Windows Server 2012 Disk Management

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces the ability of Windows Server 2012 Disk Management, how to shrink and extend partition with Server 2012 disk partition management.

The ability of Server 2012 Disk Management

Disk Management is a Microsoft Windows built-in utility first introduced in Windows XP. It has similar ability with Diskpart command but work with a graphical interface. It displays all connecting hard disk with layout on bottom, it also lists all single partitions on the top followed by the type, file system, status, capacity, free space, usage percentage, etc.

It enables users to view and manage the disk drives installed in their computer and the partitions associated with those drives. Windows Server 2008 improved the ability by adding new Shrink and Extend Volume function. Windows Server 2012 inherited all interface and functions without any difference or improvement.

What does Server 2012 Disk Management do:

To a brand new hard disk:

Online, offline and initialize. Hard disk must be online and initialized before creating new volume. When initialize disk, you can select partition style as MBR or GPT.

To Unallocated space:

Create one or more new volumes.

To a disk with volume:

Convert basic disk to Dynamic disk.

To a disk without any volume:

Convert MBR disk to GPT and vice versa, convert basic disk to Dynamic disk and vice versa.

Disk Management

To an allocated partition:

  • Open root directory with File Explorer
  • Mark partition as Active
  • Change drive letter and path
  • Format partition
  • Shrink volume and make Unallocated space on the right.
  • Extend volume with Unallocated space behind it.
  • Delete partition
  • Add mirror

If you select Add Mirror, both disks will be converted to dynamic.

To dynamic disks:

Disk Management can create Simple, Mirrored, Spanned, Stripped and RAID-5 volume.

To create RAID 5 volume, there must be at least 3 dynamic disks. There are only two in my computer, so this option is grayed out.

Though Windows Disk Management has this ability, but it is not suggested to use dynamic disk volumes, because:

  • It uses much resources of this computer and degrade performance.
  • Many software do not support dynamic disk volumes.
  • Hard disk and RAID controller are much cheaper now.

How to shrink partition with Disk Management

One of the useful feature of Disk Management is Shrink Volume, which is able to reduce allocated partition without losing data. Unallocated space released from this partition can be used to create new volumes.

  1. Press Windows and X on the keyboard, then click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click a partition (such as D:) and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter an amount of space and click Shrink in the pop-up window.


  • Only NTFS partition is supported.
  • Unallocated space on only be made on the right side.

Shrink Volume

How to extend partition with Disk Management

  1. Right click the partition with adjacent Unallocated space on the right, and then select Extend Volume.
  2. Simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.


  • Only NTFS partitions are supported.
  • Extend Volume can only combine Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition, all other volumes cannot be extended.

Extend volume disabled

Limitations comparing with partition editor software

Comparing with Server 2012 Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor has advantages while resizing disk partitions:

  • Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions are supported (shrink and extend).
  • Unallocated space can be made on either side when shrinking a volume.
  • Unallocated space can be combined to either contiguous partition by 1 step.
  • Unallocated can be moved and merged to any non-adjacent partitions.
  • Two contiguous partitions can be merged in 1 step.

How to shrink, move and extend partition in Windows Server 2012:

Video guide

What does NIUBI Partition Editor do?

To Unallocated space:

  • Create one or more volumes
  • Wipe data in it
  • Surface test (scan bad sectors)
  • View properties (detailed parameters)

To whole disk:

  • Initialize
  • Change status to offline or online
  • Set read-only attribute
  • Wipe disk (cannot be recovered)
  • Surface test
  • View properties
  • Clone disk to migrate data and OS
  • Convert MBR disk to GPT
  • Delete all partitions
  • Cleanup disk

To single partition:

  • Resize volume (shrink and extend)
  • Move location
  • Merge two adjacent volumes by 1 step
  • Copy to Unallocated space
  • Convert to Logical or Primary partition
  • Convert NTFS to FAT32
  • Change drive letter (such as D:)
  • Change label (add a name or modify)
  • Set as Active
  • Check file system integrity
  • Defrag to improve performance
  • Hide from File Explorer
  • Delete (files can be recovered)
  • Format volume to use as new
  • Wipe (erase data permanently)
  • Surface test
  • Explore (view files/folders with directory)
  • View properties

Comparing with other server partition software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of its innovative technologies: