How to shrink partition for Windows 2008 server

by Jordan, Updated on: July 30, 2020

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:

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:

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

List volume

2. Shrink volume with Windows Server 2008 Disk Management

The same with Diskpart command, Disk Management has shortages while shrinking hard drive partition:

How to shrink volume in Windows Server 2008 Disk Management:

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

Enter amount

Common issue while shrinking partition with Server 2008 Disk Management:

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.

Extend greyed

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:

  1. Shrink and extend both NTFS and FAT32 partition.
  2. Shrink partition beyond the point where unmovable files are located.
  3. Make Unallocated space on either side when shrinking partition.
  4. Extend partition by merging contiguous Unallocated space on either side by 1 step.
  5. 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.

NIUBI Partition Editor

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:

Shrink to left

Then Unallocated space is made on the right side.

Partition Shrunk

If you drag left border towards right, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before:

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 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.