This article introduces how to extend system partition on Windows Server 2012 without losing data. Shrink drive D or E to extend system volume C by drag and drop.
System partition is getting full
Comparing with data partitions, system volume is very likely running out of space after running the server for a period of time. Even if you installed all programs to anther volume D, there are still large amount of junk files generated in system C drive.
If you contact support from server OEM manufacturers, they'll tell you to back up, delete and recreate all partitions, finally restore everything. If you do like that, your whole weekend may be wasted. With right tool you can extend system volume for Server 2012 in a short time.
However, you should always pay attention to any operations to a server, before resizing and extending system partition, there are several points you should know.
Tips before extending system partition C
1. Take care of system and data
Unlike the read-only programs such as data recovery software that just read from the hard disk drive. Partition manager software will modify disk partitions, so there is potential system damage and data loss risk, especially when you resizing system partition.
Better than other partitioning software, NIUBI Partition Editor provides 3 innovative technologies to protect your system an data.
- Virtual Mode - all operations will be listed as pending for preview, real disk partitions won't be changed until click Apply to confirm.
- Cancel-at-well - if you applied incorrect operations, it doesn't matter, you can cancel the ongoing operations without causing damage.
- 1-Second Rollback - if anything goes wrong while resizing partition, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash. If it happens, nothing will be changed.
It is also 30% to 300% faster because of the advanced file-moving algorithm.
2. About hardware RAID arrays
Comparing with single physical hard disk, hardware RAID array has advanced abilities, but it is realized by raid controller. To Operating System, there's no difference to physical and RAID virtual disk.
When shrinking data volume and extending system partition on Windows Server 2012, don't break RAID array or do any operations to the RAID controller.
3. Select corresponding solution according to your own partition structure
- To most of the servers, there is adjacent partition (such as D:) on the right side of drive C on the same hard disk, then you just need to shrink it to get some Unallocated space, and then add into the system C drive.
- If you want to shrink any non-adjacent drive (such as E:) to extend system volume, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space behind C drive.
- If there is no other partition or no available free space in the same disk, no partitioning software can help you extend system partition by adding free space from another separated disk. In that case, you can clone the disk to another larger one and extend partition with additional disk space.
How to extend system volume on Server 2012
Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see all disks with partition structure on the right, available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left and by right clicking.
Solution 1: If there's free space in contiguous partition, follow the steps to extend system partition on Windows Server 2012 (R2):
- Right click D: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before. Then part of free space in drive D will be changed to Unallocated on the left.
- Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag left border towards left to combine this Unallocated space.
- Click Apply on top left to execute, done. (All operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)
Solution 2: If there's not enough free space in the contiguous partition, follow the steps to shrink any non-adjacent volume on the same disk:
- Right click drive E: and follow Steps 1 above to make Unallocated space on the left side.
- Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag middle position towards right in the pop-up window. Then Unallocated space will be moved from right of D to the left.
- Right click C: drive and follow Step 3 above to add Unallocated space to C drive.
Watch the video how to extend system partition C in Windows Server 2012 (R2):
Solution 3: If there's no available free space in entire disk, follow the steps to extend system partition C by cloning disk to a larger one.
Extend system partition C for VMware/Hyper-V
To save cost and because of many other benefits, many companies run Windows 2012 server as virtual machine. If you want to extend system partition in VMware or Hyper-V, similarly, first check if there's available free space in any other data volume on the same virtual disk. If yes, simply follow the steps in the video above.
If the entire virtual disk is full and there's no available free space, you can increase virtual disk size easily. After expanding disk, additional disk space will be shown as Unallocated on the end of original virtual disk, then you can combine Unallocated space to the system C drive.
If you want to extend system volume in Windows 2012 server, you'd better back up first and run safe partition software. Because of the powerful data protection technologies, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you complete this task fast and safely. Find out your disk partition configuration and follow the corresponding solution above.