Like a tool, and not thinking ahead, I created an XP Base dynamic image of max 10gb in size. While this is usually enough space to mess around with things, I find it can be a pain in the backside when you want to install a sizeable program – say Visual Studio. While possible, you end up with very little disk space left over at the end of the day.
A possible solution to this dilemma would be to simply add a new disk to the machine, as needed. However, I like making things difficult for myself, so I rather wanted to resize the initial disk. Unfortunately this is not possible with the provided VBoxManage utility. So, you need to jump through a few hoops, but it's really not that difficult.
You will need:
- Clonezilla – http://clonezilla.org
- GParted – http://sourceforge.net/projects/gparted/
Download the ISO versions – and for Clonezilla – DO NOT download the "Alternate" version, it will NOT work.
Using the Virtual Media Manager, create a new dynamic disk of your desired larger size. Call it whatever you like. While you are there, add the CloneZilla and GParted iso's to the CD/DVD library. Create a new VM, but do not attach any disks to it. Configure it as Linux, Debian. I called mine Clone Master.
Edit the VM settings, go to the Storage node, and add a new hard disk. Select your SOURCE disk (The disk you want to enlarge). Add another hard disk, and select the DESTINATION disk (the big image you just created). Click the CD node, and select the clonezilla image. Boot the new VM.
The CloneZilla CD should now boot (If it doesn't, check the boot priority in your VM settings, and make sure CD is set to boot first).
Use the utility to do a local disk to disk clone. Using "beginner" mode is fine. The "expert" mode has a setting to extend the partition to the size of the destination disk, but it didn't work for me at all – the cloned partition was the original size. Not sure if it's because of the NTFS partitions, or a bug in the version I was using. If it works for you then EXCELLENT – you won't need to do the GParted segment.
Once you have cloned the disk, power off the cloning VM, edit the settings, and detach the hard disks from it. Attach the newly cloned bigger image to your original VM, or create a new VM for it, and boot it. Check that the system works ok. If the partition hasn't grown to fill the new partition, you will need to continue to the next step.
Shut down the VM with the new large image. Edit the settings of your cloning VM, set the CD to use the GParted iso, and attach the newly cloned image to the machine. Boot the machine, and GParted should load. Just accept default settings, and eventually X-Windows will load with a copy of GParted. Click the extend button, and increase the partition to fill the disk. Apply the changes. It will only take a few seconds to completed. Exit the system, and shut down the VM. Edit the VM settings, and detach the disks (It's not strictly necessary – more of a safety measure).
Boot your previous VM to test the disk. All should be good.