The same with other versions, system C: drive runs out of space in Windows Server 2016. When it happens, don't waste a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. You can increase disk space in Server 2016 fast and easily. When there is free space in other volume on the same disk, you can increase C drive space by shrinking other volume without losing data. If there is no free space on system disk, you can clone disk to a larger one and increase partition size with extra disk space. This article introduces how to increase disk space in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 easily and safely.
1. Increase partition size in Server 2016 Disk Management
From Windows Server 2008, Microsoft added advanced "Extend Volume" function in native Disk Management tool. It is able to increase NTFS partition size without losing data and on the fly. However, it only works under restricted condition. Windows Server 2016 inherited the same function without any improvement, so you'll encounter issue while running this tool.
If you want to increase system partition size in Windows Server 2016 via Disk Management, your disk partition configuration must meet following requirements:
- There is another partition such as D behind of C on the same disk.
- There are no programs or any Windows services installed in D drive, so you can delete it.
- There's a third partition with plenty of free space to save all files in drive D.
- D must be a Primary partition.
How to increase C drive space in Windows Server 2016 with Disk Management:
- Transfer all files in D to other partition (D means the partition behind C drive).
- Press Windows + X together on the keyboard and click Disk Management in the list.
- Right click drive D: and select "Delete Volume", then its disk space will be converted to "Unallocated".
- Right click C: drive and select "Extend Volume", simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up dialog boxes.
If you want to increase partition size in Windows 2016 server by shrinking other volume, Disk Management cannot help you. Learn why Disk Management is unable to extend C drive by shrinking other volume.
2. Increase disk space in Windows Server 2016 with safe tool
To decrease and increase partition size in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022, third party software is better choice, because:
- They can resize both NTFS and FAT32 partition.
- They can make Unallocated space on either left or right while shrinking a partition.
- They can combine Unallocated space to either contiguous or any nonadjacent partition on the same disk.
There are many partition software for Server 2016, but not all can accomplish this task well. Before shrinking and extending partition, you'd better back up server and run safe partition software.
When resizing partition in a server, all parameters of associated disk, partitions and files must be modified correctly, files in some partitions must be moved to new locations. System boot record must be updated if you need to increase system partition size. Therefore, any slight error could cause data loss and/or boot failure.
Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful technologies to protect system and data:
- 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 incorrect operations, it doesn't matter, you can cancel the ongoing operations without causing damage.
- 1-Second Rollback - if any error is detected while resizing partition, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash. If it happens, your server could back online immediately without damage.
In addition, it is 30% to 300% faster because of the advanced file-moving algorithm.
When extending Server 2016 partition, check if there's free unused space in any other volumes on the same disk. If yes, follow the steps below.
Steps to increase disk space of C drive in Windows Server 2016:
- Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click D: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window. (Or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before)
- Right click C: drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag the right border towards right to combine Unallocated space.
- Click Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)
- The steps are similar if you want to increase disk space of a data volume, for example how to extend D drive.
- If you want to extend C drive with non-adjacent partition (such as E in my server), there's an additional step to move partition D to the right.
- If you want to increase RAID partition size in Server 2016/2019/2022, there's no difference. Note: do not break array or do any operations to RAID controller
- If there's no available free space on the same disk, you can copy disk to a larger one and increase partition size with extra disk space.
3. How to increase disk space in VMware/Hyper-V
If you run Windows 2016 server as virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, similarly, check if there's enough free space on the same disk. If yes, simply install NIUBI to the virtual server and follow the steps above.
If there's no available free space on the same virtual disk, follow the steps below:
- Expand virtual disk size for VMware VMDK and Hyper-V VHD/VHDX. Then additional space will be shown as Unallocated at the end of original disk.
- Follow the method to move Unallocated space and combine to C drive (or other partitions).
Besides shrinking, extending and moving partitions, NIUBI Partition Editor helps merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe partition, set read-only attribute, scan bad sectors and much more.