Many people have trouble resizing a partition in Windows Server platform, so in this article I want to introduce how to resize Windows Server partitions without starting over or losing any data. Most of the "tutorials" in other places just shows resizing partition under simplest disk configuration, here I'll give the complete and easy solution.
To resize a volume, especially for a server, the first and most important task is finding a tool, a reliable partitioning tool. Who wants to see system failure or data loss after resizing?
Today I introduce a "magic" server partition software – Partition Assistant Server, which is similar with Norton Partition Magic. Partition Magic is a famous partitioning utility, but after Symantec get it, it has not been updated, on October, 2011 Symantec even abandoned it with a statement on their website saying they no longer offer Partition Magic, What a pity. (Don't waste your time trying it, because partition magic isn't compatible with Windows Server 2003 and later editions.)
It doesn't matter, Partition Assistant Server will help you resize server partitions. It supports Windows Server 2008/2003/2000 and Small Business Server 2011/2008/2003 both 32 and 64 bit. Local/external Hard disk drive with any interfaces, all types of hardware RAID array with any raid controller, Hyper-V/VMware virtual machines, USB disk and memory cards are all supported.
Partition Assistant provides unique data protecting technology, Disk/Partition Copy Wizard and Partition Recovery Wizard to ensure data security while resizing partitions, all your files keep intact. It is able to resize data drives and extend NTFS system volume without rebooting.
Back to the topic of how to resize server partitions. Windows Servers provide different services but the steps to resize partition on Server 2003/2008/2011 are the same.
Multi-ways to resize server drives
Besides data protecting ability, another key advantage of resize partitions with Partition Assistant is multi-ways. No matter how complicated the disk partition layout is, this program provides corresponding easy solution.
Please note, no partitioning utility is able to resize partitions beyond two physical hard disks, before resizing disk partitions, I suggest you open disk management (right click My Computer > Manage > Storage > Disk Management) and find out the server disk partition layout.
From my server 2003 DM, there is 3 partitions in Disk 0, but in your server, the disk partition layout is different, however, we can divide into several circumstances as below:
- There is plenty of free space in next contiguous data drive (D: above), so you can shrink it and then extend system C.
- You can only shrink a non-contiguous data drive (G: above).
- There is no enough free space in any one of the data drives.
- The disk is small and you cannot get free space from all data drives.
- There is no other data drive in the same hard disk.
For case 1: you may resize partitions with "Resize Partition" feature, which is common method of all partitioning utilities. Manually shrink drive D: to get some free "Unallocate" space and then extend system C: drive with this free space.
For case 2: it is more complicated as you have to resize and move partitions one by one, so Partition Assistant provides unique feature "Allocate Free Space", you just need to select which drives to shrink and extend without resizing by yourself, no matter if the data drive is continuous or not.
For case3: "Extend Partition Wizard" feature is the best solution, which is able to shrink 2 or all data drives at the same time to extend system partition.
For case 4 and 5: "Disk Copy Wizard" feature helps you clone this disk to another larger disk or RAID array easily, you can extend any partitions with extra disk space in the larger disk during copy process.
As a server administrator, you may manage many servers with different operating systems and disk partition layout, to help you easily, Partition Assistant provides Unlimited Edition (allows unlimited installation and usage in an organization). So with one copy of this partition software, you can resize partitions in Server 2003, 2008, 2011 easily.