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 How to increase C Drive size on VMWare Fusion for M1 Mac

bud kuenzli's profile image
bud kuenzli posted Jun 22, 2024 11:23 AM

 I created a virtual drive of some 250GB thinking that Steam Games would install there. My C Drive on Windows Arm is only 8GB or so and some games are 80GB !  Steam does not  "see" the virtual drive so there I can't install games and I have found no way to increase the size of my C drive within Windows in spite of a lot of web searching (as well as here). I'm not even sure what the point of the Virtual Drive is...  If somebody could point me to instructions on how to increase my C drive space within Windows in VMWare Fusion I'd greatly appreciate it.  I was able to connect an SSD that is a work around but it's not nearly as fast as my internal drive and for some games it will become an issue.

Technogeezer's profile image
Technogeezer

First, increase the size of the virtual disk in Fusion. This will increase the size of the virtual disk but not the C drive partition size. To increase the C drive size, use the info in the YouTube video https://m.youtube.com/****?v=uGn7YGwmS1Y

to move the Windows recovery partition and increase the C drive size. 

bud kuenzli's profile image
bud kuenzli

the link from Technogeezer gave me a 404 not valid address and I was so hopeful.   My virtual disk is plenty big but Steam doesn't see it as an option to download to and I have yet to find a way to increase the C drive from within Windows.   I don't even know that use the virtual disk is at this point. I have been able to connect an external SSD that Steam can see but it's not nearly as fast at my internal drive which has enough room to use if I could increase the C drive in Window and then decrease the Virtual disk....At this point VMWare fusion isn't terribly useful.

Technogeezer's profile image
Technogeezer

I apologize for the broken link. If you can hang on a bit longer, I have a link to an article that I’m including in the next version of the Companion Guide that should be helpful. I’ll verify the  link actually works before posting it. 

Technogeezer's profile image
Technogeezer

Many Fusion users think that increasing the size of the virtual hard drive will automatically increase the size of the Windows C:\ drive.

It doesn't.

Increasing the size of a virtual disk only adds additional unused space to the end of the disk. It does not change any existing partition sizes on the virtual drive. Which means that existing C:\ drive's size doesn't change.   

To complete the expansion of a virtual disk, you must use the Disk Management tool in the Windows VM to expand the C:\ drive's partition after you have increased the size of the virtual hard disk in the VM's settings.

But, there's a problem.

To expand the C:\ drive, Windows Disk Management needs the unused space it will use to expand the drive to immediately follow the drive's partition. The problem is that the hidden Windows Recovery Partition immediately follows the C:\ drive's partition (thank you Microsoft). This separates the unused space from the C:\ drive and Windows Disk Management will refuse to increase the C:\ drive size because of it. 

To fix this problem, you need to move the Recovery Partition to the end of the newly expanded drive so that it's no longer blocking the free space 

This article  https://thedxt.ca/2023/06/moving-windows-recovery-partition-correctly/ by Daniel Keer (https://thedxt.ca) is a step-by-step guide for moving the Recovery Partition and resizing the drive. This guide is notable for not requiring third party tools (it uses utilities already present in Windows), and can be done completely on-line once the virtual disk has been expanded by Fusion.