Feb 28

Shrink Volumes For P2V Migrations

Are you wanting to P2V a machine but you don’t want to migrate your whole 2TB hard drive into your datastore? Most people tell you to just convert your machine using Thin provisioning. Although you can do that, there is another way if you don’t want to worry about the over-allocation.

The idea is to shrink the size of your hard drive’s volumes BEFORE you convert your machine. I have a few 256GB Samsung 840 Pro’s in my Synology 412+ NAS which means every megabyte is valuable. If you have a large hard drive but are only using a small portion of the drive, your best bet is to do the following (**Note** This will only work on Windows 7 and 2008. Windows Server 2003 can be shrunk using 3rd-party software) :

  • Go to ‘Administrative Tools’
  • Select ‘Computer Management’
  • Select ‘Disk Management’

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  • Right-Click the large volume and select ‘Shrink Volume’

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  • Choose the amount you want to shrink your volume by (in MB)

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  • Click ‘Shrink’

After you shrink your volume, you can go ahead and run the Converter. You will see that the converter shows the newly-sized volume. You can still convert this to a Thin disk, but you won’t have to worry about an extreme over-allocation compared to what you previously had. Your migration will also take considerably less time.






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  1. karlochacon

    I have not tested this for W2008 but I’ve done it in W2003 using some third party tools and depending on the size you wannt to shrink it can take a lot of time

    1. Brian Graf

      Thanks for your comment Karlochacon. I need to edit my post above as I have only tested this on Windows 7 and Windows 2008. I do not believe this method works with either 2003 or 2000.

  2. William

    Can you use this on the OS drive. I have a 230 GB HDD on a physical machine and I am P2V’ing it. I dont have the storage for 230 GB of dead space to be allocated to the new Virt. I want to shrink the Vol down to 40 GB.

  3. Brian Graf

    Depends on the OS William. This blog post was created using the OS drive, and I have done this multiple times in the past. If you don’t have anything claiming all of that extra space, you should be able to shrink it before you P2V it.

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