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:
- Right click it and select Shrink Volume.
- Enter an amount and click Shrink.
To extend system volume:
- Right click the contiguous drive (D:) and select Delete Volume.
- Right click C drive and select Extend Volume.
- 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:
- You cannot shrink C drive if there are unmovable files in it.
- Only supports NTFS partition, all other partitions can't be extended.
- It can only shrink a volume towards left and make Unallocated space on the right.
Limitations of Extend Volume:
- Only supports NTFS partition, FAT32 partition can't be extended.
- It can only extend the partition with adjacent Unallocated space on the right, all other partitions cannot be extended.
- 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:
- The 20GB Unallocated space can only be generated on the right side of D.
- Extend Volume is disabled for C drive, because Unallocated is nonadjacent to it.
- Extend Volume greyed out for drive E, because it's on the right of the Unallocated space.
- If drive D is FAT32, both Shrink and Extend Volume is unavailable.
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.
Comparing with other software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of its innovative technologies:
- 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 causing damage.
- 1 Second Rollback - if encounter any error while resizing partition, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash.
- Advanced file-moving algorithm - move and extend partition 30% to 300% faster, saving much time especially when there are large amount of files.