Ubuntu – How to increase the hard disk size of the virtual machine

hard drivevirtualboxwindows xp

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I have run out of space on my WinXP virtual machine, which I only gave 10 GB space for when I created it. Is there an easy way to increase it to, say, 20 GB? I can't see any obvious option in VirtualBox settings.

The suggestion below gives this error

wim@wim-ubuntu:/media/data/winxp_vm$ VBoxManage modifyhd wim.vdi --resize 20000
VBoxManage: error: Cannot register the hard disk '/media/data/winxp_vm/wim.vdi' {46284957-2c09-4e70-8a49-bfbe0f7f681d} because a hard disk '/home/wim/VirtualBox VMs/winxp_vm/wim.vdi' with UUID {46284957-2c09-4e70-8a49-bfbe0f7f681d} already exists
VBoxManage: error: Details: code NS_ERROR_INVALID_ARG (0x80070057), component VirtualBox, interface IVirtualBox, callee nsISupports
Context: "OpenMedium(Bstr(pszFilenameOrUuid).raw(), enmDevType, AccessMode_ReadWrite, fForceNewUuidOnOpen, pMedium.asOutParam())" at line 210 of file VBoxManageDisk.cpp

Removing the .vdi from VirtualBox before calling VBoxManage command, then adding it back in, was successful. But now I can't boot the virtual machine, I get this worrying screen:

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By the way, it says FATAL: Could not read from the boot medium! System halted.

The vdi must be reattached to the VM after VBoxManage command. Further, the partition will need to be resized from WITHIN windows, because you will have this empty space:

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I was able to resize the partition easily using a bit of freeware called EASEUS Partition Master 9.1.0 Home Edition.

Best Answer

  • Open a terminal and navigate to the folder with the VirtualBox disk image, then use the following command:

    VBoxManage modifyhd YOUR_HARD_DISK.vdi --resize SIZE_IN_MB

    replacing YOUR_HARD_DISK and SIZE_IN_MB with your image name and desired size. sudo might be necessary in some machines or you might encounter an error. This answer and a fuller explanation are here, on webupd8. Credit to Andrew there for posting this answer.

    After resizing, the extra virtual hard drive space needs to be partitioned and formatted for the guest to use it. This can be done with gparted by booting the guest from a live ISO. We can also resize the existing partition using gparted. For this we may need to disable /swap and create a new swap partition.