How to extend partition in Windows Server 2012

by James, Updated on: December 8, 2020

This article introduces how to extend partition in Windows Server 2012 R2 without losing data. 3 tools to expand server 2012 partition with detailed steps.

When one or more partitions are filling up after running the server for a period of time. It can't be better if these partitions can be extended without wasting a long time to recreate partitions and restore from backup. To extend partition in Windows Server 2012 (and R2), there are two kinds of tools: Windows native utilities and third party partition editor software.

The same with previous version, Server 2012 has two native tools - Diskpart command and Disk Management with GUI. In this article, I'll show you detailed steps how to extend disk partition in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with each tool.

1. How to extend partition with Server 2012 Diskpart command tool

Diskpart is a command line tool that integrated from Windows XP with set of commands. Extend command can expand a partition fast and without losing data. However, not all partitions can be extended, the major preconditions include:

  1. This partition must be formatted with NTFS file system or without file system (RAW).
  2. There must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right of the partition that you want to expand.

Diskpart has shrink command, but it cannot produce required Unallocated space. For example, if you shrink D drive with Diskpart, Unallocated space is made on the right of D. This space is nonadjacent to C and is on the left of E drive, therefore, it can't be extended to other partition with Diskpart extend command. If you want to extend C drive partition with diskpart command, the only option is by deleting the contiguous D drive.

Steps to extend partition in Windows Server 2012 with Diskpart cmd:

  1. Press Windows and R on keyboard, type diskpart and press Enter.
  2. Input list volume and press Enter in diskpart command prompt window, then you'll see all single partitions in a list.
  3. Input select volume D and press Enter. (D is drive letter or number of the adjacent partition)
  4. Input delete volume and press Enter.
  5. Input select volume C and press Enter. (C is drive letter or number of the partition that you want to expand, the right contiguous E drive can't be extended with this tool.)
  6. Input extend and press Enter.

Diskpart extend

Make sure there are no programs of Windows services installed in this partition. If you can delete it, remember to transfer files to other place before deleting.

How to extend partition in Windows Server 2012 Disk Management

Different with Diskpart that runs via command prompt, Disk Management has graphic interface. You can see all disks with partition layout visually. In addition, you'll see detailed information of each partition as well as Unallocated space. From Windows Server 2008, advanced Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions are added to help resize partition without losing data.

Disk Management has more advantages, but the same with Diskpart command, it cannot extend a partition by shrinking other one. You also have to delete the contiguous volume on the right, otherwise, Extend Volume is grayed out.

Steps to extend partition in Server 2012 R2 Disk Management:

  1. Back up or transfer files in drive D (for example).
  2. Press Windows and X hot keys and select Disk Management in the list.
  3. Right click D: and select Delete Volume.
  4. Right click the left partition (C:) and select Extend Volume.
  5. Click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.

If D is a Logical drive, you cannot extend C drive even if you delete D in Disk Management.

Extend volume disabled

How to extend Server 2012 volume with NIUBI Partition Editor

Comparing with both Diskpart cmd and Disk Management tool, NIUBI Partition Editor is much more powerful, it is able to:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to extend partition drive in Windows Server 2012 (R2).

How to extend partition C by shrinking other volumes:

Video guide

How to extend partition D by shrinking other volumes:

Video guide

In this way, Operating System, programs and associated settings, as well as anything else keep the same with before. You won't see any difference except partition size.

If you want to extend Server 2012 partition with RAID 1/5/6/10, do not break array or do any operations to RAID controller, simply follow the step in the video. If you want to extend Server 2012 VM partition in VMware/Hyper-V, install NIUBI Partition Editor to the virtual machine and follow the same methods.

Extend partition volume with another disk

Note that free space can only be transferred insides a hard disk. If you want to extend a partition with free or Unallocated space on another separate disk, it is impossible with any partitioning software. Because the size of a physical disk is fixed. A 500GB disk can't be decreased to 300GB or increased to 1TB.

However, there are still two options for you to extend Server 2012 volume with another disk:

  1. If you want to increase C drive space but there's no other partition on the system disk, you can copy disk to a larger one and extend partition with extra disk space.
  2. If there are other partitions on the same disk but there's not enough free space, you can move a partition to another disk, delete this partition and add its space to another volume.

Select corresponding method above according to your own disk partition configuration. Besides extending partition in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2003/2008, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management and modification operations. Better than other tools, it has unique 1 Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to protect your system and data.