Shrink partition in Windows Server 2008

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to shrink partition in Windows Server 2008 R2. 3 ways to shrink disk partition for Server 2008 without losing data.

Hard drive partitions are allocated while installing Windows or from OEM manufacturers, many Windows 2008 servers have running for many years, is it possible to re-size disk partition without losing data? If you just want to shrink a partition to create new, you can achieve without any software. But if you want to extend other partition by shrinking, you need third party partition editor software.

To shrink disk partition in Windows Server 2008, there are 2 native tools - diskpart and Disk Management. Diskpart works via command prompt and Disk Management works with graphical interface.

Shrink partition with Diskpart command prompt

Many server administrators like to use command line tool, Diskpart may be better choice. However, unlike Disk Management, Diskpart only displays single partitions with part of parameters, it doesn't display disk partition structure or any free space. To use diskpart to shrink, extend or manage disk partitions, you should know their information clearly.

How to shrink partition in Windows Server 2008 with diskpart command:

  1. Press Windows and R together on the keyboard to open Run, type diskpart and press Enter.
  2. Type list volume and press Enter in the command prompt window, then you'll see single partitions in a list.
  3. Type select volume D and press Enter. D is the drive letter or number of the volume that you want to shrink.
  4. Type shrink desired=10240 and press Enter. 10240 is the amount of space that you want to shrink from this partition (in MB).

In a short while, this partition will be shrunk, more about shrinking partition with diskpart.

Shrink partition with Disk Management

Better than previous version, Windows Server 2008 has new Shrink Volume function to decrease partition without losing data. However, the same with Diskpart shrink command, Disk Management Shrink function has the same limitations while shrinking hard drive partition:

How to shrink partition in Windows 2008 Server with Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows and R together on keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
  2. Right click the NTFS partition and select Shrink Volume from the list.
  3. Maximum available space is given, simply click Shrink or enter an smaller amount first by yourself.

If there is plenty of unused space in this partition, but Disk Management gave you little space, it means that there are unmovable files, then you need server partition software which can move these files and shrink this partition to minimum size (if you want).

As I said in the beginning, you'll encounter issue if you want to expand other partition. Unallocated space shrinking from a partition (such as D:) can only be combined to the left contiguous partition (that is D), it cannot be combined to the nonadjacent drive C or the right partition E.

Shrink volume with NIUBI Partition Editor

Comparing with Windows built-in Diskpart command and Disk Management tool, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful, it is able to:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see all disk partitions with structure and other information on the right, available operations to selected disk or partition are listed on the left or by right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

For example how to shrink partition D: in Windows Server 2008:

Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the border towards other side in the pop-up window, or enter an amount in the boxes by yourself.

How to shrink partition to left:

Drag right border towards left

Shrink to left

Then Unallocated space is made on the right side.

Partition Shrunk

How to shrink partition to right:

Drag left border towards right

Shrink to right

Then Unallocated space is made on the left side.

Partition Shrunk

Video guide to shrink partition volume in Windows Server 2008 R2:

Video guide

Besides shrinking and extending partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you merge, copy, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan partition and much more.