Resize partition on Windows Server 2008 R2 without data loss
When the system C: drive is running out of space, it cannot be better if you can resize the existing partitions and expand C drive directly. Many people ask me if it is possible to resize Server 2008 partition. Is it safe to resize volume on a server? If yes, how to. Though Windows Server 2016 has been released, it seems that many companies still run Windows Server 2008. In this article I’ll introduce how to resize partition on Windows Server 2008 (R2) without losing data.
Which tool to resize Server 2008 volumes?
There are two choices: Windows built-in Disk Management and 3rd-party partition software.
Better than the previous Server edition, Microsoft added new Shrink Volume and Extend Volume under Server 2008 Disk Management. As the name, Shrink Volume is used to decrease partition size, and Extend Volume is used to increase partition size. However, these two functions can simply resize a single volume, if you want to extend C by shrinking D, it is impossible.
To resize Server 2008 partition, server partition software is the best choice. However, some people still like to use Windows built-in utility, so in this article I also introduce resizing partition with Disk Management.
Resize partition under Server 2008 Disk Management
If you want to decrease size of a partition, follow the steps below:
Step 1: Click Server Manager on bottom left corner to open Disk Management.
Step 2: Right click the partition you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume.
Step 3: Enter the amount of space to shrink in pop-up window.
Step 4: Click Shrink to execute. 20GB Unallocated space generated behind volume D in a short time.
Limitation: Unallocated space can ONLY generated behind the volume you shrank, it cannot generate before (on the left side) of D.
How to extend volume in Disk Management
Note: ONLY when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side, you can expand a drive with Extend Volume. If you right click C drive, Extend Volume is grayed out.
Steps to increase partition size:
Step 1: Right click the partition that has adjacent Unallocated space and select Extend Volume. Click Next in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
Step 2: Select available disk and space, click Next to continue.
Step 3: Click Finish to confirm extending.
In a short time, this volume will be extended with the adjacent Unallocated space.
Limitation of resizing partition in Server 2008 Disk Management
Shrink Volume can only release free space on the right side to create new volume. Extend Volume can only extend the volume with adjacent Unallocated space. So you cannot extend C by shrinking D except that you can move the Unallocated space to behind C drive.
Resize partition with 3rd-party software
It is much easier to resize disk partition with 3rd-party partitioning software. However, not every software can complete this task well. Different with read-only program, to change size of a volume, the partition software will modify the parameters of disk, partition and files. In some condition, it also move files in the the volume. If any error cannot handled by this software, it may cause data loss. As we know, data is most important to a server. Actually, besides software error, hardware issue such as low RAM memory, high CPU usage rate and power failure could cause damage, too.
To ensure 100% data safety, you may search NIUBI Partition Editor by Google. It is the only software that can keep system and data intact while resizing partition. Because it is integrated Roll-Back protection technology, which is able to roll back the server to the status before resizing automatically and in a flash, if any software or hardware issue occurred during resizing. Furthermore, the unique file-moving algorithm helps resize partition 30% to 300% faster than any other software.
Steps to resize partition on Windows Server 2008 R2:
In the pop-up window, drag left border rightwards to shrink it.
Click OK and back to the main window, 20GB Unallocated space generated behind C drive, which is shrank from D.
Step 2: Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again.
In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to hold the Unallocated space.
Step 3: C drive is extended, click Apply on top left to execute, done. (all operations before clicking Apply work in virtual mode, you can cancel and redo any step.)
If there is not plenty of free space in the adjacent volume, you can get free space from any other volume in the same disk.
Watch the video how to resize Server 2008 partitions
Is it easy to resize volume on Windows Server 2008?
Note: if you use hardware RAID array such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, do NOT break the array or do other operations in the RAID controller. The steps to resize RAID virtual drive are the same with physical disk partition.