Resize system partition (C drive) on Windows Server 2008
Resize system partition with Disk Management
Windows Server 2008 has built-in Shrink and Extend Volume functionalities in Disk Management, with which you can resize system partition and any data volumes without losing data. Click Server Manager on bottom left corner and switch to Disk Management.
To shrink system volume:
- Right click it and select Shrink Volume.
- Enter an amount and click Shrink.
- Right click it and select Extend Volume.
- Click Next till Finish in the Extend Volume Wizard window.
Limitations to resize system volume with DM
It is easy to resize system C: drive in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management, but because of many limitations, it is not the best tool.
Limitations of Shrink Volume:
- You cannot shrink C drive if there are unmovable files in it.
- It supports NTFS partition only, though it is not an issue to system volume.
- It can only shrink a volume towards left and produce Unallocated space on the right side.
- It supports NTFS partition only, FAT32 partition can’t be extended.
- It only works when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.
- Unallocated space shrank from a partition cannot be extended to other drives.
- 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 Unallocated is on its left side.
Resize C drive with partition software
Comparing with Windows Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful.
- Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions can be shrank and extended.
- Shrink a volume to minimum size because it is able to move the “unmovable” files.
- Shrink a volume and produce Unallocated space on either side.
- Unallocated space can be combined to any partition in the same disk, no matter it is adjacent or not.
Steps to resize system C drive on Windows Server 2008 (R2):
Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click the adjacent drive (D:) and select “Resize/Move Volume”.
Drag left border towards the other side to shrink it in the pop-up window. You may directly enter an amount in the box behind “Unallocated space before” (1024MB = 1GB).
Click OK, 20GB Unallocated space is generated on the left side of drive D.
Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, drag the right border rightwards to combine the 20GB Unallocated space.
System C drive is extended to 40GB, click Apply to take effect.
This program is working in its virtual mode, the operations you do will be listed as pending on bottom left for preview, undo and redo. Real disk partitions won’t be resized until click Apply to confirm.
The pending operations that marked as can be done in desktop without server interruption.
If there is not enough free space in drive D, you can get from any nonadjacent partitions, you just need an additional step to move Unallocated space. Unlike dragging either border to shrink and extend partition, to move partition and Unallocated space, you need to drag and drop the middle position in the pop-up window.
If there is no other partitions or not enough free space in all other partitions in the same disk, no partitioning software can extend system drive by taking free space from another separated disk, but you can clone the disk to a larger one, and then extend system volume with extra disk space. Check out the complete solution to extend disk partition on Windows Server 2008.