Fixed to expanding hard drive or add another hard drive?

Discussion in 'Virtual PC' started by Melelina, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Melelina

    Melelina Guest

    I have Vista Ultimate on VPC and one fixed virtual hard drive. I am out of
    space on that drive. I would appreciate pros and cons on whether I should
    convert the fixed drive to an dynamic expanding one or should I add a second
    virtual disk and if I do that does it need to be fixed like the current one?
     
    Melelina, Feb 16, 2009
    #1
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  2. Melelina

    philo Guest





    I'd use the dynamic expanding option
    and simply set the size for the maximum you think you may eventually need.
    No harm in making your estimate on the high side...as it will only expand to
    what is actually needed.
     
    philo, Feb 17, 2009
    #2
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  3. Melelina

    Melelina Guest

    The Help file is sort of confusing on this:

    Hmmm....I can't copy/past from the help file. I wonder why? Anyhow, the
    help file says that before converting to an expanding disk, I need to use a
    third party disk utility to zero out the blank spaces. I don't know what
    that means. Then it says that after I do this, I need to compact the disk.
    This is while it is still a fixed size disk.

    Then the Help file appears to contradict itself when I look at the Compact a
    virtual Hard Disk section. There it says that the compaction option is
    available ONLY for expanding disks. Huh? Earlier it says under Create a
    Dynamically Expanding Disk from a Fixed Size disk that I am supposed to
    compact the disk after using a third party software to zero out the blank
    spaces and it says I am supposed to compact the disk while it is still a
    fixed disk BEFORE converting it.

    That is all very confusing. Plus, I don't know what zeroing out blank spaces
    means.
     
    Melelina, Feb 17, 2009
    #3
  4. Melelina

    Bo Berglund Guest

    In your case I'd do one of two things:

    1) Use VHDResizer to move your old vhd disk data into a new fresh
    dynamically expanding disk set to a really large size.
    At the end you need to expand the new VHD partition (because it will
    be a same-sized partition plus lots of unused space). You can do this
    according to a description in this link:
    http://kb.dutchalps.com/microsoftvirtualpc.htm

    2) Create a new empty virtual disk using the virtual disk wizard.
    Then attach this to the guest you want to expand the disk of.
    Then boot up the guest and use whatever disk imaging software you have
    access to to copy your boot disk image to the now available new and
    empty disk. I have done this using both Norton Ghost 2003 and Acronis
    Workstation products. Ghost 2003 works well for operating systems
    below Vista, but has trouble with Vista. Acronis handles Vista too
    just fine.
    These products will allow expanding the data into the full disk sized
    partition at imaging time so after you are done, just shut down the
    guest and in the guest settings change the virtual disks (disable disk
    #2 and set the new disk as disk #1)
    DONE
     
    Bo Berglund, Feb 17, 2009
    #4
  5. Simply converting to a dynamically expanding drive isn't going to
    help. You've already set the maximum size of the disk. A dynamically
    expanding disk only expands to it's maximum size.
    Example: if your fixed disk is 20GB, converting it to a dyn disk will
    simply make it a dyn disk with a 20GB expansion limit.
     
    Steve Jain [MVP], Feb 17, 2009
    #5
  6. Melelina

    Melelina Guest

    I have Seagate's version of Acronis TI 10 so I think it could do this (I
    think the only thing it lacks the ability to do incremental images). But I
    will look into your first suggestion also. Thank you.
     
    Melelina, Feb 18, 2009
    #6
  7. Melelina

    Melelina Guest

    I didn't realize that. Why does VPC use an expanding disk by default then?
    VMWare Workstation tells you to do a fixed disk rather than dynamic. But I
    thought that on both softwares that dynamic would expand without any limit.
    I sure have been confused about that!

    So, wouldn't the easiest thing be to just add another virtual drive?
     
    Melelina, Feb 18, 2009
    #7
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