How to Resize Partition in Windows Server Without Losing Data

by James, Updated on: May 26, 2022

When system C drive runs out of space in Windows server, it can't be better if you can change partition size without losing data. Otherwise, you have to waste a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. To many people, it is not an easy task to resize Windows server partition. Many people ask similar questions such as: will it cause data loss while resizing partitions, which tool is the best to resize partition in Windows Server. In this article, I'll introduce detailed step to resize Windows server partition with both native tools and safe partition software.

Applies to: Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 (R2), Windows Server 2008 (R2), Windows Server 2003 (R2) and Small Business Server 2011/2008/2003.

1. How to resize partition with Windows Disk Management

In Windows Server 2003, Disk Management can only do some basic operations such as create, delete, format partition and change drive letter. From Windows Server 2008, Disk Management has new "Shrink Volume" and Extend Volume functions to help resize partition without losing data (in most cases). However, it can only shrink NTFS partition, or extend a NTFS partition by deleting its contiguous volume on the right. If you want to resize FAT32 partition, or extend partition by shrinking another one, Disk Management is useless.

Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter, then Disk Management will be opened.

How to shrink a partition:

  1. Right click a NTFS drive that you want to decrease (such as D:) and select Shrink Volume.
  2. Enter the amount of space and click Shrink to proceed. If you don't enter an amount, the maximum available space will be used by default.

Enter amount

How to extend a partition:

  1. Right click the right partition (such as D:) and select Delete Volume.
  2. Right click the left partition (such as C:) and select Extend Volume.
  3. Click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window, then Unallocated space will be added into C drive.

Extend Volume

To extend system partition C with Disk Management, your disk partition structure must meet the requirements:

  1. There must be another partition on the right side of C drive.
  2. This right contiguous drive (such as D:) must be Primary partition.
  3. You did not install programs in D drive, so you can delete it.

Learn why cannot extend C drive in Windows Disk Management.

2. How to resize Windows server partition with diskpart cmd

Some server administrators like to use command line tool, diskpart is Windows native tool and it has many commands to manage disk and partition.

The same with Disk Management, diskpart only support resizing NTFS partition. It cannot resize FAT32 partition or extend a NTFS partition by shrinking any other one. In addition, Diskpart doesn't display Unallocated space, it only show all single partitions in a list.

Press Windows + R on your keyboard, type diskpart and press Enter. In the command prompt window, type help shrink or help extend, you'll see the syntax and limitations.

Diskpart restrictions

3. How to resize volume with server partition editor

To resize partition in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, NIUBI Partition Editor is better choice. Better than Windows native tools, NIUBI has more advantages such as:

  1. Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions can be resized.
  2. It can make Unallocated space on either left or right while shrinking a partition.
  3. It can add Unallocated space to either contiguous partition by 1 step.
  4. It can move and merge Unallocated space to nonadjacent volume on the same disk.
  5. Much easier to use, you just need to click, drag and drop on the disk map.
  6. Much more disk and partition management functions.

There is system damage and data loss risk when resizing partition with unreliable software, because all associated parameters of disk, volume and files must be modified correctly. Any software error or hardware issue could cause system boot failure, partition corruption and data loss.

Better than other partition software, NIUBI Partition Editor has advanced technologies to protect your system and data:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see all disks with partition structure and detailed information of each partition on the right, available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left and by right clicking.

To adjust partition size for Windows server, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map of NIUBI. Follow the steps in the video to resize partition in Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019/2022:

Video guide

Video guide

If you use hardware RAID such as RAID 1, 5, 6, 10, do not break RAID array or do any operations to RAID controller, just follow the steps above. If you run Windows server as virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, there's also no difference to resize virtual disk partition.

Besides help resize partition in Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012/2008/2003, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations such as move, merge, copy, convert, defrag, wipe, hide partition, optimize file system, scan bad sectors.