Extend C drive

Extend C drive on Windows Server 2008

This article introduces how to extend C: drive on Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data. 2 ways to expand C volume partition with native and 3rd party partition tool.

To server 2008, it is very common that the system C drive getting full, because the server has running for several years and many kinds of files write into C drive every day.

Extend C drive

To solve this problem, if you contact support from server OEM manufacturer, you’ll get a time-consuming solution. Back up everything, delete and recreate volumes, finally restore everything. To a server that has large amount of files, it may cost a whole day to complete this task.

In fact, there is much better solution: you can extend C drive with partition tools. In Windows Server 2008, new Extend Volume functionality is added in Disk Management, so this built-in utility is an option. However, because of some limitations, it is not the best solution. To extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 (R2), the easier, faster and unrestricted method is using partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor.

In this article, I’ll introduce how to extend C drive partition for Server 2008 with both Disk Management and partition software. Compare and select the way that fit for your needs.

Extend C drive with Server 2008 Disk Management

Though Microsoft adds both Shrink Volume and Extend Volume to decrease and increase size of a partition, it is impossible to expand C drive by shrinking D. From the official explanation, Extend Volume is valid only when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side. In addition, this volume must be NTFS, otherwise Extend Volume is greyed out when you right click C drive.

If you insist on extending C drive with Windows built-in utility, the only option is by deleting the adjacent drive (such as D). This drive will be converted to Unallocated space after deleting, so Extend Volume will become valid for C drive.

  • This destructive way is not suggested, because all Windows services and programs in drive D will be deleted, too. They’ll be invalid even if you transfer the files to other partition.
  • Remember to back up or transfer files before deleting.

Steps to extend C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows and R key on keyboard to launch Run, input diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  2. Right click drive D and select Delete Volume.
  3. Right click drive C and select Extend Volume.
  4. Click Next in pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
  5. Select available disk and space, click Next to continue.
  6. Confirm to expand C drive.

Extend Volume Wizard

Tip If drive D is a Logical partition, you still cannot extend C drive even if you deleting D.

With disk partition software, you can extend C drive without deleting D, and everything keeps the same after repartitioning.

Extend C drive with partition software (non-destructively)

Note: there is system damage and data loss risk if you use some reliable partition software, because the parameters of all related disk, drives and files should be modified correctly. But if some software internal error or server hardware issue occur while repartitioning, part of the parameters cannot be updated correctly.

To eradicate these risks, NIUBI Partition Editor integrates unique 1 Second Rollback technology, which is able to automatically reverts the server to original status in a flash if something goes wrong. If it happens, the server could recover and back online without damage immediately. This is the reason why this partition tool is highly recommended.

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

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you’ll see all connected disks and detailed info of each volume. Original C drive is 30GB, let’s begin to extend it.

Step 1: Right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume.

Resize volume

In the pop-up window, drag the left border rightwards.

Shrink D drive

20GB free space is taken out from drive D and display as Unallocated behind C drive.

Unallocated space

Step 2: Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, in the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to combine the Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

C drive is extended to 50GB. However, these operations won’t be done immediately. To avoid mistake, NIUBI is working in virtual mode. As you see, these operations are listed as Pending on bottom left, if you did something wrong, click Undo on top left to cancel. If you want to do like this, click Apply to modify physical disk drives.

C drive extended

In Summary

To extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 (R2), the built-in Disk Management has Extend Volume ability, but it is not the best choice because of many limitations. Third party partition software is easier and much more powerful, but you’d better select the safe tool, otherwise there is potential system damage and data loss risk.

If you use hardware RAID arrays such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 10, do NOT break the raid array or do any other operations in the raid controller. The steps are exactly the same with resizing physical hard disk drive.

Besides shrinking, moving and extending partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations.