This article introduces how to merge partitions in Windows Server 2008 R2 with both Windows tool and third party server partition software.
Running Windows Server 2008 for a period of time, many people encountered the problem that C drive runs out of space and "Low Disk Space" warning pops up. In technical forums, many people talk about merging partitions in Windows Server 2008. For example, combine C and D drive together, so free space in D drive will be transferred into C drive. It works if you want to increase C drive space, but the best way is by shrinking and extending partitions. In this article, I'll show you how to combine Server 2008 partitions with Disk Management, how to merge and resize partitions with disk partition editor software.
Combine partitions with Server 2008 Disk Management
Better than previous Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 has new Shrink and Extend Volume functions in Disk Management tool. There's no Merge Volume function, but you can realize indirectly with Extend Volume. However, your disk partition configuration must meet the requirements below:
- The 2 partitions must be the same Primary or Logical drive.
- The target partition D (such as merging drive E into D) must be formatted with NTFS file system.
- There's 3rd partition with enough free space to save all files in the partition that will be removed.
How to merge partitions in Windows Server 2008 R2 without any software:
- Back up or transfer all files in volume D to other location.
- Open Disk Management by click Server Manager on bottom left.
- Right click D and select Delete Volume.
- Right click C and select Extend Volume.
- Click Next till Finish to complete the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard.
Limitations to merge 2 partitions with Server 2008 Disk Management
- There must be third partition to transfer files in advance.
- All Windows services and applications in D stop working after merging it into C drive.
- In some environment, Extend Volume is still disabled after deleting D.
- Only 2 adjacent partitions can be merged.
- It can only merge a partition to the left contiguous one such as E to D or D to C, it cannot merge drive D to E or E to C.
Better way to merge partitions in Windows Server 2008
3rd-party server partition software is much more powerful and there are many choices for Server 2008. Comparing with native Disk Management, third party software has more advantages such as:
- Only several clicks are needed to merge partitions in Windows 2008 server.
- You can easily combine 2 NTFS or FAT32 partitions, either one could be the target partition.
- There's no restriction while merging Primary or Logical partitions.
- You can combine a partition into either left or right volume.
How to combine 2 partitions in Windows Server 2008 R2 with NIUBI:
- Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click either partition that you want to combine and select Merge Volume.
- Select both partitions in the pop-up window and click OK.
- Click Apply on top left to execute, done.
After merging complete, all files in drive D will be moved to a root folder in C automatically.
Follow the steps if you want to merge 2 non adjacent partitions.
Resize volume instead of merging 2 partitions together
After merging 2 partitions in Windows 2008 server, 1 of them will be removed. If your aim is to extend partition, you'd better shrink another one instead of merging. With NIUBI Partition Editor, you can shrink any NTFS and FAT32 partition, part of free unused space will be changed to Unallocated, and then you can merge this Unallocated space to the partition that you want to extend (on the same disk). In this way, everything keep the same with before (except partition size).
Follow the steps to extend system C drive by shrinking D or other partition:
Besides shrinking, extending and merge partitions in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk and partition management operations.