Repartition hard disk drive on Windows PC & Server

By Andy, Updated on: February 19, 2020

This article introduces how to repartition hard drive on Windows PC & Server, 3 ways to repartition disk drive without losing data.

Applies to: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 (R2), Small Business Server 2011, Windows Server 2008 (R2) and Windows Server 2003 (R2).

When a partition is running out of space, many people want to repartition hard drive without reinstalling Operating System and all programs. Then is it possible to extend system partition by moving free space from other data volumes? The answer is yes, but you'd better back up first and run safe disk partition software.

To repartition disk drive, you may use either native Disk Management or third party software. From Windows Vista, there are new Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions added in Disk Management, it is able to resize partition without losing data. However, because of many limitations, it is not the best tool. 3rd-party software is much more powerful. This article introduces detailed steps to repartition hard disk with both kinds of tools.

Repartition hard disk with Disk Management

Firstly, you should know that Disk Management can only shrink and extend NTFS partition, FAT32 and any other types of partitions are not supported.

If you just want to shrink a large NTFS partition to create new, Disk Management can help you in most cases, follow the steps:

  1. Press Windows and R together on your keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  2. Right click this NTFS partition and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Simply click Shrink to decrease this partition default maximum available free space, or enter an smaller amount by yourself.

Then part of free space in this partition (such as D:) will be changed to Unallocated on the right side. This Unallocated space can't be added into other volume with Disk Management.

Extend Volume greyed out

As you see:

If you want to extend C drive without any software, the only way is by deleting the right contiguous partition D.

If there's no right contiguous partition or if you cannot delete it, Disk Management is useless.

If you can delete D, right click it in Disk Management and select Delete Volume, then right click C and select Extend Volume, simply click Next till Finish in next windows.

Repartition hard drive with free partition editor

Third party software is much more powerful, and there's many choices in the market.

A right partition software can help you solve this problem fast and safely, but an unreliable program can bring you trouble. There is potential system damage and data loss risk while repartitioning disk drive. If it happens, you'll lose data or waste a long time to restore everything. Better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor has advanced technologies to protect system and data such as:

NIUBI has free edition for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP home computer users. To repartition hard disk drive, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to repartition hard drive without losing data:

How to extend C drive by shrinking other data volume:

Video guide

How to extend D drive by moving free space from other partition:

Video guide

If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, do not break raid array. The steps are exactly the same with above no matter you use hardware RAID or VMware/Hyper-V virtual disk.

Repartition disk drive with another larger disk

In some computers, there's no other partition or not enough free space on the same disk. In that case, no software can repartition this disk, because the size of a physical disk is fixed, so no software can decrease a 256GB hard disk to 200GB or increase it to 300GB.

In this situation, you can copy this disk to another larger one and expand partition(s) with extra disk space. Follow the steps in the video to repartition with another disk:

How to repartition system disk and extend C drive:

Video guide

How to resize a data partition by moving to another disk:

Video guide

If you want to repartition hard disk drive on Windows Server 2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, the steps are exactly the same with above. The difference is that you need server partition editor. Besides shrinking and extending partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps merge, copy, hide, wipe, defrag, convert, scan bad sectors and much more.