are used in an English system.
  1. Open VMware-Tools configuration (double click the symbol in the taskbar).
  2. there you see an option to shrink the disk.
  3. select “prepare to shrink” … this could take a long time depending on the size of the disk and its fragmentation.
  • Afterwards all disks will be reduced of the contents size (if you have more than one).
  • In my tests the selection of a special disk was ignored.
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virtualization/shrink_disk.txt · Last modified: 20.05.2013 12:11 by eanderalx