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How to Resize your MOSS Development Virtual Hard Drive

Posted by Anthony Odole on February 20, 2009

In this posting, I will discuss the issue encountered by many MOSS developers who tried to resize their virtual PC hard drive using the popular resizing tool “VHD Resizer” or similar tools – after realizing the virtual PC hard drive is running out of space. You are running low on space after installing all the development tools, install MOSS, SQL, and so on; You searched and found a tool, but somehow, things are not working. After reading through several other instructions on this topic, you resized your hard drive successfully, but now windows cannot see the new size. Moving forward, what are your options? Follow the steps below exactly as instructed, or start from scratch; start re-installing and reconfiguring your MOSS development Virtual PC from scratch. For those in this dilemma, this posting is for you.

When you resize your drive, you have an option to create a new one from the old copy, or to overwrite the old one with the new one; do not override the old one. Always create your new larger size from the old one while retaining the old one – because we need the old one in the steps below:

After resizing your new hard drive, attach the new virtual hard drive as a drive # 2 in your virtual machine and follow the steps below:

With the setting as specified above, boot into your OS using your old smaller drive as boot drive. Log in, and then bring up command prompt. Go to the root. Then type DiskPart. This command starts diskpart tool that is available in Windows 2003

Of course, it will stop at DISKPART> Then type List Volume. This command lists all the volumes.

Note: After I ran this command, I got the screen below. The C drive is my old drive with a size of 4989MB, but after resizing to 20Gig, I attached it as a second drive on my virtual machine as E drive. Notice that it is still showing in Windows as 4989. This is the same size that it shows in windows explorer. But if I right click to get the properties of the drive like any other file in windows, the property shows that it is 20Gig. And you will notice that the file actually took 20Gig on your host hard drive – just that it is not showing and not available in windows yet.




Very important note: Before you proceed, you need to look at the information returned when you first run list volume command. Look at size, it will be the same – otherwise, there is no need to proceed; Check status, it must show healthy – and this is usually the case; now, check the list column called Info. Verify that your new hard drive does not show System or Boot, that is, make sure only your old hard drive is showing boot or system.


If, as in my case above, you notice that your newly resized hard drive on drive E shows under the Info column anything other than blank, then you have one additional step to take before you proceed. Additional step: Shutdown your virtual PC.
Change the newly resized hard drive from the second place to the third place. If you previously have it as drive # 3 on your virtual PC configuration, you should change it to too.





Then run repeat the steps – disk part, list volume. If there is nothing under Info Column for your new hard drive, then you are ready to proceed to the next steps.


Now, the next step is to set FOCUS on Volume 2 with letter E. To do this, type the following on the DisKPart Prompt…


Now you have selected Volume 2 and it is by default given a drive letter E. Note: the letter assigned to your new drive may be different.


Now that it is selected, you need to assign a new drive letter. It is very important that you change the drive letter. See the screen below for the command to type.


Now just to verify that now it has the new drive letter by issuing the list Volume command – just to verify.


So far so good: you have verified that that Info column for your new hard drive does NOT show system or boot; you have changed assigned a new drive letter. Now, you need to extend the size, so that windows can see the new size. See the command below. Please, note that the drive specified should be the amount of free spaced, i.e., your new drive size minus your old drive size should give you an idea. Issue the extend size=????, see the example below.


Of course, if you try to extend far more than you have, you will get an error message.


Follow the steps above exactly and in the sequence outlined. Many developers, who created too smaller a drive size or who ran out of space on their existing drive, usually follow the instruction on how to resize until they realize that windows does not see their new drive size. Then they follow the instruction on how to resize until they get frustrated because disk part is providing error s such as “The volume you have selected may not be extended”


** About the Author: Anthony Odole is a Senior Solution Architect with IBM Global Services. He is a SharePoint Subject Matter Expert. You can reach him at


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