Unable to extend c drive

Easy way to fix unable to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008

System C: drive is very likely getting full in both Windows PC and server. It is annoying to most of the computer users and server administrators. You’ll suffer from performance down, server stuck or crash if you do not fix this issue as fast as possible. On the other hand, C drive is where Operating System located, so the server cannot boot if you did something wrong. In that case, it costs a long time to restore. The worst, you’ll lose part of data if you use some unreliable partition software.

To enhance the disk partition management ability, Microsoft adds new Shrink Volume and Extend Volume in Server 2008 native Disk Management. However, it is useless in most situations. The typical example is that it cannot extend C drive by shrinking D. In this article I’ll explain why it is unable to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 R2. In addition, I’ll show you the easiest way to fix this issue.

Unable to extend c drive

Why unable to extend C drive in Disk Management

  • No adjacent Unallocated space

One of the precondition to use Extend Volume is that there must be adjacent Unallocated space, in addition, the Unallocated space must be on the right side. So you cannot extend C drive by simply right clicking it.

Extend Volume is grayed

It is unable to extend C drive even if you shrink the adjacent drive D to get Unallocated space. As you see, the 10GB Unallocated space is next to D rather than C. This is the most probable situation that unable to C drive in Windows Server 2008 DM. You’ll find many similar disk partition configuration if you search by Google or in technical forums,

Extend Volume disabled

  • Different partition type

Some server administrators do not trust third party program and insist on Windows built-in utility. As it is impossible to get right adjacent Unallocated space by shrinking D, they delete D instead, so Extend Volume is activated for C drive. This is a bad idea, but it works in GPT disk. In MBR style disk, it depends.

In the screenshot above, you’ll see Primary partition, Extended and Logical partition on the bottom. In a MBR disk, there could be maximum 4 Primary partitions, or 3 Primary partitions plus an Extended partition. There could be many Logical partitions in the Extended partition.

  • If both drive C and D are Primary partitions, you can extend C drive by deleting D.
  • If both drive D and E are Logical partitions, you can extend D drive by deleting E.
  • You are unable to extend C drive by deleting D if D is a Logical partition.

Extend Volume disabled

How to fix cannot extend C drive issue

It seems a bit complicated why it is unable to extend C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management, but it is very easy to solve this problem with partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor.

Step 1: Download and install NIUBI Partition Editor. Right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume.

Unallocated space

In the pop-up window, drag the middle position rightwards.

Move partition D

Unallocated space will be move to behind C drive, then you can expand C drive with Extend Volume in Disk Management.

Unallocated space moved

Instead, you may continue with NIUBI, simply right click C and select Resize/Move Volume, drag the right border rightwards.

Extend partition C

Unallocated space will be added into C drive. Remember to click Apply on top left to execute, otherwise, physical disk drives won’t be modified.

Unallocated space merged

In Summary

Windows native Disk Management is not a good tool to resize partitions, the limitations cause unable to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 (R2). Run NIUBI Partition Editor to move Unallocated space to behind C drive, and then either Disk Management or NIUBI can help you extend C drive.

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Solution of unable to extend c drive in Windows Server 2008.
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