This article introduces how to resize primary partition in Windows Server 2008 r2, shrink and extend primary partition for Server 2008 without losing data.
Resize primary partition with diskpart cmd
In Windows PC and server, GPT and MBR are common disk type, Primary and Logical are common partition type in both GPT and MBR disk, NTFS and FAT32 are common file system for both Primary and Logical partition.
The most common difference with different type of disk partition include:
- In GPT disk, all partitions are created as Primary, but in MBR disk, you can create maximum 4 primary partitions.
- Generally speaking, you can create maximum 2TB partition and use 2TB in MBR disk.
- You cannot save a single file larger than 4GB to FAT32 partition.
Whether there's difference while resizing primary partition and logical drive, it depends on the tool you use. To help resize disk partition in Windows Server 2008, there are 2 native tools - diskpart and disk management, there are also many third party software.
Diskpart is a command line tool that can be run in Windows or Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE) command prompt. Follow the steps below to resize Primary (and Logical) partition with diskpart in Windows Server 2008:
There is no difference to shrink and extend Primary partition or Logical drive with diskpart, however, only NTFS partition is supported. In addition, it cannot extend a volume by shrinking any other one.
Limitations to extend primary partition with Disk Management
As you see in the screenshots, no matter you want to extend partition C or D, it is impossible. Extend Volume is always disabled after shrinking other volumes. This is because:
- Both diskpart shrink command and Disk Management Shrink Volume function can only make Unallocated space on the right while shrinking.
- Both diskpart extend command and Disk Management Extend Volume can only expand partition when there is contiguous Unallocated space on the right.
There is addition limitation to resize partition with Server 2008 Disk Management.
As you see in the screenshot, the 70GB Free space is deleting from drive D, Extend Volume option is disabled for C drive. This is because:
Free space is still part of the extended partition, it can't be extended to any Primary partition. Likewise, Unallocated space deleted from Primary partition can't be extended to any Logical partition.
In other words, if the type of partitions that you want to extend and delete are different, Disk Management is completely useless.
Better way to resize primary partition with NIUBI
With NIUBI Partition Editor there are no such limitations.
- Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions can be shrunk and extended without losing data.
- Unallocated space can be made on either left or right when shrinking a partition.
- Unallocated space can be combined to either contiguous partition by 1 step.
- Unallocated space can be moved and combined to any non-adjacent partition on the same disk.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to resize primary and logical partition in Windows Server 2008 R2:
Right click any NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical partition and then select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window:
- Drag the border towards the other one, then you can shrink this partition.
- Drag the middle towards other side, then you can move this partition and adjacent Unallocated space.
- Drag the border opposite to the other one, then you can combine contiguous Unallocated space to this partition.
As a disk partition management software, NIUBI Partition Editor helps do many other operations such as copy, merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan partition, etc. It has unique 1 Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect system and data.