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Adding Virtual Disks to a Windows Virtual Machine in VMWare

As you may know virtual disks are stored in files on the host computer, be it SCSI or IDE. Adding a virtual disk to an existing virtual machine is not that difficult once you know how it is done specially on a windows based virtual machine. So let’s assume that the current virtual hard disk size has been set at 6GB. As time goes on the free space dwindles to the point where you really need some additional space. There are two possible options available for you …

  1. Expanding your existing virtual VMware disk
  2. Add an additional virtual disk to your VM

In this post I will be looking at the latter option. For this you can use the virtual machine settings editor to add a new disk to your virtual machine. Please remember that the virtual machine should be powered off (shutdown) before you begin adding a virtual disk.

OK, now that the virtual machine has been powered off let’s look at the steps needed to create and add a disk to your VM.

  • Open the virtual machine settings (VM > Settings or Ctrl + D) and click Add under Hardware Tab. The Add Hardware Wizard guides you through the steps to create your virtual disk. Click Next to start configuring the disk.
  • Select create a new `virtual disk` and click on Next
  • Choose the type of disk. Use the type recommended by the wizard for now and click Next.
  • Set the appropriate disk size in GB. Let’s assume we stuck to the default 8GB. There are two options provided below ..
    • Allocate all disk space now – provides somewhat better performance
    • Split disk into 2GB files – You should split the virtual disk if it is stored on a FAT32 file system or on a file system that cannot support files larger than 2GB, such as FAT16

You may select one of the options or leave them alone (unchecked). If you do not select either of them, then your initial size of the disk will be comparatively small and will grow as you use the system.

  • Accept or change the default file name and location for the new disk file as per your existing virtual machine location.
  • The wizard will now create a new virtual disk.
  • Once the guest operating system has been booted, it will appear to your guest operating system as a new, blank, unused hard disk. Use the guest operating system’s disk management utility to create a partition and format the new drive.
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