Change partition size for Windows 2008 Server

by James, Updated on: December 1, 2020

This article introduces how to change partition size in Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data. Adjust Server 2008 volume size with native and 3rd-party tool.

Windows 2008 server has running for a long time, many server administrator wonder whether it's possible to change size of Server 2008 partitions without losing data, because system C: drive is getting full. If the answer is yes, is it safe to adjust volume size? In this article, I'll introduce how to decrease and increase partition size fast and safely.

1. Change partition size with Server 2008 Disk Management

Besides create, delete and format partitions, you can change partition size in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management with its built-in new Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions. With Shrink Volume, you can decrease a partition to release free space. Then free space will be converted to Unallocated, this kind of space can be used to create new volume or extend another volume. Extend Volume can increase partition size when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.

Comparing to previous Server 2003, it is great improvement. However, both functions have many limitations, so you still need third party software to repartition hard drive in most cases. Many people think that Windows native utility has best compatibility, but Disk Management damaged my partitions several times when shrinking partition.

How to decrease partition size with Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows and R, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  2. Right click the partition that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume from the list.
  3. Maximum available space is given by default, click Shrink or enter an amount by yourself.

Enter amount

How to increase partition size with Disk Management:

  1. Right click the contiguous partition on the right (here is D:) and select Delete Volume, then the disk space will be converted to Unallocated.
  2. Right click C drive and select Extend Volume.
  3. Simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.

Learn why cannot extend a volume by shrinking another one using Disk Management.

Increase partition size

Limitations of Windows Server 2008 Disk Management to change partition size:

  1. Only NTFS partitions can be shrunk and extended, FAT32 and any other types of partitions are not supported.
  2. You can only shrink a drive towards the left and make Unallocated space on the right.
  3. It cannot shrink partition beyond the point where unmovable files are located.
  4. To increase partition size with Extend Volume function, 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.)
  5. On MBR 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.

2. Change Server 2008 volume 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.

Data safety is most important to a server, but unreliable partitioning software could cause system damage and data loss, therefore, you'd better make a backup in advance and run safe partition software.

Better than Disk Management and other software, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful 1 Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data. Because of the advanced file-moving algorithm, it is 30% to 300% faster. This is very important to a server especially when the operations require server rebooting.

Download this program and you'll see all storage device with partition layout and other information on the right, available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left and by right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to change partitions in Windows Server 2008 R2 with NIUBI:

Right click a NTFS or FAT32 partition and select "Resize/Move Volume", you have 2 options in the pop-up window:

If you drag left border towards right, Unallocated space is made on the left.

Shrink D rightwards

If you drag right border towards left, Unallocated space is made on the right.

Shrink D leftwards

If you want to shrink partition with integer value, enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before or Unallocated space after.

When there is Unallocated space, you can create new volume or merge it to other partition. To merge Unallocated space to either contiguous partition, you just need to drag the border opposite to the other one. If you want to extend a non adjacent partition, there's an additional step to move partition in advance.

Extend C

Extend E

Watch the video how to change partition size in Windows Server 2008 R2:

Video guide

Right click any NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical partition and then select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window:

How to adjust partition size for VM in VMware/Hyper-V

No matter you use physical disk, any types of hardware RAID array or VMware/Hyper-V virtual machine, first of all, check if there is free space in any partition on the same disk. If yes, you can follow the same step above to shrink partition and extend another one.

If the whole disk is full, there are two options, select the one that fits for your own disk partition configuration.

  1. If you use guest server in VMware or Hyper-V, you can increase size of the virtual disk with their own tool. After that, additional space is shown as Unallocated at the end of or original virtual disk. Then follow steps above to change partitions size with Unallocated space.
  2. If you use physical disk or hardware RAID array, you can copy to a larger disk or another raid with NIUBI. While copying disk, you can extend partition with additional disk space.

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