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Jeroen W. Pluimers on .NET, C#, Delphi, databases, and personal interests

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Archive for the ‘VMware ESXi’ Category

A choco install list

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/02/03

Sometimes I forget the choco install mnemonics for various tools, so here is a small list below.

Of course you have to start with an administrative command prompt, and have a basic Chocolatey Installation in place.

If you want to clean cruft:

choco install --yes choco-cleaner

Basic install:

choco install --yes 7zip
choco install --yes everything
choco install --yes notepadplusplus
choco install --yes beyondcompare
choco install --yes git.install --params "/GitAndUnixToolsOnPath /NoGitLfs /SChannel /NoAutoCrlf /WindowsTerminal"
choco install --yes hg
choco install --yes sourcetree
choco install --yes sysinternals

For VMs (pic one):

choco install --yes vmware-tools
choco install --yes virtio-drivers

For browsing (not sure yet about Chrome as that one has a non-admin installer as well):

choco install --yes firefox

For file transfer (though be aware that some versions of Filezilla contained adware):

choco install --yes filezilla
choco install --yes winscp

For coding:

choco install --yes vscode
choco install --yes atom

For SQL server:

choco install --yes sql-server-management-studio

For web development / power user:

choco install --yes fiddler

For SOAP and REST:

choco install --yes soapui

If you don’t like manually downloading SequoiaView at (

choco install --yes windirstat

For drawing, image manipulation ( last, as it needs a UI action):

choco install --yes gimp
choco install --yes imagemagick
choco install --yes

For ISO image mounting in pre Windows 10:

choco install --yes wincdemu

For hard disk management:

choco install --yes hdtune
choco install --yes seatools
choco install --yes speedfan

For Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners (not sure yet this includes PDF support):

choco install --yes scansnapmanager


Posted in .NET, 7zip, Atom, Beyond Compare, Chocolatey, Compression, Database Development, Development, DVCS - Distributed Version Control, Everything by VoidTools, Fiddler, Firefox, Fujitsu ScanSnap, git, Hardware, Mercurial/Hg, Power User, Scanners, SOAP/WebServices, Software Development, Source Code Management, SQL Server, SSMS SQL Server Management Studio, SysInternals, Text Editors, Versioning, Virtualization, Visual Studio and tools, Visual Studio Code, VMware, VMware ESXi, Web Browsers, Web Development, Windows | Leave a Comment »

OSX 10.13 with vSphere 6.7 – Virtual Odyssey

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/11/16

Interesting: I never realised that getting MacOS installed on ESXi was relatively easy!

[WayBack] OSX 10.13 with vSphere 6.7 – Virtual Odyssey:

vCenter 6.7a/ESXi 6.7a Installing OSX 10.13 seemed pretty straight forward on 6.7. Essentially, you mount the ISO as per usual, and the only thing I had to do before starting the installation was to format the disk via terminal. Once…

So no need for all this:



Posted in ESXi6.5, ESXi6.7, Power User, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi | Leave a Comment »

Converting a virtual IDE disk to a virtual SCSI disk (1016192)

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/09/11

Just in case I have a VM with only IDE disks of which one ore more need to become SCSI disks: [WayBack] Converting a virtual IDE disk to a virtual SCSI disk (1016192)


  1. Add one SCSI disk
  2. Install drivers for it and get it recognised
  3. When the VM is shutdown:
    1. Modify the disk description of the IDE disk to SCSI (hack) or
    2. (often easier) remove the disk, then attach it to the SCSI controller


Posted in Power User, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi | Leave a Comment »

ESXi: shrinking a thin provisioned disk by first exploding it with zero content

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/09/07

In addition to¬†ESXi: shrinking a Windows disk, you can shrink any ESXi thin provisioned disk by first exploding it with zero content, then shrinking it like described by¬†[WayBack] How to Shrink a Thin VMDK on ESXi 5.0 | Boerlowie’s Blog.

It comes down to using this command:

 vmkfstools --punchzero myVirtualMachineDisk.vmdk

You can replace --punchzero with -K if you like more cryptic arguments.

This works because thin provisioned vmdk disk files are sparse files where zero content can be non-allocated.

The trick requires all empty space to be zeroed out (which usually comes down using a tool like sdelete on Windows or shred¬†on Linux), hence the “exploding” in the post title.

For a good explanation on thin, versus thick versus eagerlyZeroedThick, read¬†[WayBack]¬†Thin Provisioning – What’s the scoop? – VMware vSphere Blog.

A few remarks:

  • this only works within datastores, so when you transfer your file out, then the file will be the thick size
  • an OVF exported virtual machine will benefit from thin provisioned disks
  • the du¬†command will show the actual storage size (including the savings from think provisioned disks)
  • the ls¬†command will show then “virtual” storage size (excluding any thin provisioning gains)
  • the difference between ls¬†and du¬†output is the thin provisioning gain


Posted in Power User, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi | Leave a Comment »

ESXi: shrinking a Windows disk

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/09/04

I had to shrink down a Windows disk of an ESXi based Virtual Machine from 240 Gibibyte to about 140 gigabyte.

In this case, it was Windows 7 on ESXi 6.5, but the actual versions do not really matter.

The only way to decrease ESXi .vmdk files is by fiddling with disk sector counts in the text based .vmdk files (not the binaries .vmdk files!) of a diskname.vmdk / diskname-flat.vmdk text/binary pair. This is described for instance in these two articles:


  1. This article presumes you already shrunk your NTFS partition (for instance as described in Consolidating NTFS free space).
  2. If you only have a binary .vmdk file, then you can use vmkfstools to create a text/binary pair for you, for instance by using these commands:
    vmkfstools --clonevirtualdisk Windows7.vmdk Windows7.thick.vmdk
    vmkfstools --clonevirtualdisk Windows7.vmdk Windows7.thin.vmdk --diskformat thin
  3. You cannot workaround 2. as the --geometry functionality of vmkfstools only displays existing geometry, see

ESXi has .vmdk files that count disk sizes in sectors, but the tooling that ship with Windows to not show partition sizes in sectors, especially not the partition ending sector.

All permutations of tooling like DISKPART, PowerShell, WMIC and terms partition, ending sector, cylinder, head, etc failed me to return built-in tools.

Luckily,¬†“powershell” “partition” “ending sector”¬†found the documentation for [WayBack] Test Disk | File System | Data Management¬†titled “TestDisk Documentation, Release 7.1, Christophe GRENIER” which lead to:

[WayBack] TestDisk Download – CGSecurity

Download TestDisk & PhotoRec. TestDisk is a free and open source data recovery software tool designed to recover lost partition and unerase deleted files. PhotoRec is a file carver data recovery software tool.

It is available for many platforms, including Windows x86 (fully featured) and x64 (limited features):

There was also the much more convoluted PowerForensics which is also more difficult to install:

As a check (because the calculations by hand are too cumbersome to trust on a first trey), I also downloaded the ISO image of gparted:

Let’s get started for real!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Power User, Virtualization, VMware, VMware ESXi, Windows, Windows 7 | Leave a Comment »

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