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Recovering Hard Drive Space from virtual machines

Posted by Shinyshoes , 17 December 2010 · 334 views

When i first started using Hyper-V and virtual machines, I didn't know much about the system.  Therefore, when I went through the wizard to set up a new machine, I simply used the default values provided by the wizard, which include using 127GB as the Virtual Hard Drive size.

While this was fine initially, I only have 1 TB of space on my RAID array.  Once I got fully up to speed and installed all 5 Virtual machines, I quickly used up over half my array. For many of my virtual installations, such as my domain controllers, I only need about  17 GB.   To be safe, I would reduce the VHD size to 30GB, leaving me almost 100GB on 3 or 4 machines that I wouldn't be using.  I embarked on a journey to reclaim some of the unused space.

First I downloaded a program that would resize a VHD.  I installed it, shut down a domain controller and launched the resizer.  Unfortunatly, the program would only let me resize to a minimum of 110 GB.  

Next I created a new virtual machine with a 30 GB VHD, installed server 2008 R2 on it and fully updated it.  I installed my Virus scanner, sysprepped the machine and shut it down.  I made a copy to use as my "template" for future VMs, then booted it back up, joined the domain and ran dcpromo to make the VM a domain controller.  This would allow me to take my existing DC's offline, one by one, and replace them with a new 30GB version of themselves.  

Next, I did the same thing to mu Premise server and my Development Machine.

When everything was complete, I recovered almost 400 GB of hard drive space on my RAID Array.  Saves me from buying bigger hard drives......




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