Resizing (Shrinking) Guest Hard Drive Sizes With VMware Standalone Converter (vSphere 5)

KB ID 0000185 Dtd 18/06/12


With the release of vSphere 5, This process is slightly different, with vSphere 4 and VI3, you had to install VMware Converter on the vCenter Server then download and enable the plugin in your VI client software (like this).

VMware now only have the "standalone converter", so for vSphere 5 you DONT install anything on the vCenter server, the converter runs on a client machine.

Note: This article is primarily concerned with shrinking guest hard drives, If you want to make your drives larger you can also use this process but the following article will be easier.
Resizing Windows Volumes / Drives in VMware vSphere / ESX

Also if space is your consideration, you also might want to consider;
VMware ESXi - Converting 'Thick' Provisioned Drives to 'Thin'


Resizing (Shrinking) Guest Hard Drives in vSphere 5

Before you start:

Remember you are cloning a machine, don't have clients writing data to the machine while this is going on, or there is the potential for data to be lost. If possible disable any services that will accept data, e.g. Exchange, SQL, Oracle, etc, prior to cloning.

Licensing: Only really applicable if your cloning a physical machine, but make sure you DO NOT have OEM Licensing. Also if you have Windows Storage Server, or Windows Appliance Edition, you should speak to a license specialist.

1. Installing VMware converter is pretty straightforward, run the install file and accept all the defaults, when complete it will open the Converter client by default, (as shown).

VMware Standalone Converter

2. When the program opens > Convert machine.

P2V Conversion

3. Type in the name of the machine you are going to convert, and credentials to logon and install the converter agent.

P2V Source Credentials

4. If you're going to retire the target machine afterwards, this it does not really matter, but I leave it on the defaults > Yes.

VMware Converter Agent

5. Now enter the vSphere/ESX target details that you are going to create the cloned copy on. > Next.

VMwar e Converter Target

6. Select which folder to place the new VM into > Next. (Note: You may get a certificate warning, if so click ignore).

P2V Location

7. Chose a Cluster/Host > Choose which storage to place the files into. > Next.

P2V Storage

8. In the 'Data to Copy' section > Edit.

VMware Converter Change Disk Size

9. Here you can select the NEW sizes for the drive(s) on the cloned machine. > Next.

VMware Shrink Disks

10. Finish.

Converter Summary

11. Depending on the size of the VM it can take a while.

P2V Process

12. Now power of the original, and power on the new machine and TEST IT THOROUGHLY, when you are happy you can delete the source machine.

Cloned VM

Resizing (Shrinking) Guest Hard Drives in vSphere 4

The following procedure was done with VSphere4 but the process is the same in VI3. Before you start ensure that VMware Converter has been installed on the Virtual Center Server.