Extend System Reserved Partition in Windows Server 2008 R2

by John, Updated on: September 23, 2022

There's a small "System Reserved" partition if you install Windows Server 2008 on a MBR disk. It contains BCD, Boot Manager and some other files. Sometimes you need to extend system reserved partition. For example, this partition is getting full. Before upgrading to a higher Windows version or converting MBR disk to GPT, you'd better expand this partition a bit larger. Although there's new "Extend Volume" functions in native Disk Management tool, it cannot extend system reserved partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2). To accomplish this task, you need safe disk partition software.

Cannot extend system reserved partition in Server 2008 Disk Management

Microsoft improved the ability of native Disk Management tool in Windows Server 2008 by adding new Shrink and Extend Volume functions. However, if you want to extend system reserved partition by shrinking C or other drive with this tool, it is impossible.

Extend Volume disabled

As you see in the screenshot, Extend Volume option is disabled for system reserved partition after shrinking C drive. This is because:

"Extend Volume" can only extend Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition, "Shrink Volume" can only make Unallocated space on the right.

If you've shrunk C: or other partition, you need 3rd-party tool to move Unallocated space next to the system reserved partition. If you have not, follow the steps below.

How to extend system reserved partition in Windows Server 2008

With partitioning software such as NIUBI Partition Editor, you can shrink C drive and make Unallocated space on the left, then system reserved partition can extended easily. To resize and extend system reserved partition in Server 2008 (R2), you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

Download NIUBI Server Edition and you'll see all disk partitions with structure and other information on the right. System Reserved partition is in Disk 0, there are other drive C, D and E in the same disk.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Steps to extend system reserved partition in Windows Server 2008 R2 with NIUBI:

Step 1: right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume, drag left border towards right in the pop-up window, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before.

Shrink C drive

Then C drive is shrunk and Unallocated space is made on the left.

C drive shrunk

Step 2: right click the System Reserved partition and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.

Drag to extend

Then system reserved partition is extended.

Extend system reserved

Step 3: click Apply on top left to execute, done.

Extend system reserved partition with data volume

If there is not plenty of free space in the contiguous partition C, you may shrink any other data volume on the same disk. In that case, there's an additional step to move partition.

Watch the video how to increase system reserved partition on Windows Server 2008 R2:

Video guide

If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, do not break array or do any operations to RAID controller, simply follow the steps above. If you want to resize system reserved partition in VMware/Hyper-V virtual server, the steps are the same.

Take care of system and data

It is easy to resize and extend system reserved partition in Windows Server 2008 and R2, however, not all software can accomplish this task well. Some unreliable software could cause system boot failure and data loss, so remember to back up first.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has innovative technologies to protect system and data such as:

Because of its advanced file-moving algorithm, NIUBI Partition Editor is much faster to resize and move partition. Besides shrinking and extending partition in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019/2022, this disk partition tool helps move, merge, copy, convert, wipe, hide, scan partition and much more.