Expanding the C Drive of a Virtual Windows System

VMWare Server is a great way to run virtual systems at home for free.  While it includes a way to expand a given disk (ex. expand a virtual hard drive from 50GB to 100GB), it does not include a way to expand a Windows volume (ex. expand a 50GB C: drive to use the additional, free 50GB on the newly expanded 100GB virtual hard drive).  This post will show you how to expand a VMWare virtual disk and also expand the Windows partition.

Note: These instructions were tested on a Windows 2003 Server virtual machine.

  1. Expand the virtual disk
    1. Turn off the virtual machine
    2. Commit/remove all the snapshots first!
    3. Open a Command Prompt and go to:
      C:\Program Files\VMWare\VMWare Server or C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Workstation
    4. Run this command to expand the virtual disk:
      Where the “100GB” is the total size you wish the disk to be.
  2. Expand the Windows Partition
    1. Download the latest ISO of the GParted Live CD:
      http://gparted.sourceforge.net/livecd.php
    2. Mount the ISO in the VM and start the VM
    3. Follow the prompts until the GUI loads
    4. Right click on the desired partition and choose Expand/Resize
    5. Resize as desired
    6. Cick the Apply button when ready
    7. Restart the VM