How to increase your hard disk size in one of your virtual machines – Part I!

One common requirement when you are working with a virtualized environment like any of those provided by CloudShare Pro Plus offering is the ability of increasing hardware (like disk capacity or available RAM) capacity on demand. For instance, imagine you want to test Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview in one of your virtual machines so that you will need some free GBs in order to install and start running it. If you don’t fulfill this installation requirement, the installation wizard will show you a warning message telling you need to clean your drive or try to install Visual Studio 11 in another one.

So the question here is: How can I increase disk size in my virtual machine? Fortunately, CloudShare technology provides a high degree of flexibility in order to edit and modify the hardware for a specific virtual machine in a CloudShare environment:

• First, you need to log in your CloudShare account and start any of the available environments. Once virtual machines belonging to the environment are running, it’s possible to edit the available hardware by using the “Edit hardware” button.

• In the hardware details page, you can modify the following parameters for each virtual machine available in the environment: RAM memory amount, hard disk size and CPUs number. As you can also see in this page, a virtual machine reboot is required after modifying any of these parameters. In this case, just increase the hard disk size, click “Save changes” button and wait until the reboot takes place and your virtual machine is accessible again.

• Connect to your virtual machine either using RDP or your favorite browser. Open Windows Explorer and click over the “Computer” section. You will notice that apparently the hardware modification done has not taken place since the amount of available free space seems to be the same. But sometimes, not everything is as it looks :).

• In order to fin the extra disk space added to your virtual machine, just go to Administrative Tools -> Share and Storage Management. In the “Share and Storage Management” window click over the “Provision storage…” link:

• A configuration wizard for provisioning storage will start. Just click “Next” button in the first window of the wizard.

• Next window will show you that there is extra disk space available but not allocated to any of the existing hard drives. Click Next.

• Next window in the wizard allows you to specify what amount of the available free space you want to assign to a hard drive. Specify any amount desired and click “Next”.

• Next step in the wizard allows you to assign this volume size to a new hard drive. You’ll have to choose a letter for the new hard drive. Click “Next”.

• Then, you have to specify the format for the new hard drive. I recommend you to choose default values provided and click “Next”.

• Finally, a summary window with all the parameters configured so far is displayed. Just click the “Create” button in order to start the hard drive creation process.

• Once the hard drive creation process finishes, a “Confirmation” window will tell you that the new drive is available and ready to use.

• Back to the “Share and Storage Management” tool, you’ll see that the new drive is shown in the list of available drives in the virtual machine.

• You can also check in Windows Explorer that the new hard drive is ready to use.

• And of course, you’ll be able to install Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview on it without problems.

And that’s all about how to increase hard disk size and make it available in your virtual machine. In a future article I will show you how to make extra disk size available in an existing hard drive without having to create a new one.