This article introduces how to repartition hard drive in Windows Server 2012 R2 without losing data. Repartition Server 2012 disk with native and third party tools.
Low disk space issue is very common on a server, especially to the system partition and the drive for exchange, database and backup. It is much more complicated to system C: drive, because you cannot solve this problem by transferring files or changing settings. Hard drive partitions are allocated while installing Operating System or getting from OEM manufacturers. Is it possible to repartition hard drive on Windows Server 2012 without losing data?
The answer is yes, but you should take care of data and use right tool.
Repartition hard drive with Windows native tools
To repartition disk volume, Windows Server 2012 has two built-in tools: Diskpart command and Disk Management. The advantage is safe in most cases, disk partition can be shrunk and extended on the fly. But because of some restrictions of both tools, you cannot shrink or extend partition in some cases.
Diskpart works in command prompt, if you like to use this tool, follow the steps below:
- How to shrink partition with Diskpart in Windows Server 2012?
- How to extend partition with Diskpart in Windows Server 2012?
The most common and serious restrictions of both Diskpart command and Disk Management include:
- Only NTFS partitions can be shrunk and extended.
- You cannot extend a partition by shrinking any other volumes with both tools.
It's better to show you the restrictions with Disk Management.
As you see in my 2012 server:
There is 18.96GB Unallocated space that is shrunk from drive D. Extend Volume greyed out for both C: and E: drive.
This is because:
- Unallocated space can only be made on the right side while shrinking a partition via Shrink Volume function in Disk Management or Shrink command of Diskpart.
- Both Extend Volume function and Diskpart Extend command can only combine Unallocated space to the left contiguous partition.
C: drive is nonadjacent and E: is on the right of the Unallocated space, so Extend Volume is disabled.
In a word, both Diskpart and Disk Management can only help you reduce NTFS partition to create new, or extend NTFS partition by deleting the adjacent partition on the right.
Repartition Server 2012 disk with NIUBI
Comparing with Windows native tools, third party partition software has more advantages such as:
- Both NTFS and 32 partitions are supported.
- Unallocated space can be made on either side while shrinking a partition.
- Unallocated space can be combined to either adjacent partition by 1 step.
- Unallocated space can be moved and combined to any nonadjacent partitions.
- Much easier, simply drag and drop to operate.
- You can undo the operations if you did something wrong.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to repartition hard drive on Windows Server 2012 R2.
In most of servers, there is free unused space, so you can transfer to the drive that is getting full, no matter you want to repartition system C or any data volumes.
Note that the free space can only be transferred inside a hard disk, no software can extend a partition by adding space from another separated disk. If there is no available free space in the same disk, follow the step in second video and clone disk to a larger one.
If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, VMware or Hyper-V, there is no difference to repartition these virtual disk.
Take care of data while repartitioning server
Data and keeping online are most important to a server, but there is system damage and data loss risk while repartitioning disk on a server. So back up first before any operations. Besides backing up, it is also important to run reliable tool.
As the safest tool, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1 Second Rollback technology, which is able to automatically reverts server to original status in a flash if encounter any error. If it happens, server could back online rapidly without modification.
To help repartition disk drive better and faster, NIUBI Partition Editor has other advantages such as:
- Virtual Mode - all operations will be listed as pending for preview, real disk partitions won't be changed 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.
- Advanced file-moving algorithm - resize and move partition 30% to 300% faster, saving much time especially when there are large amount of files.
- Hot-Resize - less probability to reboot server while resizing hard drive partitions. (close running files and applications in the volume that you want to shrink and move)