How to extend system partition on Windows Server 2012

by James, Updated on: June 25, 2020

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 C: drive for Windows 2012 server 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 innovative technologies to protect your system an data.

It is also 30% to 300% faster because of the advanced file-moving algorithm.

2. About hardware RAID arrays

Hardware RAID array has advanced abilities, it is realized by raid controller with several disks. But 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

How to extend system partition 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.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Solution 1: If there's free space in the right contiguous partition (such as D:), follow the steps to extend system partition on Windows Server 2012 (R2):

  1. 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.
    Shrink D
  2. Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.
    Extend C
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done. (All operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)C drive extended

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:

  1. Right click drive E: and follow Steps 1 above to make Unallocated space on the left side.
  2. 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 behind C drive.
  3. 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):

Video guide

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.

Video guide

Extend system partition C for VMware/Hyper-V

To save cost or because of 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 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.

In Summary

If you want to extend system partition on Windows Server 2012 (and R2), 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.