This article introduces how to extend partition in Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data. Extend Server 2008 volume with Disk Management, Diskpart cmd and NIUBI Partition Editor.
When system C drive is running out of space on Windows Server 2008, if you contact support from OEM manufacturers, they'll tell you to back up, delete and recreate disk partition, and then restore everything. If you do like that, a whole day may be wasted, obviously, it is not the best solution.
To help change partition size, Microsoft provides 2 native tools in Windows Server 2008: Diskpart command and GUI Disk Management. Both tools can shrink and extend Server 2008 volume without losing data (not 100%). However, they only work under restricted condition. In most cases, you still need third party partition software for Server 2008.
1. Extend volume in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management
To extend partition with Windows Server 2008 Disk Management, your disk partition structure must meet the requirements below:
- The partition that you want to extend must be formatted with NTFS file system.
- There is another partition on the same disk and on the right of the drive that you want to increase.
- You must delete this right contiguous partition to get Unallocated space (for example, delete D to extend C).
- On MBR disk, the partitions that you want to delete and extend must be the same Primary or Logical partition.
How to extend volume for Windows 2008 server with Disk Management:
- Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
- Right click the right adjacent partition (such as D:) and select Delete Volume.
- Right click the partition that you want to extend (such as C:) and select Extend Volume.
- Available space is selected by default, simply click Next till Finish in Extend Volume Wizard windows.
As you see in the screenshot, extending C drive is grayed out after shrinking D. This is because the Unallocated space that shrunk from D is nonadjacent to C drive. If Shrink Volume can make Unallocated space on the left, there's no such issue, but it cannot.
2. How to extend Server 2008 partition with diskpart cmd
The same with previous Server 2003, you can extend Server 2008 partition with DiskPart command. But the same with Disk Management, diskpart can only extend a partition by deleting the right contiguous one. Furthermore, only NTFS partition can be extended.
- Unlike Disk Management, diskpart only display all single partitions, it doesn't show any Unallocated space.
- Better than Disk Management, diskpart can extend a Primary partition by deleting either Primary or Logical partition on the right side.
Steps to extend Server 2008 partition with Diskpart:
- Input Windows and R together on the keyboard, type diskpart and press Enter.
- Input list volume and press Enter in the command prompt window.
- Input select volume D and press Enter. (D is the right adjacent drive.)
- Input delete volume and press Enter.
- Input select volume C and press Enter. (C is the partition that you want to extend.)
- Input extend and press Enter.
3. How to extend partition for Windows 2008 server with NIUBI
Comparing with Windows native tools, third party software have many advantages such as:
- They can shrink and extend both NTFS and FAT32 partitions.
- They can make Unallocated space on either left or right side while shrinking a partition.
- They can add Unallocated space to either contiguous and any nonadjacent partitions on the same disk.
However, before extending volume in Windows 2008 server with partitioning software, you'd better make backup.
There's potential data loss risk while resizing allocated partitions, because all parameters of associated disk, partition and files must be modified correctly. Some unreliable software could cause system boot failure, partition damage and data loss.
Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful technologies to protect system and data:
- 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.
- Advanced file-moving algorithm - move and extend partition 30% to 300% faster, saving much time especially if there are large amount of files.
How to extend system partition in Windows Server 2008 R2:
① Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see the main window with disk partition structure and other information.
② Right click D: (the right contiguous drive) and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window. You may also enter an amount in the box behind "Unallocated space before" (1024MB = 1GB).
③ Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.
To modify real disk partition, remember to click Apply on top left to execute. Otherwise, these operations only work in virtual mode.
- If you use any types of hardware RAID array, do not break raid array or do any operation to raid controller. Just follow the step above.
- If you run Windows Server 2008 in VMware or Hyper-V, just install NIUBI to the virtual server and follow the steps above.
- If there's not enough free space on the same disk, copy this disk to a larger one and extend Server 2008 partition(s) with additional disk space. (To virtual servers, you can increase disk size with VMware/Hyper-V own tools, the additional space is shown as Unallocated at the end, follow the steps to merge Unallocated space to C drive or other partition.)