Merge C and D drive

Merge C, D, E or other drive on Windows Server 2016

Recently, some people ask me whether it is possible to combine C and D drive in Windows Server 2016 without losing data. About this question, yes it is possible, but it is not the best way if you want to extend C drive.

In this article, I’ll show you how to combine drive D and E, or merge C and D drive on Server 2016. In addition, I’ll introduce the best way to extend disk partition by resizing.

Merge C and D drive

How to merge drive D and E

Windows Server 2016 native Disk Management has no Merge Volume functionality, you may try to merge partitions with Delete and Extend Volume indirectly. Here I’ll introduce the easier way with partition software, with which you just need several clicks.

Steps to merge partition D and E on Windows Server 2016:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you’ll see all disk partitions on the right side and available operations on the left.

Right click drive D or E and select Merge Volume.

Merge Volume

Click the check-box in front of both drive D and E, and then click the drop-down box on bottom to select destination drive. If you select D:, partition E will be merged into D.

Merge partitions Server 2016

Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll see that drive D and E are combined together. There is a pending operation “Merge volume E: to D:” added on bottom left. Click “Apply” on top left to execute.

Partitions merged

Open partition D after it finish, as you see, there is a new folder named as “E to D (date and time)” created. All files in partition E are moved to this folder automatically.

New folder

Tip NIUBI Partition Editor is designed to work in virtual mode, the operations you do won’t be executed immediately, instead, they’ll be listed as pending for preview. You may click Undo to cancel the unwanted operations or click Apply to execute.

How to combine C and D drive

It is similar, right click C or D drive and select “Merge Volume”. Select both drives in the pop-up window.

Merge C and D

After merging two partitions, one of them will be deleted. C drive is where Operating System located, so it cannot be deleted, otherwise, you cannot boot Windows. Thus, when merging C and D drive on Server 2016, you can only select C: in the drop-down box. If you select drive D, you’ll receive error message and this operation is disabled.

Select destination drive

Resize instead of merging volumes

If your aim to merge partition C and D on Windows Server 2016 is to increase C drive space, it is NOT the best way. In most of the servers, programs are installed to drive D. Furthermore, some Windows services are running from D in some servers. After merging drive D to C, D will be deleted, so programs and services stop working, though files will be transferred automatically.

The best way to extend C drive on Server 2016 is by shrinking D or other partitions in the same disk, then part of unused space will be converted to Unallocated, which can be added into C drive easily. Operating System, programs, related settings and everything else keep the same after resizing partitions

How to resize drive C and D instead of merging:

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

Resize D

Drag the left border rightwards in the pop-up window to shrink it.

Shrink D

20GB unused space is converted to Unallocated on the left side.

Unallocated created

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

Extend C drive

Click OK, C drive is extended to 50GB.

C drive extended

Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

If there is not plenty of free space in the adjacent partition (D), you can get free space from other partitions in the same disk, in this case, you need an additional step to move partition. Watch the video how to do this:

In Summary

To merge C and D drive on Windows Server 2016, you may use either Windows Disk Management or partition software. However, you can only combine drive D to C with both tools. If you want to expand system C drive by merging it with D drive, try the better method to resize partitions.