Extend system volume

Extend system partition for Windows Server 2008

It is not an easy task to extend system drive for servers, this article shows how to extend system partition on Windows Server 2008 (R2) easily and without losing data.

Can’t extend system volume in Server 2008 DM

Better than previous version, Windows Server 2008 added Extend Volume functionality in native Disk Management, which can be used to extend partition drive on the fly. However, many people feedback that Extend Volume is greyed out when extending system C drive.

Extend Volume disabled

The built-in Extend Volume feature can only extend NTFS partition with adjacent Unallocated space on the right side. As you see in my test server, after shrinking drive D with Shrink Volume, the 10GB Unallocated space is on the right side of D, so I cannot extend system partition C with Extend Volume.

There is an option to enable Extend Volume for C drive by deleting drive D, so there is adjacent Unallocated space behind C. But, programs are installed in drive D, so you cannot delete it. You need 3rd party disk partition tool.

Be caution with partition software

With partitioning software, you can shrink drive D and produce adjacent Unallocated space to extend system partition for Server 2008. If you have shrank drive D in Disk Management, you can move Unallocated space to behind C drive, and then you can extend the system volume by either Disk Management or partition software.

However, not all server partition software can complete this task well. Actually, there is potential system damage and data loss risk when shrinking and extending disk partitions. For example, when shrinking drive D, all files must be moved to new locations. In addition, all parameters of related partition and disk must be updated, too. Any software error or hardware issue such as power failure cause files failed to be moved, or parameters failed to updated. In that case, you cannot boot Windows or access partitions.

Access is denied

To a server, backing up is not enough. It cost a long time to restore and verify data if the system or partitions are damaged by the partitioning software.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor provides powerful 1 Second Rollback technology, which is able to automatically revert the server to original status in a flash if any software error or hardware issue occur. If it happens, server could back online without modification in a short time.

As the best server partition manager, NIUBI PE has other benefits such as:

  • Working in virtual mode and the operations you do will be listed as pending, so you can preview and undo the unwanted operations before clicking Apply to take effect.
  • If you did something wrong, you can cancel the ongoing operations without losing data with help of unique Cancel-at-will technology.
  • In most conditions, NIUBI can help resize server partition on the fly. (Close other running applications and files before starting NIUBI)
  • Its advanced file-moving algorithm helps shrink and extend partition much faster.

How to extend system partition drive?

In fact, it is very easy to shrink and extend partition with this program, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

Steps to extend system partition on Windows Server 2008 R2:

Step 1 Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click drive D and select “Resize/Move Volume”:

Resize volume

Drag the left border rightwards to shrink it in the pop-up window. You may also enter an amount in the box behind “Unallocated space before” (1024MB = 1GB).

Shrink D

Click OK and back to the main window, 20GB Unallocated space is produced behind C drive.

Unallocated created

Step 2 Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, drag the right border rightwards to combine the Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

System partition C is extended in virtual mode, click Apply on top left to take effect.

Partition C extended

If there is not plenty of free space in drive D, you can get free space from other nonadjacent partitions in the same disk.

If there is not enough free space in all other partition, you can clone to a larger disk and extend partition with extra space.

In Summary

Windows built-in Disk Management cannot extend system partition by shrinking other drives, but NIUBI Partition Editor can help you extend system volume and data drives on Windows Server 2008 easily. You just need to drag and drop on the disk map and everything keeps intact. Besides shrinking and extending partition, it helps you do many other operations.