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Chris Tonkinson

tech {enthusiast, practitioner, leader, podcaster, mentor, entrepreneur}


Refactored Podcast

I co-host Refactored, a casual, ongoing conversation between two technology leaders trying to suck a little less every day.

Career Schema Project

I founded the Career Schema Project with the mission of developing open standards and technology to reduce the hassle of online jobseeking.

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© 2021 Chris Tonkinson

Extending Windows C: Drive using VirtualBox and iSCSI with FreeNAS

Previously I described how to use VirtualBox to set up a Windows VM with storage on a FreeNAS (courtesy iSCSI). To rehash very briefly, it’s straightforward: from FreeNAS, create a zvol and export it via iSCSI. On your virtual machine host, drop to the command line to create a virtual hard drive based on that iSCSI target. This post assumes you’re familiar with that process.

I did just that earlier this year, and the results - even without intense performance tuning - were impressive on my Gbps LAN. At the time, I created a 50GiB zvol for the purpose, which was more than enough for a host that I use maybe once per week for an hour at a time. Now, I’ll be using it more frequently, and 50GiB just isn’t enough anymore. What to do? It’s surprisingly simple.

Be sure to power off your Windows VM before getting started.

Step 1: Upgrade your zvol

In the FreeNAS Web GUI, “Edit” your zvol, and change the size.

Step 2: Resize your C: Drive in Windows

1. Boot Windows.

2. From the “Start” menu, right click “Computer” and click “Manage”

3. Click “Disk Management”

You should see the “C:” drive followed by your new extra drive space. Right click on the “C:” drive, choose “Extend Volume…” and follow the wizard (which in my case was a simple “Next”-Fest).

Step 3: Profit

I was surprised that VirtualBox automatically picked up the new block device size. The volume extension process was near-instantaneous for me, and all that fresh storage space was immediately available for consumption. Couldn’t have been any easier.