Increase C drive space in Windows Server 2012

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to increase C drive space in Windows Server 2012 R2. Increase system partition size with free space in other volume without losing data.

Which tool to increase system partition size

When system partition C runs out of space, if you contact the OEM manufacturers, they'll tell you to back up everything, recreate partitions and restore from backup. It costs such a long time if you do like this. In fact, you can increase C drive free space from other volumes fast and without losing data. But the precondition is running safe disk partition software.

Many people think that the Windows built-in tools have best compatibility, so they are safer. To help resize Server 2012 volume, there is native Disk Management tool, which is indeed safe in most cases. However, you'll encounter many issue while increasing C drive disk space.

Extend volume disabled

As you see in my server, Extend Volume is disabled for C: and E: drive after shrinking D, this is because:

  • Unallocated space can only be made on the right while shrinking a partition with Disk Management.
  • Unallocated space can only be combined to the left contiguous partition with Extend Volume function.

Therefore, Disk Management can only help you increase C drive by deleting the right contiguous partition (D:).

Generally, D drive is used for programs or some services, so you can't delete it. In that case, Disk Management is completely useless.

Another native tool - Diskpart command has same restrictions.

Third party partition editor software are much more powerful. They are able to:

  • Resize both NTFS and FAT32 partitions.
  • Shrink partition and make Unallocated space on either side.
  • Combine Unallocated space to either contiguous partition by 1 step.
  • Move and merge Unallocated space to any nonadjacent partition.

Among these software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of the innovative technologies:

  • Virtual Mode - all operations will be listed as pending for preview, real disk partitions won't be modified until click Apply to confirm.
  • Cancel-at-well - if you applied wrong operations, it doesn't matter, you can also cancel the ongoing operations without causing damage.
  • 1 Second Rollback - if encounter any error while resizing partition, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash.
  • Advanced file-moving algorithm - resize and extend hard drive 30% to 300% faster, saving much time especially when there are large amount of files.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Increase C drive space from D or other volume

When there is free unused space in other partitions, you can transfer to C drive easily with NIUBI. All you need to do is dragging and dropping on the disk map.

If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, do not break array or do any operations to raid controller. There is no difference to decrease and increase partition size on local physical disk or RAID, VMware, Hyper-V virtual disks.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video.

How to increase C: drive space in Windows Server 2012:

Video guide

How to decrease C drive to expand other partitions:

Video guide

By this method, you won't lose partition or data. Operating System, program/service and associated settings, as well as anything else keep the same with before. No other operations are needed.

Increase C drive size with other hard disk

A hard disk is physical unit and the size is fixed, so no partitioning software can increase C drive with free space from other disk. The free unused space must be transferred inside a disk. Then what to do if there is no available space in a disk?

In that case, copy this disk to a larger one and increase C drive with extra disk space. Follow the steps in the video:

Video guide

After copying complete, replace original disk or change BIOS to boot from the large disk.

No matter how your disk partitions are configured, there's a way to increase system C drive space in Windows Server 2012 with NIUBI Partition Editor. Select the corresponding method according to your disk partition structure.