Windows Server 2008 Extend Volume greyed out solution
The longer time the server is running, the higher probability disk drives runs out of space, especially to the system C: drive. The best way to solve this problem is moving free space from other volumes to C drive. Better than previous Server 2003, Microsoft adds new Shrink Volume and Extend Volume in Windows built-in Disk Management. As the name of the functionalities, Shrink Volume is used to decrease partition size and Extend Volume is used to increase partition size.
In most of the server machines, there is other volume such as D in the same hard disk, so some people wondering if it is possible to shrink D and extend C with the new functionalities. If you search by Google, you’ll find that many people encountered the same problem that Extend Volume is grayed out in Disk Management, of course they cannot extend volume in Server 2008.
Most of the people do not know the reasons why Extend Volume greyed out in Server 2008 Disk Management. Here I’ll introduce all possible reasons and give you 1 step solution to fix this issue.
Why Extend Volume grayed out
There are several reasons why Extend Volume grayed out in Server 2008 (R2) Disk Management and I’ll introduce one by one.
1. No adjacent Unallocated space
From Microsoft explanation, to enlarge a drive with Extend Volume, there must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right side, many people do not know about this. If you right click C drive directly, you’ll find that Windows won’t allow you to extend volume.
Many people tried to decrease the adjacent drive D with Shrink Volume, but Extend Volume is grayed out after shrinking.
From the screenshot above, the Unallocated space is behind D rather than C, so Extend Volume is disabled for C drive. If you can move the Unallocated space to behind C drive, this problem will be solved.
2. Unsupported file system
From Microsoft explanation, only NTFS and RAW format partition can be extended.
From the screenshot above, there is adjacent Unallocated space behind drive D, but Extend Volume is greyed out, too. Note that this drive is FAT32, which is not supported.
3. Different partition type
Cannot get adjacent Unallocated space by Shrink Volume, some people try to delete the adjacent volume and then the disk space will be converted to Unallocated. It works when the partition you deleted and the one you want to extend are same type. For example, if both C and D drive are Primary partition, it works, but if D is Logical partition, Extend Volume is still disabled for C drive.
As you see, original D drive displays as Free space after deleting, and Extend Volume is greyed out when right clicking C drive.
Do not delete the adjacent drive D even if the partition type is the same with C drive. Otherwise, all Windows services and applications of D will be deleted, too. They’ll become invalid even if you move these files to other partitions.
How to fix Extend Volume greyed out issue
In fact, it is very easy to solve this problem with server partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor. If there is adjacent Unallocated or Free space behind a volume, you just need 1 steps to combine these space, no matter this volumes is NTFS or FAT32, or whether the partition type are the same. If the Unallocated space is not adjacent, you just need additional step to move the Unallocated space.
When there is adjacent space
From the screenshot below, drive D is Primary partition, but original right adjacent volume is Logical, in addition, drive D is FAT32 which is not supported in Disk Management. So Extend Volume is disabled for drive D, what to do?
Download NIUBI Partition Editor, different with Server 2008 Disk Management, NIUBI displays the 30GB Free space as Unallocated. Drive D is also FAT32.
Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume, in the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards.
This 30GB Unallocated space will be merged into D drive.
Click OK and back to the main window, this operation is listed as pending on bottom left, you may click Undo to cancel or Apply to execute on top left.
In a short time, drive D is extended.
When Unallocated space is nonadjacent
This is the most common situation that people feedback Extend Volume greyed out in Server 2008 Disk Management. As I said above, you just need to move the Unallocated space to behind the partition, no matter this partition is NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical.
For example, after shrinking D, the Unallocated space is behind D, how to extend C drive with this Unallocated space:
1. Right click D and select Resize/Move Volume, in the pop-up window, drag the middle position rightwards. Drive D will be moved to the right side and the Unallocated space will be move to the left side at the same time.
2. Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again to combine this Unallocated space.
To fix Extend Volume greyed out issue in Windows Server 2008 (R2), you just need to run NIUBI Partition Editor to combine the Unallocated space. If the Unallocated space is not adjacent, simply move it and then combine.