How to resize partition on Windows Server 2008 R2

by Lance, Updated on: June 22, 2020

This article introduces how to resize partition in Windows Server 2008 r2 without losing data, resize Server 2008 volume with Disk Management and NIUBI Partition Editor.

When the system C: drive is running out of space, it can't be better if you can change partition size and increase C drive space directly. Many people ask whether it's possible to resize Server 2008 partition without losing data, if yes, how? In fact, Windows Server 2008 has native Disk Management to help resize partition, but it has many restrictions. Third party software is much more powerful, but there's system damage and data loss risk. Therefore, you'd better make a backup first and run safe partition software for Server 2008. In this article, I'll show you how to resize partition in Windows Server 2008 (r2) with both kinds of tools.

How to resize Server 2008 partition without any software

Better than previous Server 2003, there are new Shrink and Extend Volume functions added in Disk Management. As the name, Shrink Volume is used to decrease partition size and release free unused space, Extend Volume is used to increase partition size with free space. However, as I said in the beginning, this native tool has restrictions such as:

Many people encounter the issue that Extend Volume is disabled for C drive after shrinking D, this is because Unallocated space shrunk from D is nonadjacent to C drive. If you want to extend system partition C with Server 2008 Disk Management, the only option is by deleting the contiguous D drive. Learn more why Extend Volume greyed out in Windows Server 2008.

How to resize partition with Windows Server 2008 Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  2. Right click a NTFS partition and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of space and click Shrink, if you do not enter an amount, maximum available space will be used.
  1. Transfer all files in D: drive to other place.
  2. Right click D drive in Disk Management and select Delete Volume.
  3. Right click C: drive and select Extend Volume.
  4. In the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window, simply click Next till Finish.

If you want to resize FAT32 partition or extend a NTFS partition without deleting another one, you have to run third party server partition software.

How to resize system partition C on Windows Server 2008

It is much easier to resize Server 2008 volume with partitioning software and there are many choices in the market. However, not any one can complete this task well. Different with read-only program, to change size of a volume, disk partition software will modify the parameters of disk, partition and files. In some conditions, it also move all files in this volume to new locations. If any software error or hardware issue occur and cause part of parameters failed to be modified, your system, partition and/or files will be damaged.

Better than other disk partition tool, NIUBI Partition Editor has advanced technologies to protect system, partitions and data:

To resize partition in Windows 2008 server with NIUBI, you just need to click, drag and drop on the disk map.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click a NTFS or FAT32 partition (such as D:) and select "Resize/Move Volume", you have 2 options in the pop-up window.

Option 1: If you drag right border towards left, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space after, Unallocated space is made on the right.

Shrink to left

Option 2: If you drag left border towards right, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before, Unallocated space is made on the left.

Shrink to right

After getting Unallocated space, you can create new volume or combine to other volume to increase partition size.

How to shrink drive D: or E: to expand C drive:

  1. Follow Option 2 to shrink D: drive and make Unallocated space on the left.
  2. Right click C: drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute.

Video guide

If you want to resize the non-adjacent drive E to expand C, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space before adding to C drive.
Follow the steps if you want to extend D drive or other data partition.
If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays such as RAID 1/5/10, there's no difference to resize raid partition on Windows Server 2008.

How to resize Server 2008 volume with another larger disk

In most cases, there's plenty of free space on a disk, so you can shrink the partition to create new or expand other volume. But in few servers, the whole system disk is almost full. In that case, no software can add space to C drive from another separate disk.

If you have the same issue, insert another larger disk to this server and then copy disk with NIUBI Partition Editor. Additional disk space can be added to C drive and other partitions. Follow the steps in the video to resize Server 2008 partitions with another disk:

Video guide

Resize virtual partition for Server 2008 in VMware/Hyper-V

If you run Windows Server 2008 as guest virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, firstly, check if there's plenty of free space on the same disk. If yes, follow the first video above to resize partitions.

If there's no available free space on a disk, it is much easier to solve this problem. Unlike physical server to copy disk, you can expand virtual disk directly. Follow the steps:

After expanding disk, additional space is shown as Unallocated on the end of disk. Then follow the steps to add Unallocated space to C drive (and other partitions).

Besides resizing partition in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, NIUBI Partition Editor helps do many other disk partition management operations.