Move Unallocated space in Windows Server 2012

Updated on: October 30, 2019

This article introduces how to move Unallocated space in Windows Server 2012 R2. Transfer/move Unallocated partition to left, right or to system C drive.

Can't move Unallocated space in Server 2012 DM

Unallocated space is the kind of disk space that is blank, besides creating new volume, it can be combined to other partitions with some tools. Then Unallocated space will be converted to part of unused space in other partition.

When system partition C runs out of space, many people want to extend it with Unallocated space. After deleting a volume, all its disk space will be converted to Unallocated, but you'll lose all files in it. It is better to get Unallocated space by shrinking other volume, so you won't lose files.

Windows Server 2012 native Disk Management tool has Shrink Volume function to decrease partition and get Unallocated space. It is able to shrink both system partition and data volumes without losing data. However, it can only make Unallocated space on the right side, which causes further issue.

Extend volume disabled

Another Extend Volume function can only combine Unallocated space to the left adjacent partition. So, both drive C: and E: can't be extended after shrinking D.

  • If you want to extend C: drive in Server 2012 Disk Management, you must move Unallocated space next to C: drive.
  • If you want to extend drive E: via Disk Management, you must move Unallocated space to the end of disk.

When you right click the Unallocated space or any partition, there is no Move option, so you need to run NIUBI Partition Editor.

Move Unallocated space to the left or right

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see all disk partitions with structure and other information. There is 20GB Unallocated space that is shrank from drive D via Disk Management.

NIUBI Partition Editor

Option 1: How to move Unallocated space to the left:

Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag middle position towards right in the pop-up window:

Move rightwards

Then Unallocated space is moved to the left, drive D: is moved to right side.

Unallocated moved

Option 2: How to move Unallocated space to the right:

Right click drive E: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag middle position towards left in the pop-up window:

Drag to move

Then Unallocated space is moved to the right, drive E: is moved to left side.

Unallocated moved

If you want to extend the contiguous partition on the right side of the Unallocated space (E:), you can combine Unallocated space to E without moving.

To do this: right click drive E: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards left in the pop-up window.

Extend E

Then Unallocated space is merged into drive E.

Drive E extended

Move Unallocated space to system C: drive

In most cases, server 2012 administrators want to move Unallocated space to the left and combine into C drive. Follow Option 1 above to move Unallocated space from right of D: to the left side. Then follow the step to expand C: drive.

Right click drive C: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag right border towards right in the pop-up window.

Expand C drive

Then Unallocated space is merged into C: drive.

Drive C extended

Watch the video how to move partition and Unallocated space in Windows 2012 server:

Video guide

Remember to click Apply to take effect to real disk partition.

Move Unallocated space to other disk?

In few servers, system partition C is full but there is no other partition in the same disk, or not enough unused space in all other data partitions. Some people want to move Unallocated space from another separated disk. Actually, it is impossible, because a hard disk is physical unit and the size is fixed.

In this case, you can clone to other larger disk and expand C drive with extra disk space. Follow the step in the video:

Video guide

In Summary

To move Unallocated space in Windows Server 2012 (R2), right click the adjacent partition and run "Resize/Move Volume" feature. Drag the middle position in the pop-up window, and then you can exchange the position of this partition and Unallocated space. Drag the border towards other side, you can combine Unallocated space to adjacent partition.

Besides shrinking, extending and moving partition, NIUBI Partition Editor helps merge, copy, convert, defrag, wipe, hide partition and much more.

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