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.
- How to launch diskpart command
- How to extend Windows 2003 partition
- Precondition to use diskpart
- Limitations of diskpart command
Part 1: How to launch diskpart
1. Press 'Windows' and 'R' key on the keyboard, type 'cmd' and press 'Enter'.
MS-DOS command prompt window will be opened.
2. Type "diskpart" and press 'Enter'.
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.
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.
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.
Now drive F: was extened.
Try to extend drive E: with diskpart.
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.
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 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.