How to Merge Partitions in Windows Server 2012 R2

by Jordan, Updated on: July 11, 2022

When system partition C is getting full after running Windows 2012 server for a period of time, some people ask if it's possible to combine 2 partition. By merging a partition to another one, all its disk space will be converted to part of free space in other one. It seems to be a good idea to increase C drive space, but you'll lose D drive. In this article, I'll introduce how to merge partitions in Windows Server 2012 R2 with native tool and safe partition software. In addition, I'll show you better method if you want to extend Server 2012 partition.

1. Merge partitions in Server 2012 Disk Management

The same with previous version, there is no Merge Volume function in Windows Server 2012 native Disk Management tool. If you don't want to use any third party software, the only way is running another "Extend Volume" function to merge partitions indirectly. The major disadvantage is that you must delete the contiguous partition on the right.

How to merge partitions in Windows Server 2012 (r2) with Disk Management:

  1. Press Windows + X on keyboard and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click D: drive and select Delete Volume, then its disk space will be converted to Unallocated.
  3. Right click C: drive and select Extend Volume.
  4. Follow up the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard via several clicks.

Remember to transfer all files in D before deleting. If you installed any programs or services to this partition, do not delete it.

Besides manually transfer files and delete partition, there are other disadvantages when merging partitions with Server 2012 Disk Management:

  1. It can only combine a partition to the left contiguous one, for example merge drive D to C, or combine E to D.
  2. It cannot merge 2 nonadjacent partitions.
  3. The left contiguous partition must be formatted with NTFS file system. Otherwise, Extend Volume is grayed out even after deleting the right contiguous partition.
  4. The partitions to be combined must be the same Primary or Logical partition.

2. Better way to merge 2 contiguous partitions for Server 2012

With third party software, there are no such shortages. Furthermore, they are much easier to operate, you just need to click, drag and drop on the disk map. Among these software, NIUBI Partition Editor is the first choice, because it has unique 1-Second Rollback, Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-will technologies to protect your system and data.

How to merge partitions in Server 2012 r2 with NIUBI Partition Editor:

Step 1: Download this tool, right click either contiguous partition and select Merge Volume.

Merge Volume

Step 2: Click the check-box in front of both partitions, and then select the destination partition in the drop-down list.

Select drives

Step 3: Click OK and back to the main window, click Apply on top left to execute. (All operations before this step work in virtual mode only.)

Partitions merged

After merging partitions complete, open drive D: in File Explorer and you'll see a folder named as E to D (date and time), all files in drive E are moved to this folder automatically.

Files moved

If you want to merge partition D and C in Windows Server 2012, it is similar. However, you can't select D as destination drive. Because C: drive is where Operating System located, it can't be removed.

Merge D and C

3. How to merge nonadjacent partitions in Server 2012

As I said above, Disk Management cannot merge nonadjacent partitions in Windows 2012 server, because it cannot move position of any drives. NIUBI Partition Editor can help you accomplish this task.

How to merge nonadjacent partitions in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022:

Right click E: drive (the right partition) and select "Delete Volume".

Right click D: drive (the middle partition) and select "Resize/Move Volume".

Move D

Put the mouse pointer in middle of D drive and drag it towards right in the pop-up window.

Move D

Then Unallocated space is moved to the left side.

Unallocated moved

Right click C: drive (the left partition) and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right.

Combine to C

Then Unallocated space is combined into C drive.

Unallocated merged

4. Resize Server 2012 partition instead of merging

It is easy to merge 2 partitions in Windows Server 2012 R2, however, there is an disadvantage that one partition will be removed. If your aim is to extend partition, it is not suggested to achieve by merging partitions. Instead, you'd better shrink a partition to release part of free space, and then move to the partition that you want to expand. In this way, Operating System, program and associated settings, as well as anything else keep the same with before.

Watch the video how to shrink and extend partition in Windows Server 2012:

Video guide

Besides shrinking, extending and merging partitions in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022/2003/2008, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you move, copy, convert, defrag, wipe, optimize, hide, create, format partition and much more. Any types of SSD, HDD, RAID, VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines are all supported.