This article introduces how to resize RAID partition in Windows Server 2012 R2. Shrink and extend RAID array virtual disk partition without losing data.
Many servers are built with hardware RAID arrays such as RAID 1, 5. Generally speaking, RAID 1 is used for Operating System and programs. If one of disk is broken, it can be swapped fast without server offline. But all space of a disk is "wasted", it is not the best cost-effective solution for data storage.
After the RAID array is built, the size of virtual disk is fixed, is it possible to resize RAID array virtual partitions without losing data? Yes, this article introduces how to resize RAID partition in Windows Server 2012 with both native and 3rd-party tools.
Resize RAID partition with Server 2012 Disk Management
Server 2012 Disk Management has Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions to help resize allocated partitions, however, both functions have many restrictions. It can only help you decrease a drive to create new or extend a drive by deleting the adjacent partition on the right. It cannot extend a RAID partition by shrinking other one.
- When cannot shrink partition in Server 2012 Disk Management?
- Why Extend Volume option is disabled even after shrinking other volume?
Better way to shrink and extend RAID partition
With partition editor software, it is much easier and without such restrictions. You can shrink the RAID virtual partition that has plenty of unused space to get Unallocated space, and then add the Unallocated space to the raid volume that is running low.
All you need to do is dragging and dropping on the disk map. Operating System, programs and associated settings, as well as anything else keep the same with before.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor and follow the steps in the video to shrink and extend RAID partition in Windows Server 2012 (R2):
There is potential system and data damage risk while resizing RAID partition (and physical volumes), you'd better back up first and run safe disk partition software. Comparing with other software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of its innovative technologies such as:
- 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 partition 30% to 300% faster, saving much time especially when there are large amount of files.
RAID array virtual disk partition resizing - tips
There are several tips you should know before resizing and extending RAID virtual partition in Windows 2012 Server:
- Don't break RAID array or do any operations to the raid controller.
- There is no difference to repartition RAID array or VMware/Hyper-V virtual disk.
- Free space can only be transferred inside the same virtual disk, no matter how you build the raid array. The virtual disk means Disk 0, 1, etc. that are shown by NIUBI or Disk Management.
If there is not plenty of available free space in the same virtual disk, no software can add space from other separated virtual or physical disk. In that case, you can copy and migrate to a larger disk or raid array. Watch the video:
To Operating System and NIUBI Partition Editor, there is no difference if you use local physical disk or RAID array. No matter what type of the raid is, or what its controller is.