Your question is inconsistent: if there's a partition, the filesystem was created by a command like
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdd1. If there's no partition, the filesystem was created by a command line
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdd. Check the output of
df /path/to/some/directory/on/that/filesystem to see which one it is.
Either way, you can call
resize2fs to shrink the filesystem. This is independent of any use of LVM. You can only shrink the filesystem while it's unmounted, so if it's your root filesystem, you need to do that from a rescue system. Note that the disk letter might be different in the rescue system, e.g.
sdb instead of
After shrinking the filesystem to the desired size, if it's on a partition, you need to shrink the partition. You can use
fdisk for that, but it's a bit delicate: you need to delete and recreate the partition, making sure that you don't change its start location. You can also use
parted, which combines filesystem resizing and partition resizing, but it's also cumbersome to use because you need to compute the target start address.
After this, you can shrink the size of the disk image in VMware. Make sure that the filesystem (and partition, if applicable) fit inside the disk image; if there's a partition, remember that the partition table uses an extra 512B at the beginning.