This article introduces how to merge partitions in Windows Server 2012 R2. 3 ways to combine partition C, D, E with Disk Management and partition editor.
Many people need to repartition hard drives after running Windows 2012 server for several years. By merging a partition to another one, all its disk space will be converted to part of unused space in other partition. It seems to be a good idea when a partition is running out of space.
However, you'll lose a partition in this way. This article introduces 4 ways, select the corresponding method according to your disk partition configuration.
Merge partitions in Server 2012 Disk Management
There is no Merge Volume function in Windows Server 2012 built-in Disk Management tool, but you can achieve with Extend Volume indirectly. For example how to merge drive E into D:
- Press Windows and X on keyboard and click Disk Management from the list.
- Right click drive E: and select Delete Volume.
- Right click drive D: and select Extend Volume.
- Simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.
Remember to transfer all files in drive E before deleting.
By this method, you can combine two partitions without third party software. However, you can only combine a partition to the left contiguous one. For example merge drive D into C, or combine E into D.
Combine drive D with C or E (contiguous)
With NIUBI Partition Editor, it is much easier. The most importance: no restriction of partition position.
For example how to merge partition D: and E: with NIUBI:
Step 1: Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click either drive and select Merge Volume.
Step 2: Click the check-box of both drives, and then select merging to which drive in the drop-down list.
Step 3: Click Apply on top left to execute. (NIUBI is designed to work in virtual mode first, real partitions won't be combined until click Apply to confirm.)
After partition merging 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.
If you want to merge partition D and C in Windows Server 2012, it is similar. However, there is one difference: you can't select D as destination drive. (C: drive is where Operating System located, so it can't be removed.)
Combine partition C and E (nonadjacent)
No partitioning software can merge two nonadjacent partitions directly. If you want to merge drive E: to C, follow the steps:
Step 1: Delete drive E and then right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume".
Step 2: Drag middle position towards right in the pop-up window to exchange the position of D and Unallocated space.
Then Unallocated space is moved to the left side.
Comparing with Server 2012 Disk Management, NIUBI has advantages while merging disk partitions:
- Files will be moved automatically.
- You can select either drive as destination when merging two data partitions.
- You can merge two nonadjacent partitions by moving.
Resize partition instead of merging
It is easy to combine partitions in Windows Server 2012, however, there is a disadvantage that one partition will be removed. If you want to extend a volume, it is not a good idea especially when extending system partition.
In this case, you'd better resize partition instead of merging. Shrink a partition to release part of unused space, and then transfer 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:
Besides shrinking, extending and merging partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps move, copy, convert, defrag, wipe, hide, create, format partition and much more. All types of hardware RAID arrays, VMware and Hyper-V are all supported.