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I have been running 12.04 on a Virtual Box VM for some time. It's my main development machine, so quite important. The disk size is 8Gb.

Recently I started to get pop-up warnings about low disk space. I cleaned up what I could and kept going. The messages would stop for a while, then start again.

This morning my IDE (phpStorm) started complaining that it was out of disk space and could not save changes. This seemed odd to me, since the alerts had just started again and were reporting that I had 200Mb left. (In past days I have received alerts with less than 100Mb left, but have still operated OK).

Anyhow, I did some quick research and decided that I needed to resize the VM disk and then run GParted. In preparation for this, however, I stopped the machine to make a clone of it. Now, neither the clone or the original machine will boot. They just hang with a cursor flicking in the top left.

I'm sure there are a number of ways to deal with this, but I'd like to get a handle on the options before I rush in. Any ideas?

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Try pressing 'shift' or 'escape' immediately after starting the VM to show the GRUB menu. Then choose the 'recovery' option. From there you should be able to choose 'free up disk space' or 'root shell', and from the root shell you can resize the partition and filesystem.

Alternatively, boot the VM from a recovery ISO image.

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Crisis averted. I followed this article to resize the virtual hard drive, The machine booted fine after that.

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