Expand Disk in VMware Workstation 7


With VMware workstation 7, you can expand the existing disk in virtual machine easily in GUI mode.  Earlier versions of VMware workstations do not support expand disk in GUI , only it can be done in complex commands or additional disks should be added to virtual machine. VMware workstation 7 solved the issue and now expand existing  disk is possible in GUI.

Easy Steps to Expand Disk in VMware workstation

Obviously, the virtual machine should be completely powered off to change the hardware settings.

1)      Click on Edit virtual machine settings and selected the hard disk you want to expand


2)      In this example, the current size of the disk is 15GB, and we will increase it to 20GB by latest expand disk feature in VMware workstation 7.

Click on the drop down arrow mark in Utilities Button. Select Expand.

3)      Change the size to 20GB and click Expand.


4)      Once progress will start and it takes time. For 5GB expansion it took around 15minutes for me. ( may be my computer issue). But I got two errors, continue reading….

Problems in Expand Disk in VMware workstation

You cannot expand hard disk in VMware workstation, if;

a)      Any Snapshots of the virtual machine on the disk

b)      The virtual machine is made by ‘linked clone’ , Read more about linked clone

If snapshots are important and cannot delete from the virtual machine, then try with VMware converter.


I will be updating a post about how to expand disk by VMware Converter.

This time delete the snapshots. To be is safer site, better to take a backup of your VMDK file.

5)      Once expansion progress is completed, then changes will appear in virtual machine settings.


That’s it, successfully expanded the disk in VMware workstation without adding extra disks.

6)      Your operating system will not detect the disk expansion and it will remain in the old size only. Because, disk expansion in done in virtual machine hardware settings only, not in the OS level.

How to Activate Expanded Disk in VMware Workstation?

Go to Device Manager, expand the ‘Disk Management’.

The additionally added space to existing disk by VMware workstation 7, can be seen as an unallocated space with your drive.


Our purpose to expand the disk on virtual machine, we are not going to create a partition from unallocated space.  Extend the unallocated space with main partition. The steps are related to Windows Operating system, so I’m not explaining here.

After successful extend your existing parting to unallocated space in Windows, you see a single partition with 20GB.


These are the easy steps to Expand Disk in VMware workstation 7.

3 thoughts on “Expand Disk in VMware Workstation 7”

  1. No, that’s why I showed at last, how to expand inside guest OS (Windows Vista, Windows 7). In Windows XP you may need to use third party software to expand the partition

  2. The partition is merely 200 Mb left, Windows will notify a low disk space alert to indicate there is no enough space on the partition. The computer may not work reliably in the event. A method is to increase the partition to optimize disk space usage and resolve the issue. [url=http://www.extend-partition.com/help/how-to-extend-partition.html]enables you to complete this job without data loss.

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