Diskpart extend partition Windows Server 2003

Diskpart is free Windows built-in utility which can be used to extend Server 2003 partitions. Many people feedback they don't know how to use diskpart, so I decide to write this article. Hope it will help you in a way.

  1. How to launch diskpart command
  2. How to extend Windows 2003 partition
  3. Precondition to use diskpart
  4. Limitations of diskpart command

Part 1: How to launch diskpart

1. Press 'Windows' and 'R' key on the keyboard, type 'cmd' and press 'Enter'.

Run diskpart command

MS-DOS command prompt window will be opened.

Comand prompt window

2. Type "diskpart" and press 'Enter'.

Diskpart command window

Now you are ready to input diskpart commands to do disk partition management.

Part 2: How to extend Server 2003 partition with diskpart

Before running diskpart command to extend a volume, you'd better check the disk partition layout under Disk Management (Right click "My Computer" > "Manage" > "Storage" > "Disk Management".

On my Windows 2003 server, there is drive C: E: F: and a free unallocated space.

Before running diskpart

Steps to extend Windows 2003 partition with diskpart:

Step 1: Follow the steps above to open diskpart command prompt window.

Type "list volume", you'll see all partitions but no Unallocated space.

List volume

Step 2: Type "select volume X" to give focus to the partition you want to extend. (X is the volume number)

Step 3: Type "extend" to proceed extending.

Diskpart extend volume

Now drive F: was extened.

Try to extend drive E: with diskpart.

Diskpart failed to extend

See the error message, you cannot extend drive E: why?

You cannot extend a partition if there is no next continuous Unallocated space.

OK, delet drive F: and redo the steps.

Diskpart extend partition

List Volume

Diskpart extended partition

Extend volume

Yes, drive E: was extended. How about C: drive, as it is system boot partition?

From previous steps we know C: drive cannot be extended if there is no Unallocated space, delete drive E:.

Diskpart extend system partition

Diskpart failed to extend system C: drive even though there is continuous free unallocated space.

To better understand this, you should know the precondition and limitations of diskpart command.

Part 3: Precondition to use diskpart command

  • The volume must be formatted with the NTFS file system.
  • For Basic volumes, the unallocated space for the extension must be the next contiguous space on the same disk.
  • For Dynamic Volumes, the unallocated space can be any empty area on any Dynamic disk on the system.
  • Only the extension of Data volumes is supported.
  • You cannot extend the partition if the system page file is located on the partition. Move the page file to a partition that you do not want to extend.

Part 4: Limitations of diskpart

  • The system volume cannot be extended.
  • Data partition with FAT file system cannot be extended.
  • Comparing with graphical user interface, command line is hard to use for many users.
  • Operations cannot be undone, an incorrect operations lead to data loss.
  • Stop the Server running for a long time.

In conclusion, with diskpart you can only extend a data drive. To extend a partition, you have to delete the next contiguous partition if there is no free unallocated space. To extend windows 2003 system C: drive, you need third party partition software, such as Partition Magic Server, Partition Assistant Server.

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