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Shrinking Virtual Disks with VMware Virtual Disk Manager

On a Windows host, you can use the virtual disk manager to prepare and shrink virtual disks. You cannot use the virtual disk manager to prepare or shrink virtual disks located on a Linux host. You cannot use the virtual disk manager to shrink physical disks. Shrinking a virtual disk does not reduce the maximum capacity of the virtual disk itself. For more information about shrinking, see Shrinking Virtual Disks.

Caution: You cannot shrink a virtual disk if the virtual machine has snapshots. To keep the virtual disk in its current state, use the snapshot manager to delete all snapshots. To discard changes made since you took a snapshot, revert to the snapshot.

You must prepare each volume of the virtual disk (drive C: or D:, for example) for shrinking before you can shrink the disk. To prepare a volume for shrinking, you must first mount it. To mount the volume, use the VMware DiskMount Utility, available as a free download from the VMware Web site. Go to www.vmware.com/download/ws/#utilities.

The VMware DiskMount user's manual is available from the VMware Web site at www.vmware.com/pdf/VMwareDiskMount.pdf. It contains instructions on mounting and unmounting virtual disk volumes with DiskMount.

VMware DiskMount mounts individual volumes of a virtual disk. For the best results when you shrink a virtual disk, you should mount all the volumes and prepare them for shrinking.

After you mount a virtual disk volume, use the virtual disk manager to prepare the volume for shrinking. Once you prepare a volume, unmount it, then repeat the process for each volume of the virtual disk. After you prepare all the volumes of the virtual disk, you can shrink the virtual disk. For examples, see Preparing a Virtual Disk for Shrinking and Shrinking a Virtual Disk.

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