How to extend C drive partition in Windows Server 2008

by John, Updated on: June 17, 2020

This article introduces how to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data. Enlarge C: drive partition with other drive and disk.

How to enlarge C drive without any software

Windows 2008 server has been running for several years, system C drive is very likely running out of space. To solve this problem, you can enlarge C drive without wasting a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. To extend C: drive partition in Windows Server 2008, there are two kinds of tools - Windows native tool and 3rd-party software.

Windows has built-in Diskpart and Disk Management, both tools have the ability to extend partition without losing data (in most cases). Diskpart works via command prompt, Disk Management has Extend Volume Wizard with graphical dialog-box. They work in different way but they have same restrictions while expanding C drive for Server 2008. There must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right. You cannot get such required space by shrinking D or any other volume.

As you see in the screenshot, only drive D has right adjacent Unallocated space, so Extend Volume option is activated. C drive is nonadjacent and E is on the right, so Extend Volume is grayed out.

Extend greyed

This Unallocated space is shrunk from D drive, to get adjacent Unallocated space for C drive, the only way is by deleting D.

Follow the steps to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 (R2) Disk Management:

  1. Transfer all files in D: drive to other place. (Caution: if you installed programs or Windows services in this volume, do NOT delete it.)
  2. Press Windows and R keys on your keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  3. Right click D: and select Delete Volume.
  4. Right click C: and select Extend Volume.
  5. Available disk space is selected by default, simply click Next.
  6. Click Finish to confirm extending.

Follow the steps if you want to extend C: drive in Server 2008 with diskpart command. If there's no right contiguous partition D or it is Logical drive, neither Disk Management nor diskpart can help you, then you need partition software for Server 2008.

How to extend C: drive with D or other volume

Obviously, it is better to shrink D drive instead of deleting. With server partitioning software, you can make Unallocated space on either left or right while shrinking any volume. Unallocated space can be merged into either continuous partition by 1 step, or move and combine to any nonadjacent volume. By this method, you can increase C drive space without losing partition or any data. Operating System, programs and associated settings as well as anything else keep the same with before.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor provides innovative technologies to protect system and data such as:

  • Virtual Mode - all operations will be listed as pending for preview, real disk partitions won't be modified until click Apply to confirm.
  • Cancel-at-well - if you applied wrong operations, it doesn't matter, you can also cancel the ongoing operations without losing data.
  • 1 Second Rollback - if encounter any error while resizing partition, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash.

In addition, it is 30% - 300% faster because of the advanced file-moving algorithm. It is very useful especially when this server has large amount of files.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, 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. In Disk 0, there is drive C, D, E and a system reserved partition, original size of partition C is 40GB.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to extend C: drive partition in Windows Server 2008 R2 with NIUBI:

Step 1: Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window, or enter an amount in the box behind "Unallocated space before" (1024MB = 1GB).

Shrink D

Then drive D is shrunk and Unallocated space is generated on the left.

Shrink D

Here D is the adjacent partition behind C drive, if it is E in your server, simply replace D with E in this step.

Step 2: Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag right border towards right to combine Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Then the C drive is extended to 60GB.

Extend os drive

Step 3: Click Apply on top left to take effect.

Video guide to extend C: drive volume on Windows Server 2008 with other volumes:

Video guide

How to expand C: drive with other disk

If there's only single C drive in Disk 0, or there's no available free space in entire disk, no software can extend C drive with free space in other separate disk. But, you can clone this disk to a larger one with NIUBI Partition Editor, additional disk space can be added to C drive while cloning.

The separate disk means Disk 0, 1, etc that are shown by NIUBI or Windows Disk Management, no matter it is physical disk or RAID/VMDK/VHD virtual disk.

How to extend C: drive partition by copying to a larger disk:

Video guide

Extend C drive on RAID, VMware, Hyper-V virtual disk

If there is available free space in any partition on the same disk, you can expand C drive by following the method above and there is no difference, no matter you use any types of hardware RAID arrays or VMware/Hyper-V virtual disk.

If there is no available free space in entire disk, the method is different according to your storage device.

To extend virtual partition C for VMware or Hyper-V:

  1. Follow the steps to increase virtual disk in Hyper-V or VMware, then additional space will be shown as Unallocated space on the end of disk.
  2. Follow the steps above to move and add Unallocated space to C: drive (and other partition).

To extend C drive partition on RAID array:

Firstly, confirm if your raid controller support RAID expansion with larger disks. If it does, then additional space will be also shown as Unallocated on the end after rebuilding raid array.

If it doesn't, follow the steps above to copy original RAID virtual disk to other physical disk or new RAID array.

Find out your disk partition structure and configuration, then select the corresponding method to enlarge C drive for Windows 2008 Server. Besides shrinking, moving, extending and cloning disk partition, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other operations.