Resize system partition C in Windows Server 2008

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to resize system partition on Windows Server 2008 R2. Resize C drive to extend D or system reserved partition without losing data.

Resize system partition with Disk Management

After running the server for several years, original disk partition configuration becomes no longer reasonable and you need to adjust partition size. The typical example is that system partition C running out of space, so you need to resize it larger. In some servers, the administrators want to resize system partition smaller to expand D or system reserved partition.

Windows Server 2008 has built-in Shrink and Extend Volume functions in Disk Management, with which you can resize system drive and any data volumes without losing data. However, it is not the best choice because of some limitations.

How to resize system C: drive in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management:

Click Server Manager next to Start on bottom left of screen, and then switch to Disk Management.

To shrink system volume:

  1. Right click it and select Shrink Volume.
  2. Enter an amount and click Shrink.

To extend system volume:

  1. Right click the contiguous drive (D:) and select Delete Volume.
  2. Right click C drive and select Extend Volume.
  3. Click Next till Finish in pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.

Why deleting drive D? Because you cannot extend C drive by shrinking D in Disk Management.

Limitations to resize system volume with DM

If you just want to resize system C drive smaller to create new volume, or if you can delete the contiguous partition to enlarge C drive, then you may try the native Disk Management tool.

Limitations of Shrink Volume:

  1. You cannot shrink C drive if there are unmovable files in it.
  2. Only supports NTFS partition, all other partitions can't be extended.
  3. It can only shrink a volume towards left and make Unallocated space on the right.

Limitations of Extend Volume:

  1. Only supports NTFS partition, FAT32 partition can't be extended.
  2. It can only extend the partition with adjacent Unallocated space on the right, all other partitions cannot be extended.
  3. If the right contiguous partition D is Logical, C drive still can't be extended after deleting D.

To show you the limitations, I shrank drive D in my test server. As you see:

Extend Volume disabled

Extend is grayed

Resize C drive with partition editor software

Comparing with Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful. It is able to shrink both NTFS and FAT32 partitions, Unallocated space can be made on either side while shrinking, or combined to other partitions on the same disk.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video.

How to resize C drive smaller in Windows Server 2008 to expand other volumes:

Video guide

How to resize C drive larger in Windows Server 2008 by shrinking other volumes:

Video guide

If you want to increase system volume but there is not enough free space on the same disk, you can copy the disk to a larger one, and then extend C drive (and other partitions) with extra disk space.

Comparing with other software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of its innovative technologies: