Resize system partition

Resize system partition (C drive) on Windows Server 2008

This article introduces how to resize system partition on Windows Server 2008 (R2) without losing data. Resize C drive and data volume with Disk Management and server partition software.

Resize system partition

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.

Server manager

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 it and select Extend Volume.
  2. 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:

  1. You cannot shrink C drive if there are unmovable files in it.
  2. It supports NTFS partition only, though it is not an issue to system volume.
  3. It can only shrink a volume towards left and produce Unallocated space on the right side.
Limitations of Extend Volume:

  1. It supports NTFS partition only, FAT32 partition can’t be extended.
  2. It only works when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.
  3. Unallocated space shrank from a partition cannot be extended to other drives.
To show you the limitations, I shrank drive D in my test server. As you see:

Extend Volume disabled

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):

Step 1 Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click the adjacent drive (D:) and select “Resize/Move Volume”.

Resize 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).

Shrink D

Click OK, 20GB Unallocated space is generated on the left side of drive D.

Unallocated created

Step 2 Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, drag the right border rightwards to combine the 20GB Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

System C drive is extended to 40GB, click Apply to take effect.

Partition C extended

Tip 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 Check 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.

Drag to move

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.

Besides shrinking and extending hard drive, cloning disk and partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations.


How to resize system C drive partition on Windows Server 2008?
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