Mac Tip: How to increase the size of the C: drive for XP running within OsX Parallels


So I got an MacPro laptop with Parallels from work. While running XP under Parallels, XP keeps telling me I’m running out of space.

While in XP looking at my partitions:

my XP parallels install is 26GB total in size – C: partition is 8GB, and D: is 16GB

I’ve been trying to figure out if there a way to resize the C: partition without re-installing the OS completely and/or XP parallels install. Partition Magic doesn’t seem to run under XP under Parallels.

The Parallels support site doesn’t have anything official listed to fix this problem. So I figured out how to fix my problem after parsing through the below support thread.

To Start with I ran the Parallels image expander tool to increase the total XP parallels hard drive size from 25GB > 34GB

Within the windows XP disk manager, you will see another 10GB of unpartitioned space.

So someone on the support thread said to do the following:

Download the live cd from
Setup another
Boot your VM from the live cd iso
Select default values until gpartd starts
Select partition to resize
Resize and apply
Disconnect iso

They however don’t mention that to increase the size of your C: drive the expanded disk space has to be contiguous. (meaning free space right next to your primary partition)

So the exact steps were to

  1. Make a copy of your XP parallels image (so your data can be restored if something gets corrupted)
  2. Download the live cd from
  3. Run the parallels disk expander tool (expand your XP diskspace to whatever you want)
  4. Using the windows disk manager, create an E: drive with the additional space.
  5. Reboot XP
  6. Then copy/move all the data from D: to E:
  7. Delete the D: partition
  8. shut down XP
  9. create another parallels VM where you boot of the gparted ISO, add your XP image as a 2nd hard drive
  10. from within Gparted Live CD, a disk manager will start automatically
  11. choose the 2nd hard drive, which you will see the C: and E: partitions defined within windows. There should be 16GB of free space right after the first partition. Expand you first partition to whatever size you want (I just added the whole 16GB)
  12. save and quit
  13. boot into your XP parallels VM
  14. checkdisk will run
  15. verify that your C: drive is now 25GB
  16. reboot XP VM (it will ask you to)
  17. delete the Gparted disk space and ISO when you are done to reclaim diskspace.
, ,

6 responses to “Mac Tip: How to increase the size of the C: drive for XP running within OsX Parallels”

  1. Thanks for posting this! I was going to waste an entire afternoon reinstalling Windows! I hope Parallels takes notice and includes this in the documentation or at least the FAQ.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *