How to extend C drive in Windows 2008 Server

by Jordan, Updated on: November 27, 2020

This article introduces full solution to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 r2, select the corresponding method according to your own disk partition configuration.

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 extending C drive with another partition or disk.

To extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 and R2, there are 2 kinds of tools - built-in Disk Management and third party partition editor software. In this article, I'll show you detailed steps to extend C drive volume in Server 2008 with both tools.

1. 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 (in most cases).

However, it can only expand C drive by deleting the contiguous partition on the right (D: or E). 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 Unallocated space that shrunk from a partition via Shrink Volume cannot be extended to other partition with Extend Volume function. As you see in the screenshot, Extend Volume is disabled for C and E drive after shrinking D.

Extend Volume disabled

Extend Volume only works when there's contiguous Unallocated space on the right side. The problem is, you can't get such required Unallocated space via Shrink Volume in Disk Management. When shrinking a partition using Disk Management, Unallocated space can only be made on the right, hence it is non adjacent to C drive. Another E drive is on the right of the Unallocated space, so Extend Volume greyed out, too.

The only way to extend C drive with Server 2008 Disk Management is by deleting D drive to get right contiguous Unallocated space. However, if D is a Logical drive, you still cannot expand C drive after deleting D. In one word, only when the contiguous partition D is Primary and you can delete it, you can extend C drive for Windows 2008 server without any software.

Steps to extend C drive volume with Server 2008 Disk Management:

  1. Transfer all files in D drive to other place. (Make sure 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.

If you want to extend C drive with diskpart cmd, you must delete D drive in advance, too. Better than the Windows native tools. Third party software can make Unallocated space on either left or right when shrinking partition, and merge Unallocated space to either contiguous or any nonadjacent partition on the same disk. Thus, you can increase C drive space without deleting other volume, Operating System, programs and anything else keeps the same with before.

2. How to increase C drive from D or E on the same disk

There's potential system and data damage risk while resizing partitions with unreliable software. Because, all parameters of associated disk, partition and files must be modified correctly. Sometimes all files in the partition 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.

Steps to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 R2 with NIUBI Partition Editor:

  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 the non adjacent partition E, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space behind C drive.

Video guide

If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays such as RAID 1/5/10, do not break array or do any operation to raid controller, simply follow the same steps in the video.

3. How to extend C drive partition with another 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 separate disk. Instead, you need to copy disk to a larger one.

Follow the steps to extend C drive for Windows 2008 Server with a larger disk:

Video guide

Another method is moving D or E to another disk, then delete this partition and add its space to C drive.

How to extend C drive for Server 2008 in VMware/Hyper-V

If you run Windows 2008 as a guest server in VMware or Hyper-V virtual machine, 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 this virtual disk without copying to another one.

After expanding disk, additional space is shown as Unallocated at the end of original 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.