Thursday, June 17, 2010

VMWare ESXi 4 increase IDE drive size

I was trying to increase the size of an ide drive I have associated with a VM and the option was greyed out. See image below.


I found this option to change the ide device to a scsi on the VMWare knowledgebase.

But the problem is, how do I get a text editor to let me change the vmdk file? Well, that is where you need to access the server from a console or ssh into the box. See website below for more information.

Allowing ssh access to your esxi server.

Now that we have access to the esxi server via ssh, Below are the steps needed to increase the virtual drive size.

  1. find the vmdk you are trying to increase and the “ide” option to lsilogic, per the knowledge base article above.
  2. Remove and reload the vmdk in the vSphere Client settings for the particular virtual machine you want to make the adjustment on.
  3. Now the drive shows up as an scsi device and you can increase the size of the drive. Now if you are using windows XP, you will probably get the blue screen of death when you try and boot the VM.
  4. So go back to the ssh prompt and edit the vmdk file again and change “lsilogic” back to “ide”.
  5. Go back into the vSphere Client and remove and reload the drive. Now it reads as an IDE device in the vSphere Client.
  6. When you reboot the VM, you will only see the old harddrive size, you need to expand the virtual drive.
  7. I use Gparted, go here and download the iso file.
  8. Mount the gparted iso file under the vm and reboot and make sure that the bios for the vm has the boot order set to boot from a cd-rom before a harddrive.
  9. After gparted loads, increase the size of the virtual disk and then reboot.
  10. Make sure to dismount the gparted iso image.
  11. Now you should have a newly expanded IDE virtual drive.

Good luck. Hope all that makes sense.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial! It worked perfectly.

  2. The only tutorial works , thanks for the Help

    from Argentina


  3. If you're not going to permanently change the disk to SCSI then it might be easier to use the VMware Convertor to create a copy of the VM with larger disks.

  4. i recently had to do this for a SCO 6 virtual machine, has one HD of 25gb and needed more.

    it was actually easy, once i wa sable to piece things together:

    power off the VM. add a new disk, you will have the option while its OFF to add an IDE disk, otherwise, it will add iscsi.

    power on new VM, it will see the new disk at startup.

    go into the SCO terminal, run the "mkdev hd" command and that will allow the system to see the new disk.

    then, 'scoadmin' and go into 'Filesystems'... you'll wnat to mount a new filesystem, you will see your new disk as an option in drop down-- create a ne wmount path (i.e '/dev/Test) -make sure the directory exists first or it wont mount-

    once its mounted, theres your space... in my case, i copied data to it, deleted the old smaller directory where my data used to be, then renamed the mount point and my original cron job i had copying data to this servernow had a new 50gb mount point and it didnt know the difference.

  5. That worked, thank you!