Home > ubuntu, virtual box, windows > How to resize a disk in VirtualBox (ubuntu host/windows XP guest)

How to resize a disk in VirtualBox (ubuntu host/windows XP guest)

I have Virtual Box 3.2.12 installed on ubuntu 10.10. I have several guest OSes, and one of them is a Windows XP installed on a 8 GB virtual hard disk. This size has become too small and I want to resize it (I created dinamically but I need now more space than it’s 8GB).

This are the steps to resize it. I’ll try to make a complete guide with screenshots to be as clear as possible:

  • Create a new virtual disk (dinamically expanding storage). In my case 20GB would be ok.
  • Set your windows virtual machine to have the new disk image as it’s second hard disk (Settings -> Storage)

Adding the secondary disk

  • Get a bootable linux CD and boot the virtual machine from the CD
  • Open GParted
  • Select the first partition (the one which has data): /dev/sda1

GParted, first partition is sda1

  • Select Partition -> Copy
  • Select the second disk (/dev/sdb) that still is unformatted, and click to select the unallocated partition.
  • Select Partition -> Paste and this dialog appears. Choose Advanced to create an msdos partition table:

GParted sdb partition - create a msdos partition table

  • This seems to do nothing, but it creates the partition table to the new disk. So  repeat the copy-paste and you’ll get this dialog:

GParted - pasting the partition to the new disk

  • Resize the size slider to its maximum size and click Paste.
  • Apply the pending operations:

GParted - copying sda1 to sdb

  • When all operations are completed this dialog appears:

GParted - all pending operations sucessfully completed

  • Assign the boot flag to this new partition (/dev/sdb1): Partition -> Manage flags:

GParted - assign the boot flag to the new partition

  • Exit GParted and poweroff the VM
  • Go to Settings -> Storage again and remove the old (smaller) disk (right click on the disk)

Remove the first disk

  • Assign the big disk to the IDE Primary Master (right pane)
  • Power on the VM, a checkdisk is performed because of the new disk assignment, and finally you have the new disk on your Windows guest machine.
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  1. David Robillard
    March 20, 2012 at 23:26

    Thanks, it worked great for me with a PC-BSD 9.0 64 bit host and a Windows 7 64 bit guest.

    Like

  1. October 3, 2011 at 20:24

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