To be able to manage the settings and use the different features about the virtual hard disk of your virtual machines, you need the "VMRC (VMware Remote Console)" program.
For more information about this program, refer to our tutorial : VMware ESXi 6.7 - VMRC console (VMware Remote Console) presentation.
To begin, display the information of a virtual machine from the VMware ESXi web interface and click on : Actions.
In the menu that appears, click on : Console -> Launch remote console.
A "[Name of your virtual machine] - VMware Remote Console" window will appear.
In this window, go to : VMRC -> Manage -> Virtual Machine Settings.
In the "Virtual Machine Settings" window that appears, select your virtual hard disk.
Note that you can access the same options by connecting to your VMware ESXi server from VMware Workstation as explained in our tutorial : VMware Workstation 16 / 15 - Manage the VMs of a ESXi server.
Since you are using your virtual machine remotely, it's not possible to map its virtual hard disk to your computer.
You can also check it in the official VMware documentation : Map or Mount a Virtual Disk to a Drive on the Host System.
If you often use a virtual machine, its performance may decrease due to the fragmentation of its virtual hard disk.
To improve its performance, you can defragment its virtual hard disk by clicking on the "Defragment" button.
After the virtual hard disk is defragmented, you will see the "Disk defragmentation successfully completed" message appear.
One of the advantages of virtualization is to be able to adapt the resources (CPU usage, RAM, storage size, ...) of a virtual machine when needed.
In the settings of your virtual machine, you can for example expand (so, increase) the size of a virtual hard disk by clicking on the "Expand" button.
Specify the new size of the virtual hard disk to increase its size and click "Expand".
The size you specify must therefore be larger than the current one.
Important : as shown here, expanding the virtual hard disk will not affect the size of the file system on it or its partitions.
VMware Remote Console tells you that the disk has been successfully extended.
However as indicated in the message below, you will then need to repartition the virtual hard disk from the guest operating system to be able to use the additional storage space that you have just allocated to this virtual machine.
To do this, refer to the procedure appropriate for your guest operating system :
To recover the unused space by a virtual hard disk, you need to compact it.
When the operation is complete, a "The disk was successfully compacted" message will appear.
Warning : this compacting option doesn't reclaim the unused space present in the various snapshots (if any).
Finally, you will also find an "Advanced" button.
In the "Hard Disk Advanced Settings" window that appears, you can :
Note that the position of the virtual hard disk, as well as the number of virtual hard disks that you can connect to a controller (SCSI, SATA, IDE or NVMe) will depend on the type of controller.
For example, with a SCSI controller, you will be able to connect many devices (hard disks and CD/DVD drives).
But, with an old IDE controller, you will only have 4 possibilities :
For the SATA controller, you will have many possibilities.
Same for the NVMe controller.
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