Extend C Drive Partition in Windows Server 2008 R2

by Jordan, Updated on: April 4, 2020

This article introduces how to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 r2, 3 ways to extend C drive partition on Server 2008 without losing data.

In Windows 2008 server, the most common issue is that the system C drive is getting full, because many kinds of files are saving into C drive continuously. To solve this problem, if you contact support from server OEM manufacturer, they'll tell you to back up everything, delete and recreate volumes, finally restore from backup. To a server with large amount of files, it may cost a whole day to complete this task. The fastest way is expanding C drive partition.

To extend C drive in Windows Server 2008, there are 2 kinds of tools - built-in Disk Management and third party partition editor software. In this article, I'll show you 3 ways to extend C drive partition for Server 2008 with both tools.

How to extend C drive with Server 2008 Disk Management

Better than previous version, Windows Server 2008 Disk Management has new Extend Volume function to help increase partition size without losing data. However, it can only expand C drive by deleting the contiguous partition on the right (D: in most cases). If there's no right contiguous partition or you cannot delete it, you cannot extend C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management.

There's another new Shrink Volume function added, some people may ask why not shrinking D to expand C drive. Because Disk Management cannot extend a volume by shrinking another one. As you see in the screenshot, Extend Volume is disabled for C and E drive after shrinking D.

Extend Volume disabled

This is because Shrink Volume can only make Unallocated space on the right, Extend Volume can only add Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition. Unallocated space shrunk from D is nonadjacent to C drive and is on the left of E drive, so Extend Volume greyed out. The only way to extend C drive with Server 2008 Disk Management is by deleting D drive to get right contiguous Unallocated space. But, if drive D is Logical, you still cannot expand C drive after deleting D.

If drive D is Primary and you can delete it, follow the steps to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management:

  1. Transfer all files in D drive to other place. (Confirm no programs or Windows services are installed in this partition.)
  2. Press Windows and R on keyboard to launch Run, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  3. Right click drive D and select Delete Volume.
  4. Right click drive C and select Extend Volume.
  5. Click Next in pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
  6. Available disk space is selected by default, simply click Next till Finish.

With disk partition software, you can extend C drive without deleting D. Operating System, programs and anything else keeps the same with before.

Extend C drive by taking free space from D or E

Caution: there's potential system and data damage risk while resizing partitions. Because, all parameters of associated disk, partition and files must be modified correctly. When shrinking and moving a partition, all files in it will be moved to new locations. Any software error or hardware issue could cause disaster. Therefore, you'd better make a backup first and run safe partition software.

Better than other disk partition tool, NIUBI Partition Editor has advanced technologies to protect system, partitions and data:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see all disk with partition structure and other information on the right. Available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left and by right clicking.

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

  1. Right click D: drive and select Resize/Move Volume, in the pop-up window, drag left border towards right or enter a value in the box of Unallocated space before. Then part of free space will be converted to Unallocated on the left side of D.
  2. Right click C: drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute.

Tips: If you want to extend C drive by shrinking E (nonadjacent partition), there's an additional step to move Unallocated space before adding to C drive.

Video guide

  • This software is designed to work in virtual mode, real disk partitions won't be changed until click Apply to confirm.
  • If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays such as RAID 0/1/5/10, do not break array or do any operation to raid controller, simply follow the same steps in the video.

How to extend C drive partition with other disk

No matter you expand C drive volume with Server 2008 Disk Management or any partitioning software, you can only use the space on the same hard disk. If there's no available free space on a disk, you cannot add space to C drive from another separated disk. Instead, you need to copy disk to a larger one.

Follow the steps to extend C drive for Windows 1008 Server with a larger disk:

Video guide

Extend C drive for virtual server in VMware/Hyper-V

If you run Windows Server 2008 as a guest virtual server machine in VMware or Hyper-V, firstly, check if there's plenty of free space on the same disk. If yes, simply install NIUBI to the virtual server and follow the steps in the first video above.

If there's not plenty of free space on the system disk, you can expand disk without copying to another one.

After expanding disk, additional space is shown as Unallocated on the end of disk. Follow the steps in first video to move Unallocated space and add to C drive.

Besides shrinking partition and extending C drive in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, NIUBI Partition Editor helps do many other disk partition management operations.