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Migrate a virtualbox VM to a bigger virtual disk 2012-03-18

Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
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3 comments

When a virtual machine has limited use, you don’t want to loose too much space. Sometimes, however, you get the size wrong.

In my case, I have a minimal Windows VM on my Ubuntu laptop. Once in a while I test an upcoming Padre (The Perl IDE) release or update a crappy usb device with Windows-only support. Win-modems may be gone, but we still have GPS devices that run GNU/Linux but can only be connected to Windows. (I guess seeing your market-share shrink because of smart-phones is what they call bad karma, TomTom.)

Windows being Windows, adding disks is a terrible experience (what’s up with the alphabet as a mounting point?) and moving a Windows installation to a second disk is a nightmare. Luckily, free software gets the job done:

1. Make sure your guest machine is halted properly. This is specially important for a NTFS (virtual) partition of a Windows VM.

2. Download Ubuntu (It does not matter if you use the 32- or the 64-bit version, other GNU/Linux distribution will work as well). The screenshots are from a Ubuntu 11.10 setup.

3. In the specific VM-settings, add a new disk (to the same disk controller) and a new cdrom. Load the Ubuntu iso in the virtual cdrom drive.

 

4. Make sure the VM boots from the cdrom.

 

5. “Try” Ubuntu. Once Ubuntu is loaded, launch “gparted”.

 

6. Select the old disk (normally the first one, check the size).

 

7. Right on the disk representation and “copy” it.

 

8. Select the new disk from the combo-box on the upper right (check the size).

9. Go to “Device”, choose “Create Partition Table…”. Click “Apply” in the pop-up window.

 

10. Right on the disk representation and “paste” the original disk. Click “Apply” in the pop-up window.

11. Click on the green “Apply tick” on the icon menu to apply the changes. This will take some time. Get some coffee.

 

12. Right on the disk representation and select “Manage Flags”. Enable “boot”.

13. Shut down the Ubuntu Live cd.

 

14. Remove the original disk from the VM configuration (back it up first).

 

That’s it!