December 4, 2007

When a VPC disk hits the ceiling

I use a VPCs for nearly everything... Probably more posts to come about that. Today I realized that a dynamic expanding hard disk in a VPC actually does have a fixed maximum size (purely my own ignorance to blame - it is obvious in the Virtual Disk Wizard). So when my current project VPC reached its default 16gb disk limit, no magic resizing occurred, simply "disk full".

Turns out help is not far away. The vmToolkit site has a nice free utility that lets you resize your .vhd files. You will have to sign up at the site, but it's free. It took me about an hour to expand my .vhd from 16gb to 32gb, and it works perfectly:

However, please note: The virtual OS will see the disk expansion as a new raw, unformatted partition. So, for instance in Windows XP, Disk Management it will look like this:

The only way to expand the primary partition into the new space was in my case (Windows XP) to use Partition Magic. It took me 69$ and about 12 seconds ;-)

Btw - check out this list of What Works and What Doesn't in Microsoft Virtual PC, impressive list, especially if you look at how many OS's that actually will run in a VPC.

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