Windows Server 2008 increase partition size

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to increase partition size in Windows Server 2008 r2 without losing data. Increase system partition size from other volume or disk.

Increase partition size without software

Low disk space is common issue in Windows 2008 server, especially to system partition C, because many types of files write into it continuously. If you contact support from server OEM manufacturers, they'll tell you to back up everything, delete and recreate partitions, finally restore from backup. It costs such a long time if you do like that. In fact, you can increase system partition size by moving free space from other data volume.

Better than previous version, Windows Server 2008 has new Shrink and Extend Volume functions added in native Disk Management tool. However, both functions have many restrictions, only when your disk partition structure meet the requirements below, you can increase partition size without software.

Steps to increase partition size of D in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management:

  1. Transfer all files in the right contiguous partition (E:) to other volume.
  2. Right click drive E: and select Delete Volume in Disk Management.
  3. Right click drive D: and select Extend Volume.
  4. Follow the instructions in next windows via several clicks.

There is another Shrink Volume built in Disk Management, but it is useless if you want to extend a partition by shrinking other one.

Cant extend C

Cant extend D

As you see in the screenshot, no matter you want to increase partition size of C: or D: drive, it is impossible. Extend Volume is always greyed out for C and D drive after shrinking other volumes. Learn why cannot extend volume in Server 2008 via Disk Management.

In many servers, the adjacent drive D is used for programs and some Windows services, so you cannot delete it to increase C drive space.

Increase system partition size from D or E

With server partition software, you can shrink the contiguous partition D and make Unallocated space on the left, then system partition size can be increased via either native Disk Management or 3rd-party software.

If there is not plenty of free unused space in the right adjacent partition, you can shrink any other volume on the same disk. In that case, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space next to system C drive.

Steps to increase size of C drive (system partition) in Windows Server 2008 R2:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click the contiguous partition on the right (D: or E:) 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". Then Unallocated space is made next to C drive.
  2. Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine Unallocated space. Then system partitions size will be increased.
  3. Click Apply on top left to confirm and execute.

How to increase partition size of C drive:

Video guide

How to increase partition size of D drive:

Video guide

How to increase partition size with other disk

Many system disks are not large, so there may be not enough free space in entire disk. In that case, you can increase volume size with other disk, steps:

  1. Insert another physical disk or build a raid array.
  2. Copy original disk to this larger disk or raid array with NIUBI Partition Editor.
  3. Additional space is shown as Unallocated on the end, increase size of system partition (and other volume) with this Unallocated space.
  4. Replace original disk or change BIOS to boot from new disk or raid.

Watch the video how to increase partition size with other disk in Windows Server 2008:

Video guide

If you want to increase size of any data volume, you can copy single volume to other disk.

To VMware/Hyper-V virtual server, if there is available free space in any volume on the same disk, simply follow the steps in the video above to increase size of C or D drive. If there is not enough free space, you can increase virtual disk size without copying to other disk. VMware and Hyper-V have their own tools to increase size of virtual disk, after that, additional space will be shown as Unallocated on the end of original disk.

Besides decrease and increase partition size, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other operations.