Shrink C drive

Shrink C drive partition for Windows Server 2008

Windows Disk Management can only shrink C drive to create new volume. This article introduces better method to shrink C drive partition on Windows Server 2008 R2. Besides creating new volume, you can extend system reserved partition or other data drives.

Shrink C drive

Shrink C drive to create new volume

If you just want to create more volumes by shrinking C: drive partition, Windows Server 2008 native Disk Management can help you. It is very easy and fast, furthermore, you can accomplish this task without server interruption. However, in some situations you can’t shrink C drive with this builtin utility.

Steps to shrink C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management:

Step 1 Press Windows and R key on your keyboard to start Run, type diskmgmt.msc and then press Enter.

Open disk management

Step 2 Right click C drive and select Shrink Volume in Disk Management snap-in.

Shrink C drive

Step 3 Enter the amount and click Shrink.

Enter amount

61336MB Unallocated space is produced on the right side of C drive, with which you can create new partitions.

C drive shrank


  • Shrink Volume can only shrink NTFS partition, FAT32 is not supported.
  • Shrink Volume cannot produce Unallocated space on the left side.

Shrink C to extend system reserved partition

If you want to expand other partitions by shrinking C drive, Windows Disk Management cannot help you. As you see in my test server, Extend Volume is disabled for other partitions.

Extend Volume disabled

In fact, Extend Volume can only extend the partition with adjacent Unallocated space on the right side. From the screenshot:

  • 30GB Unallocated space is nonadjacent to the system reserved partition, so Extend Volume is greyed out.
  • Extend Volume is disabled for drive D, because the Unallocated space is on its left side.

3rd party disk partitioning software can shrink C drive towards right and produce Unallocated space on the left side, so you can extend the system reserved partition easily.

Step 1 Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” feature.

Resize C drive

Step 2 Drag the left border rightwards to shrink it in the pop-up window.

Shrink C drive

Click OK and back to the main window, system C drive is shrank to 80GB.

C drive shrank

 Right click the system reserved partition and select “Resize/Move Volume” again. Drag the right border rightwards to combine the 20GB Unallocated space.

Extend system reserved

System reserved partition is expand to 20.1GB, click Apply on top left to execute.

System reserved extended


  • This program works in its virtual mode, so real disk partitions won’t be modified until click Apply to confirm.
  • The pending operations marked as Check can be done in desktop and ones marked as Reboot requires reboot to execute.

Shrink C to expand D or other volume

If you want to shrink C drive to extend D in Windows Server 2008, it is similar, follow the steps below.

Step 1 Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume”, drag the right border leftwards to shrink it.

Shrink C drive

Click OK, Unallocated space is produced on the right side of C drive.

C drive shrank

Step 2 Right click drive D and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, drag the left border leftwards to combine the 30GB Unallocated space.

Extend D

Click OK, drive D is extended to 89.9GB.

Drive D extended

In Summary

To shrink C drive in Windows Server 2008 (R2), the native Disk Management is not the best choice. It can only shrink partition C and produce Unallocate on the right side to create new drives. In addition, sometimes you can’t shrink C drive if there are unmovable files. As the best server partition software, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you shrink and extend partition easily and safely.