How to resize a VMware disk

These instructions worked for me for resizing guest Windows partitions hosted with VMware Workstation 6.5.1.

  1. Back up your data. The steps below include messing with the virtual machine files and partitions and could conceivably destroy all your data (although they worked reliably for me so far).
  2. Power off the virtual machine. Note: in order to resize Windows NTFS partitions you must shut down Windows properly.
  3. The next step won’t work if you have snapshots. If you don’t need older snapshots, delete them using the Snapshot Manager.
  4. Resize the disk:

    vmware-vdiskmanager.exe -x 36GB myDisk.vmdk

    The disk is now bigger, but the partitions inside it stay the same. You’ll need to edit the partition table. See next steps…

  5. Dowload the GParted live CD. GParted is an open-source partition editor.
  6. In the VM Settings dialog box, set the CD drive to use the GParted ISO image file you’ve downloaded.
  7. Make sure the CD drive is before the hard drive in the virtual machine’s BIOS boot order. To do this, add the following entry to the VM’s .vmx file:

    bios.forceSetupOnce = "TRUE"

  8. Power on the virtual machine. Because of the previous step, you’ll enter the BIOS setup utility.
  9. Reorder the boot sequence if necessary so that CD drive will be before the hard drive. Save the settings and exit the setup utility.
  10. GParted Live should load now. The main window should appear after pressing Enter at a few prompts. When the main window appears, edit the partitions as necessary.
    (For some reason I have strange problems with the mouse pointer in GParted, so I use the keyboard). When you’re done, choose Edit -> Apply All Operations.
  11. Disconnect the ISO image, and restart the VM.
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