This article introduces how to shrink partition in Windows Server 2008 R2. 3 ways to shrink Server 2008 partition without losing data.
Hard drive partitions are allocated while installing Operating System or by server OEM manufacturer. After running this server for a period of time, you need to change partition size, for example:
- C drive occupied all disk space while installing Operating System, so you may shrink it to get Unallocated space and then create more volumes.
- C drive is running out of space, so you'd better shrink other volume to get Unallocated space and then add into C drive.
To help repartition hard drive, Microsoft provides 2 native tools - diskpart and Disk Management. Diskpart is a command line tool which is included from old Windows XP. From Windows Server 2008, a new Shrink Volume function was added, which has graphic interface. These two native tools work in different way, but they have similar shortages.
1. How to shrink Server 2008 partition with Diskpart command
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 Unallocated space. If you don't know disk partition information very well, it is not suggested to use this tool. Another point, diskpart can only shrink NTFS partitions.
Steps to shrink partition for Windows 2008 server with diskpart command:
- Press Windows and R together on the keyboard to open Run, type diskpart and press Enter.
- Input list volume and press Enter in diskpart command prompt window, then you'll see all partitions in a list.
- Input select volume C and press Enter. C is drive letter or number of the partition that you want to shrink.
- Input shrink desired=XX and press Enter. XX is the amount of space that you want to shrink from this partition (in MB).
2. Shrink volume with Windows Server 2008 Disk Management
The same with Diskpart command, Disk Management has shortages while shrinking hard drive partition:
- Only the partitions that are formatted with NTFS or without file system (RAW) can be shrunk.
- Both tools can only shrink partition towards left and make Unallocated space on the right.
- Little space can be shrunk from the partition if there are some "unmovable" files located.
How to shrink volume in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management:
- Press Windows and R together on keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter.
- Right click a NTFS partition and select Shrink Volume from the list.
- Maximum available space is given by default, you may click Shrink directly or enter an smaller amount by yourself.
Common issue while shrinking partition with Server 2008 Disk Management:
- If there is much free space in this partition, but Disk Management give you 0 space to shrink, that means there's file system error. You need to repair and shrink partition again.
- If it gives you little space, it means that there are unmovable files in this partition. You need to run third party software which can move these unmovable files.
- If you right click FAT32 partition, Shrink Volume is grayed out.
As I said above, diskpart command and Disk Management can only make Unallocated space on the right while shrinking a partition. Therefore, if you want to extend a partition by shrinking another one, neither native tool help you. Because they can only add Unallocated space to left contiguous partition. As you see in the screenshot, Extend Volume is disabled for both C and E after shrinking D.
3. How to shrink partition volume with NIUBI Partition Editor
Comparing with these native tools, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful, it is able to:
- Shrink and extend both NTFS and FAT32 partition.
- Shrink partition beyond the point where unmovable files are located.
- Make Unallocated space on either side when shrinking partition.
- Extend partition by merging contiguous Unallocated space on either side by 1 step.
- Move Unallocated space and combine to any nonadjacent partitions on the same disk.
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 and by right clicking.
How to shrink partition on Windows 2008 server with NIUBI:
Right click any NTFS or FAT32 partition and select "Resize/Move Volume", you have 2 options in the pop-up window.
If you drag right border towards left, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space after:
Then Unallocated space is made on the right side.
Video guide to shrink partition volume in Windows Server 2008 R2:
Besides shrinking and extending partitions on Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you merge, copy, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan partition and much more. Because of the unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies, it is much safer than other tools.