Tip

The best thing I’ve found all year….

A couple of weeks ago I was asking my buddies what their favorite ways of repartitioning disks were. You know making a partition (any partition whether it it be the C: or D: drive) larger – ideally with the fewest simplest steps. For some years I’ve been using QParted from the rather excellent Xnoppix Live CD – and it still has some merits because it will more or less work with any guest operating system. But to be honest that’s becoming quite tedious as most of my VMs actually run Windows.

Anyway, Eric Sloof  put me on to Dell Utility called extpart.exe available from here:

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http://ftp.us.dell.com/app/ExtPart.exe

If you are using ESX4/vCenter you can increase the virtual disk whilst the VM is powered on (if you're using vi3.5 you’ll you have to power it off) say from 4096 to 10096, thus adding an extra 6000MB to the virtual disk. Once you have downloaded and installed extpart to the VM you can use the command:

extpart c: 6000

To increase the size of the partition. Now all I have to do is make this one continuous process! Click a spinner to make a virtual disk big and, as if by magic, the partition is also the same size. Needless to say I’ve made extpart.exe a standard part of my VM builds.

This was first published in July 2009

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