Network Administrator Knowledgebase

June 21, 2009  3:41 PM

How To Shrink VMware Virtual Disk Files (.vmdk) (Windows OS installed as Guest).

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Recently I worked on building VM Appliance and when I was ready to convert my VM to appliance I’ve figured out that virtual disk is too big. So, I did what I usually do in this situation. And now I’d like to show how you can shrink the virtual disk files of your VMware virtual machines so that if you zip them, they will use much less space. It is then easier to upload and share them with other people.

Yes, I know, many of you now said “Misha is going to talk about Shrink”. You know what, you pretty true, but …

Everybody knows What the “shrink” does. Shrink removes an empty space from .VMDK file.

However, the problem is this: What is empty space?

When Windows deletes a file, it doesn’t actually delete the data on the disk, it just deletes the references/pointers in the file allocation table. So when “Shrink” is processing a vmdk and is looking at the raw disk, it’s seeing values that aren’t empty (non-zero), and exports them as such.

You can easily test this out. Create a new vmdk on a VM. Export the VMDK right after you’ve created it. The exported files will be very small. Now fill the vmdk up with files and export; it will be very big. Now, delete all the files in the vmdk and export; it’ll still be big! If you will try to do a “Shrink”, you will see that the vmdk file is still big.

So, before doing a Shrink, I’m always using a really cool command line tool developed by Mark Russinovich, SDelete. Simply, execute SDelete with parameter -c inside running Virtual machine, then shut down the Guest and do a Shrink.

Last note. Just in case you forget how to do a shrink ;). From command line go to C:\Programme\VMware\VMware Server\ and execute the vmware-vdiskmanager.exe as shown in following example:

“C:\Programme\VMware\VMware Server\vmware-vdiskmanager.exe” -k “ITSTUFF-SRV-1.vmdk”


May 23, 2009  3:23 PM

Simplify the ImageX Result, Make it More Readable

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Simplify the ImageX‘s result, make it more readable. See the result in following format:

Index Image Name
[1] Windows 7 STARTER
[2] Windows 7 HOMEBASIC
[3] Windows 7 HOMEPREMIUM
[4] Windows 7 PROFESSIONAL
[5] Windows 7 ULTIMATE

Continue @

May 3, 2009  10:05 PM

Unattended Installation Avira Antivirus on Windows 7

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Everybody knows that I’m real fun of Unattended Installation. I try to do as much as possible to automate everything :). Time to time, I meet applications are not supporting unattended or silent installation. In this situation, my “Best Friend” is Autoit helps me. In the following video, you can see a demo, how by using Autoit script (BTW, any Autoit script could be compiled into .EXE file) I’m installing Avira Antivirus on Windows 7 RC1 (Win7 RC1).

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

April 28, 2009  4:06 PM

FREE Live Migration and Host Clustering in Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

According to Zane Adam, senior director of virtualization and System Center, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 will continue to be free, and now will include live migration and host clustering capabilities…

Customers won’t need to pay thousands of dollars for alternate Virtualization platforms to get these features. With Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, customers have a solution for both planned and unplanned downtime and can use it for scenarios like server consolidation, branch server consolidation, high availability (HA), and VDI.

You can download Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 beta here. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 can be managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2. You can download the beta here.

You can find more info on Microsoft’s virtualization products and solutions at

April 28, 2009  1:36 PM


Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

I’d like to let everybody know about my new (rebuild) blog, This blog dedicated to IT Technologies. is all about Windows, VMware, Hyper-V, Virtualization, HP Servers, Blades and other IT Technologies. An invaluable source of Tools and Scripts for IT Network Administrators. A valuable advice, Tips, Tricks and best practices for Net Admins.

Please join And, PLEASE 🙂 promote my new endeavour, by spreading the word!

April 24, 2009  7:20 PM

Official Release Candidate 1 Build: Microsoft Windows 7 RC1 – 7100.0.winmain_win7rc.090421-1700

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Many websites and blogs are reporting the leak of Build 7100 which is the RC version of Windows 7

Continue @

April 16, 2009  1:33 PM

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 Beta Released

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Microsoft released the beta of Microsoft Exchange 2010!
This software is intended for evaluation purposes only. You must accept the license terms before you are authorized to use this software. There is no product support for this trial software. You are welcome to participate in the forums to share your trial experiences with others and to ask for advice.

More info @

April 15, 2009  1:35 PM

EPIC Technology Day

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Winnipeg ~ On April 21st, 2009, local information technology company EPIC Information Solutions (EPIC) will unveil the latest version of its bi-annual conference, EPIC Technology Day, at the Victoria Inn on Wellington Avenue.

Click here to register!

March 20, 2009  2:19 PM

Internet Explorer 8 – Final

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Microsoft officially released IE8.

You can download IE8 for almost all MS OSs (I’m not talking about versions that everybody already forget about 🙂 ) from official MS web site, by visiting this page:

February 27, 2009  7:24 PM

Citrix Makes XenServer Free

Michael Khanin Michael Khanin Profile: Michael Khanin

Citrix is to make its XenServer software free, from April. As part of the new agreement, Citrix plans to release a new suite of virtualisation management tools in April, called Citrix Essentials, that will be offered in two versions – one for Microsoft’s Hyper-V software and another for Citrix XenServer.

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