Diskpart shrink volume in Windows Server 2008

Updated on: July 11, 2019

This article introduces how to shrink partition with diskpart in Windows Server 2008 R2. Shrink system C drive and volume D via diskpart command line prompt.

How to shrink partition with diskpart in Server 2008

Diskpart is a command line tool integrated from Windows XP, it has many commands such as shrink, extend and convert. If you want to create new volume, you can shrink an allocated partition with Diskpart Shrink command to release free space. However, if you want to expand other partition after shrinking, Diskpart Extend command cannot help you.

Steps to shrink volume with diskpart in Windows Server 2008:

Step 1: Press Windows and R to open Run, type diskpart and press Enter.

Open diskpart

Step 2: Type list volume and press Enter in the command prompt window. Then you'll see all single partitions with other information including file system, type, size and status.

Step 3: Type select volume C and press Enter. C is the drive letter or number of the volume that you want to shrink.

Step 4: Type shrink desired=10240 and press Enter. 10240 is the amount of space that you want to shrink from this partition (in MB).

List volume

In a short while, diskpart report successfully shrunk the volume by 10GB.

Repeat from STEP 2 to shrink drive D, but diskpart report error - The volume cannot be shrunk because the file system does not support it.

Shrink error

Limitations to shrink volume with diskpart command

Type help shrink in diskpart command line window and press Enter, then you'll see what shrink command is used for, and the syntax on the top.

Shrink command

At the end, you'll see the restrictions of diskpart shrink command.

Diskpart shrink

All limitations of Diskpart Shrink command include:

Explanation about the last restriction: for example there is 25GB free space in system partition C, if there are "unmovable" files in this drive, you cannot shrink with desired 25GB (or even 20GB), because diskpart cannot shrink beyond the point where these files are located, then there is no 25GB free space available.

As I said in the beginning, you cannot extend a volume by shrinking other one with Diskpart command. This is because:

For example: after shrinking partition D with diskpart, Unallocated space is produced on the right of D, so this space cannot be extended to the nonadjacent drive C or the right partition E.

There are same limitations while shrinking volume with Server 2008 Disk Management.

Better way than diskpart to shrink and extend partition

With server partition software, there are no such limitations. Comparing with Diskpart command tool, NIUBI Partition Editor is able to:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to shrink partition in Windows Server 2008 R2:

Video guide

Better than other third party tools, NIUBI Partition Editor provides innovative 1 Second Rollback, Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data, advanced file-moving algorithm to help resize partition 30% to 300% faster.