Linux to the rescue again

I have to keep a windows xp vm kicking around that I use almost never for those nagging few windows apps that the smart developers didn’t make at least a web version for. Well, I needed to to some modifications to a project on MS Project server (Firefox/Linux compatibility in next release BTW) so I fired up the xp vm to find that it was effectively out of disk space. Back when I built it 2+ yrs ago I only made it an 8gb vm and with all the little proprietary apps over the years is has just gotten full.

A quick google search on the subject showed that I could, indeed, increase the drive space in the vmdk with the “vmware-vdiskmanager” command (vmware serer 1 – I told you this vm was old). I simply went to my virtual machines directory (where the vmdk files are stored) and issued “vmware-vdiskmanager -x 12gb -t 1 winxp.vmdk”. This says (-x) extend the volume to 12gb and that the volume type (-t 1) is split into the 2gb files. The command did it’s job in just a few seconds and presented me with a warning that I would need a third party program in the virtual machine to expand the partition there to get use of the new volume free space.

I learned from my favorite windows admin that there is a diskmanager utility in xp that *can* do this, however, not on the system partition, which is what I needed. I just happened to have an Ubuntu 9.10 iso handy and told the xp vm to boot that up instead. From there I started up GParted and quickly told it to extend the size of the partition to fill all the remaining free space on the volume. I clicked on the green checkmark to tell GParted to “Go” and off it went. The entire resize for GParted took only maybe 10 seconds. It’s just amazing to me. I remember when Linux couldn’t even figure out what an NTFS partition and here I was fixing one in mere seconds.

Needless to say, only a minute later I had my windows xp vm booting up and working in it’s newly extended NTFS partition. Once again, Linux saved the day!

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