There's a small System Reserved partition in 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 Server 2008 Disk Management, it cannot extend system reserved partition. 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.
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 add Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition, but 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 from C drive
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 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.
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.
Step 2: right click the System Reserved partition and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine Unallocated space.
Step 3: click Apply on top left to execute, done.
Extend system reserved volume from data partitions
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 size of system reserved partition on Windows Server 2008 R2:
If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, do not break array or do any operations to RAID controller, simply follow steps above. If you want to resize system reserved partition for VMware VMDK or Hyper-V VHD, 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:
- 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 any error is detected while resizing partition, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash.
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, NIUBI Partition Editor helps move, merge, copy, convert, wipe, hide, scan partition and much more.