How to merge hard drive partitions?
This article introduces full solution how to merge disk partitions on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP (32/64 bit) and how to combine hard drives on Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003 (R2).
All hard drive partitions are allocated while installing Operating System, but you can reallocate disk partitions without starting from scratch. One of the methods is merging partitions together, by doing this, you can reduce the number of drives and transfer free space from one to another.
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In this article, I’ll introduce the full solution how to merge partitions on Windows Server and PC with native tool and 3rd party software. Combine two contiguous partitions or non-adjacent drives, here we go.
How to merge partitions without software
Windows native Disk Management utility has no “Merge Volumes” feature, but you can achieve with Extend Volume functionality indirectly. This functionality is available in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista and Server 2019, 2016, 2012 and 2008. If you are running Windows XP or Server 2003, you need to run DiskPart command prompt or 3rd-party software.
You have to delete a volume, so remember to back up or transfer files manually before deleting.
Steps to merge partitions with Disk Management:
1. Press and on your keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
2. For example to merge drive E: into D, right click drive E: and select Delete Volume.
Disk Management will pop up an alert to back up data, click Yes to confirm after backing up.
3. Disk space of drive E will be changed to Unallocated. Right click drive D and select Extend Volume.
4. Extend Volume Wizard will be launched, click Next till Finish to start.
In a while, the Unallocated space is combined to volume D.
You can only merge a volume into the left adjacent one in Disk Management, for example: merge drive D to C, or combine drive E to D.
If you cannot manually transfer files to other partition, or want to merge a volume into the right adjacent or other non adjacent partitions, you need to run professional disk partition software.
How to combine contiguous partitions
Step 1: Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click any 1 of the two partitions that you want to combine together and select Merge Volume.
Step 2: In the pop-up window, select both partitions and then click OK.
When you merge two data volumes, you can select either as destination in the drop-down box. But when merging C and D drives, you can only select C as destination, otherwise it’ll cause system boot failure. (merge system partition C: to D is disabled)
Step 3: Press Apply button on top left to execute. (This operation works in its own virtual mode and real disk partitions won’t be changed until you click Apply to confirm).
After merging volumes complete, open C drive in Windows Files Explorer and then you’ll see a fold that is named as D to C(date and time). All files of D will be moved to this folder automatically.
How to merge non-adjacent partitions
No disk partition software can merge two non adjacent partitions in one step, you need an additional step to move partition.
Step 1: Right click drive E and select Delete Volume. (Remember to back up or transfer files)
Step 2: Right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume, drag the middle position rightwards in the pop-up window.
Unallocated space will be moved to the left side of D.
Step 3: Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again. Drag the right border rightwards in the pop-up window.
Unallocated space is merged into C drive.
Resize volume instead of merging
If you just want to extend a volume, the best idea is resizing disk partitions instead of merging. As you see, you’ll lose a volume by combing with Disk Management or 3rd party software. You can shrink a volume to release free space, and then add the free space to the drive that you want to extend. By this method, you won’t lose partition, Operating System, programs and all files keep intact.
Watch the video how to resize partition:
No matter you want to resize or merge partitions, you’d better select a safe partition tool, because there is risk of losing data when re-partitioning disk drive. Backup software is not enough especially for Windows servers, because it costs such a long time to restore and verify data if damage occur. The built-in Rollback technology of NIUBI Partition Editor can automatically reverts the computer to original status in a flash, if any software error or hardware issue occur. It also provide Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-Will and Hot-Resize technologies to enhance the protection ability.