How to Move Partition in Windows Server 2012 R2

by Jordan, Updated on: July 12, 2022

After running the server for a period of time, sometimes you need to move partition. For example, you cannot extend C drive in Server 2012 Disk Management after shrinking D/E drive. To solve this problem, you need to move partition D/E to the right and make Unallocated space adjacent to C drive. If all these partitions are getting full, you can move volume D/E to another disk, then delete it and add this disk space to C drive. No matter for which reason you want to move partition in Windows 2012 server, there's no native tool to help you. In this article, I'll introduce how to move partition in Windows Server 2012 R2 with safe partition editor software.

Cannot move partition in Server 2012 Disk Management

The same with previous version, Windows Server 2012 has Disk Management to do some basic operations such as create, delete and format partition. Although it provides advanced Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions to resize partition, it is useless if you want to extend a volume by shrinking another one, because Disk Management has many restrictions:

  • It can't shrink volume in some situations.
  • It can only make Unallocated space on the right when shrinking a partition.
  • It can only expand volume with adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.
  • Disk space that deleted from a Logical drive can't be extended to any Primary partition, and vice versa.
  • It can only shrink/extend NTFS partition,FAT32 and other partitions are not supported.

As you see in the screenshot, Extend Volume greyed out for both drive C and E after shrinking D, because the 20GB Unallocated space is non-adjacent to C and is on the left side of E.

Can't extend volume

To extend C: drive, you must move partition D to the right and move the 20GB Unallocated space next to C drive, then Extend Volume will be enabled. When you right click drive D in Disk Management, there is no "Move Volume" function, so you need 3rd party software to accomplish this task.

Move Server 2012 partition to the left/right with safest tool

Before starting to move partition on Windows Server 2012 (R2), you'd better make backup and select safe disk partition software.

When resizing and moving partition in Server 2012 and other versions, the start and end position as well as other parameters must be modified correctly. In addition, all files in the partitions must be moved to new locations, too. Thus, any slight error could cause system damage and/or data loss. This is the reason why some unreliable partition tools are called as "data killer" by the people who have experienced such disaster.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback technology to ensure system and data intact. If it detects any software error or hardware issue, it is able to reverts the server to original status in a flash automatically. If it happens, server could back online without damage. Furthermore, it has other Cancel-at-wellVirtual Mode, Hot-Resize technologies and advanced file-moving algorithm to enhance the resizing and moving ability.

Download this tool, you'll see all disks with partition structure and other information on the right. Available operations are listed on the left and after right clicking.

Partition Editor

How to move partition D to the right in Windows Server 2012 R2:

Right click drive D: and select Resize/Move Volume, put the mouse pointer in the middle and drag D drive towards right in the pop-up window.

Move partition D

Then partition D is moved to the right side and Unallocated space is moved to the left at the same time.

Drive D moved

To extend C drive: right click it and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag right border towards right in the pop-up window.

Extend C drive

Then Unallocated space is combined into C drive.

C drive extended

How to move partition E to the left in Windows Server 2012 R2:

If you want to extend E drive after shrinking D, you can merge this contiguous Unallocated space directly without moving it to the right side. To do this, right click drive E and select Resize/Move Volume, drag left border leftwards in the pop-up window.

Extend drive E

Then unallocated space is combine to drive E.

Drive E extended

However, if there is another drive F at the end and you want to extend it with this nonadjacent Unallocated space, you need to move partition E to the left in advance. Similarly, right click drive E and select “Resize/Move Volume”, drag the middle of E drive towards left in the pop-up window.

Move drive E

Then partition E is moved to the left and Unallocated space is moved to the end of disk.

Partition E moved

How to move partition to another disk in Windows 2012 server

If partition D is running out of space but you can't get free space from other volume on the same disk, you can move it to another disk, follow the steps:

  1. (optional) Shrink a large volume on another disk to get Unallocated space.
  2. Right click drive D and select Copy Volume.
  3. Select the Unallocated space in the pop-up window.
  4. Change letter of original drive D to another one.
  5. Change letter of cloned drive to D.

To other data volume that has no programs or Windows services, you may ignore the step to change drive letter.

Watch the video how to move partition to another disk on Server 2012:

Video guide

If you want to move system partition C, you need to copy entire disk, copying single C drive cannot ensure Windows bootable. Follow the steps in the video:

Video guide

Besides moving partition in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022 and previous Server 2003/2008, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk/partition management operations, such as shrink, extend, merge, convert, wipe partition, optimize file system, scan bad sectors.