How to resize partition in Windows Server 2003

When talking about resizing partitions, many people know the famous program – Partition Magic, which is the first partitioning software. However, this program isn't compatible with Windows Server 2003, 2008. In technical forums, many people feedback failed to install it to Server 2003. To resize partition in Windows 2003 Server, some people try to create partition magic bootable CD, don't do that, because system compatibility is part of an application, partition resizing involves file system and the technology to move files. It is very likely to cause system boot failure or data loss if you resize server 2003 partition with Partition Magic boot CD.

Just forget Partition Magic, besides the limitations, Symantec even abandoned this famous program with a statement on their website saying they no longer offer Norton Partition Magic. In this page, I'll introduce another server partition software, which is similar with Partition Magic but much more powerful.

Partition Magic software for Windows Server 2003

As the most popular server partition software, Partition Assistant Server is the best replacement of Partition Magic. In my opinion, to a partition resizing utility, the most important aspect is not how many features it provides, but the data protecting ability. To me, I won't use an "all-in-one" or "full set of features" tool which causes system failure or losing data,  leaving me sad and start from scratch.

As a "partition magic-like" software, Partition Assistant is not only easy to use, but also integrates unique data protecting technology, Disk/Partition Copy Wizard and "Partition Recovery Wizard" features to keep your data intact while resizing Windows 2003 partitions. All files and application shortcuts keep the same. It is also able to resize data drives and extend NTFS system volume without rebooting to minimize downtime.

Back to the topic of how to resize Windows Server 2003 partition. Unlike single method to resize partition in other partitioning utility, Partition Assistant provides multi-ways resizing Windows 2003 partitions. Server disk partition configuration differs, the task to resize server 2003 volumes becomes much easier if there are varied and corresponding resizing methods.

Multi-ways to resize Windows 2003 partition

As I said, the disk partition layout in different server are not the same. To resize a Windows 2003 partition, I always suggest opening disk management before resizing, to better explain, I take a screen shot of my Server 2003 disk management.

There are 3 partitions C: D: and G: on Disk 0, but in your server, the disk partition layout may be one of the circumstances as below:

  1.  There is plenty of free space in next contiguous data drive (D: above), so you can shrink it and then extend system C.
  2. You can only shrink a non-contiguous data drive (G: above).
  3. There is no enough free space in ONE of the data drives.
  4. The disk is small and you cannot get free space from ALL data drives.
  5. There is no other data drive in the same hard disk.

For case 1: you may resize partitions with "Resize Partition" feature, which is common method of all partitioning utilities. Manually shrink drive D: to get some free "Unallocated" space and then extend system C: drive with this free space.

For case 2: it is more complicated because you have to resize and move partitions one by one, so Partition Assistant provides unique feature "Allocate Free Space", you just need to select which drives to shrink and extend without resizing by yourself, no matter if the data drive is continuous or not. This feature is also suitable for case 1 and easier than "Resize Partition" feature.

For case3: "Extend Partition Wizard" feature is the best solution, which is able to shrink 2 or all data drives at the same time to extend system partition.

For case 4 and 5: "Disk Copy Wizard" feature helps you clone this disk to another larger disk or RAID array easily, you can extend any partitions with extra disk space in the larger disk during copy process.

Windows 2003 Server partition resizing steps

Case 1 and 2 are common scenario for most of the servers, so I want to introduce resizing Server 2003 partitions in these situations, follow the corresponding method if your disk layout is same with other cases.

Step1, launch partition assistant server and you'll see all disk partitions connected to the server, the layout is the same with disk management.

Partition assistant main

Step2, right click any data drive and select "Allocate Free Space", here I want to shrink drive G:

In the pop-up window, specify the amount of free space and add to C:

Click OK and back to main window, where you'll find that the partitions are resized.

Partition resized

Step3, till now, all operations are in virtual mode, that is to say, the server 2003 partitions are not actually resized, you may click "Undo" or "Discard" to modify. If you want to resize partitions like this, click "Apply" button on top left.


Very quickly, partition resized, check in disk management.

Within few steps you can resize the server 2003 partitions without doing anything else.

If you want to resize Windows 2003 partition in VMware/Hyper-V virtual machines or RAID array, no problem. All types of hardware raid, such as RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5, RAID 10, etc are supported.

Learn more about Aomei Partition Assistant.

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2 Responses to How to resize partition in Windows Server 2003

  1. Pingback: How to free up space Windows 2003 Server?

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