This article introduces how to change partition size in Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data. Adjust volume size with native and 3rd-party tool.
Change partition size with Server 2008 Disk Management
Besides creating, deleting and formatting partition, you can change partition size in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management with its built-in new Shrink Volume and Extend Volume function. With Shrink Volume, you can decrease a partition to release free space. Then free space will be converted to Unallocated, which can be used to create new volumes. Extend Volume can increase partition size when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.
Comparing to previous Server 2003, it is a great improvement. However, both functions have many limitations, so you still need third party software to repartition hard drive in many situations.
How to decrease partition size:
- Press Windows and R, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
- Right click the partition that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume from the list.
- Maximum available space is given by default, click Shrink or enter an smaller amount first.
Generally speaking, this partition will be shrunk in a short time.
Limitation of Shrink Volume:
- You can only shrink a drive towards the left and make Unallocated space on the right.
- Only NTFS and RAW partition are supported, FAT32 and other types of partitions cannot be shrank.
- If there are some unmovable files in this drive, Disk Management give you little or even 0MB to shrink.
How to increase partition size:
- Right click the contiguous partition on the right (here is D:) and select Delete Volume, then the disk space will be converted to Unallocated.
- Right click C drive and select Extend Volume.
- Simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
Limitation of Extend Volume:
- To increase partition size with Extend Volume, there must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right side, but you cannot get such required space via Shrink Volume function. (This is the reason why delete drive D in above steps.)
- Only NTFS partitions are supported, if the partition that you want to expand is FAT32, Extend Volume is grayed out, although there's right contiguous Unallocated space.
- In MBR style disk, Free space deleted from Logical drive can't be extended to any Primary partition. Unallocated space deleted from Primary partition can't be extended to any Logical drive.
Change partition size with NIUBI Partition Editor
With server partition software, there are no such limitations. You just need to drag and drop on the disk map to change partition size, no matter it is NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see all disk partitions with structure and other information on the right, available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left or by right clicking.
When decreasing a partition, right click it and select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window:
If you drag left border towards right, Unallocated space is made on the left.
If you drag right border towards left, Unallocated space is made on the right.
You may also enter an amount manually in boxes.
When there is Unallocated space, you can increase size of either contiguous partition. Drag the border opposite to the other one to merge Unallocated space.
Watch the video how to change partition size in Windows Server 2008 R2:
Right click any NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical partition and then select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window:
- Drag the border towards the other one, then you can shrink this partition.
- Drag the middle towards other side, then you can move this partition and adjacent Unallocated space.
- Drag the border opposite to the other one, then you can combine contiguous Unallocated space to this partition.
How to change volume size for RAID, VMDK, VHD
No matter you use physical disk, any types of hardware RAID arrays or VMware/Hyper-V virtual disk, firstly, open NIUBI Partition Editor or Windows Disk Management, check if there is free unused space in any partition. If yes, you can shrink it to create new or expand other one on the same disk.
If the whole disk is full, there are two options, select the one that fits for your own disk partition configuration.
If you use guest server in VMware or Hyper-V, you can increase size of VMDK or VHD with their own tool. After that, additional space is shown as Unallocated on the end of or original virtual disk. Then follow steps above to change partitions size with Unallocated space.
If you use physical disk or hardware RAID array, you can copy to a larger disk or raid with NIUBI Partition Editor. While copying, you can change partition size for Windows 2008 server with additional disk space.