It can't be better if you can extend C: drive in Windows 2012 server when it is getting full. Nobody likes to waste a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. With right tool, you can extend C drive partition with free space in other partition fast and safely. To extend C drive in Server 2012 (R2), there are 3 kinds of tools: Diskpart (native command tool), Disk Management (native tool with GUI) and NIUBI Partition Editor (3rd party program). In this article, I'll introduce how to extend C drive in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with these tools, select the corresponding method according to your own disk partition configuration.
- Increase C drive space in Server 2012 with diskpart
- Extend C drive in Server 2012 via Disk Management
- Extend C drive in Server 2012 r2 with safe software
1. Increase C drive space in Server 2012 with diskpart command
There are two kinds of Windows native tools to help resize partition in Server 2012 R2 - DiskPart and Disk Management. Diskpart works via command prompt, Disk Management works with graphical interface. Because these tools only work under restricted condition, they are not the best choice.
To extend C drive in Windows Server 2012 R2 with either native tool, you must delete the contiguous partition on the right in advance. I'll explain the reason in next section.
Steps to extend C: drive in Windows Server 2012 (R2) with Diskpart cmd:
- Press Windows + R together on your keyboard, type diskpart and press Enter.
- Input list volume and press Enter in the command prompt window, then you'll see all single partitions in a list.
- Input select volume D and press Enter to give focus to D drive. (D is the contiguous volume on the right of C drive.)
- Input delete volume and press Enter, then this partition will be deleted and its disk space will be changed to "Unallocated".
- Input select volume C and press Enter to give focus to C.
- Input extend and press Enter.
If you shrink D to expand C drive, you'll receive error - "The size of the extend is less than minimum".
2. Extend C drive in Server 2012 via Disk Management
Disk Management has graphic interface, so it's more user friendly than diskpart command. However, the same with Diskpart, you must delete D: drive before expanding C drive, too. This is because:
- Both native tools can only make Unallocated space on the right when shrinking a partition.
- Both native tools can only extend Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition.
Unallocated space that shrunk from D drive is always nonadjacent to C drive, therefore, "Extend Volume" option is grayed out.
If you want to enlarge C drive in Server 2012 (R2) without any software, you must delete D to get adjacent Unallocated space. In addition, D drive must be Primary partition, otherwise, "Extend Volume" is still disabled for C drive after deleting D.
How to extend C drive in Server 2012 R2 with Disk Management:
- Press Windows + X keys together and click Disk Management in the list.
- Right click D: drive and select "Delete Volume".
- Right click C: drive and select "Extend Volume", then simply click Next till Finish in pop-up dialog boxes.
Make sure there are no programs or Windows services installed in D drive. If D is Primary partition and you can delete it, remember to transfer files in advance.
3. Extend C drive in Server 2012 r2 with safe software
With server partition software, you can shrink D or other volume on the same disk, and then add Unallocated space to C drive. Better than Windows native tools, NIUBI Partition Editor can make Unallocated space on either left or right when shrinking partition. If you want to shrink a nonadjacent volume, NIUBI can move Unallocated space to be adjacent and combine to C drive. Operating System, programs and anything else keep the same with before.
Better than other disk partition tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-well, 1 Second Rollback and Hot-Clone technologies to protect your system and data. It is able to clone disk/partition without server interruption. In addition, its advance file-moving algorithm helps resize partition 30% to 300% faster.
Sequence to extend C drive in Windows 2012 server with NIUBI Partition Editor:
- Check if there's plenty of free space in the adjacent partition D, if yes, shrink it and make Unallocated space on the left.
- If there's not enough free space in adjacent partition D, check if you can shrink a nonadjacent partition on the same disk.
- If there are one or more data partitions on the system disk but they are full, move a partition to another disk, delete it and add its space to C drive.
- If there's only C drive on system disk, clone disk to a larger one and extend C drive with extra disk space.
Select one of the method according to your own disk partition configuration.
① How to extend C drive partition with free space in D/E
Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see the main window with disk partition layout and detailed information of each volume. Right click any partition or front of a disk, you'll see available operations. To keep the interface clean, unavailable operations are hidden automatically.
In most of servers, there are other partitions on the same system disk. You just need to shrink one or more partitions to get Unallocated space and then add to C drive. To do this, you just need to click, drag and drop.
Steps to extend C drive in Windows Server 2012 R2 with NIUBI Partition Editor:
- Right click D: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window, then part of free space will be changed to Unallocated on the left.
- Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.
- Click Apply on the top left to take effect, done.
If you already shrunk D drive with Disk Management, or if you want to get free space from the non adjacent partition E. You should move Unallocated space to the left before adding to C drive.
If you use any types of hardware RAID array such as RAID 1/5/6/10, do not break array or do any operations to RAID controller, simply follow the same steps above.
② How to enlarge Server 2012 C drive with another disk
If there's unavailable free space on the same disk, no software can extend C drive by moving free space from another separate disk. You have 2 choices in this situation, follow the steps in the videos.
1: Clone disk to a larger one and expand C drive with extra disk space.
2: Move a partition to another disk, then delete it and add its space to C drive.
③ How to extend C drive in Server 2012 VMware/Hyper-V
Nowadays, virtual machines are widely used. If you want to extend C drive in VMware/Hyper-V running Server 2012, the steps are the same except when entire disk is full. In that case, follow the methods below to expand virtual disk:
Additional space will be shown as Unallocated at the end of original virtual disk, so you don't have to copy disk to another one.
To extend C drive partition in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022 and previous Server 2003/2008, select one of the methods according to your own disk partition configuration. Besides shrinking, moving and extending partition, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations.