Extend D: drive in Windows Server 2012

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to extend D: drive in Windows Server 2012 R2 without losing data. 4 ways to extend partition D with space in other volume or disk.

In many servers, D: drive is used for programs and some Windows services, if you did not create it large enough or use in right way, it may runs out of space. In that case, you may try to expand it with some tools, of course without losing data.

This article lists 4 options according to different disk partition configuration, check yours and select the corresponding method.

1. Extend D drive in Server 2012 Disk Management

This method is only used when there is contiguous partition next to D: drive and it can be deleted.

Before extending a partition, there must be Unallocated space. To get such space, you may either delete or shrink other one. By shrinking a partition, only part of unused space will be converted to Unallocated and all files keep intact, so it is better than deleting.

Windows native Disk Management has Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions to help resize partition without losing data. However, you cannot extend D: drive by shrinking other volumes with this tool, because:

  • Shrink Volume can only reduce a partition towards left and make Unallocated space on the right side.
  • Extend Volume can only combine Unallocated space to left contiguous partition.

As you see in my server, Extend Volume is always grayed out for D: drive after shrinking both left C: and right E: drive.

Thus, the only way to extend partition D in Windows Server 2012 Disk Management is by deleting the right adjacent partition E.

If there is no continuous partition (E:) on the right or you cannot delete it, you have to run third party partitioning software.

Extend Volume disabled

2. Expand D drive from E by shrinking

This method is used when there is a contiguous partition E and there is plenty of unused space in it.

As I said above, it is better to get Unallocated space by shrinking. All files keep intact and you don't have to transfer them to other place manually. Unallocated space shrunk from this partition can be combined and converted to unused space in D drive.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see all disk partitions with structure and other information in the main window.

In Disk 0, there are drive C, D, E and a system reserved partition. Original drive D is 30GB and E is 69.66GB.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Steps to extend D: drive in Windows Server 2012 from E:

Step 1: Right click drive E: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window to shrink it. (or enter an amount in Unallocated space before box)

Shrink E

Drive E shrunk

Then 20GB Unallocated space is produced on the left side of E.

Step 2: Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to merge Unallocated space.

Extend D drive

Drive D extended

Then Drive D is extended to 50GB.

Step 3: Click Apply on top left to take effect. (All operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

3. Extend partition D from system C drive

This method is used when there is no other data volume but there's plenty of unused space in system partition C.

In many servers, there are only two partitions C: and D: in a disk. If drive D is full but there's plenty of free space in C drive, you can add space to D drive from C easily.

Follow the steps in the video to extend partition D in Windows Server 2012 from other partitions:

Video guide

As long as there's free unused space in other partitions on the same disk, you can transfer to D drive with NIUBI.

4. Extend volume D to other disk

This method is used when there is not enough unused space in all other partitions in the same disk.

In some servers, D drive is full and there is not plenty of unused space in other partition. You have two options in this case.

Copy single D drive to other disk and increase space:

Video guide

Copy all partitions in the disk and replace with a larger one:

Video guide

If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, such as RAID 0, 1, 5, do not break array or do any operations to the controller. The steps to enlarge D drive in RAID array, VMware, Hyper-V virtual disk are the same with physical disk partition.

No matter how your disk partition are configured, there's a way to extend D: drive in Windows Server 2012 with NIUBI Partition Editor. Comparing with other software, NIUBI is much safer and faster because of its unique technologies: