For Linux based Guest OSs:
>cat /dev/zero > zero.fill;sync;sleep 1;sync;rm -f zero.fill
Shutdown the guest OS
From the host OS run
>vmware-vdiskmanager -k myDisk.vmdk
For Windows based Guest OSs:
Before you can shrink a virtual disk, you must prepare each volume on the disk for shrinking. To prepare a volume, it must be located on a Windows host. First you must mount the volume. To mount the volume, use the VMware DiskMount Utility, available as a free download from the VMware Web site.
VMware DiskMount mounts individual volumes of a virtual disk. For optimal shrinking of a virtual disk, you should mount all the volumes and shrink them.
After you mount a virtual disk volume, use the virtual disk manager to prepare the disk for shrinking. To prepare the volume mounted at the M drive for shrinking, use the following:
vmware-vdiskmanager -p M:
Once the preparations are complete, unmount the volume. Repeat this process for each volume of the virtual disk. After you prepare all the volumes for shrinking, you can shrink the virtual disk.
Shrinking a Virtual Disk
To shrink a virtual disk, it must be located on a Windows host. Before you can shrink the virtual disk, make sure you prepare all the volumes of the virtual disk for shrinking. Then use the following:
vmware-vdiskmanager -k myDisk.vmdk
Remember, you cannot shrink a virtual disk if you preallocated all the disk space when you created the virtual disk. You cannot shrink a physical (raw) disk.
*1) Nb. this erase tool is not documented to be compatible with Windows 2003/XP, but it works just fine on on my Win2003 R2 (as far as I can tell).
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