Merge C and D or E drive in Windows Server 2016

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to merge C and D drive in Windows Server 2016, how to combine volume D and E, or merge C and E partitions without losing data.

There are 2 main benefits to merge partitions in Windows 2016 server: reduce partition numbers and expand a partition by transfer free space from the other one. In most of servers, the reason why administrators want to combine partitions is related to low disk space. This article gives complete solution if you want to merge C and D drive, combine D and E drive, or merge C and E drive in Windows Server 2016. Follow the corresponding solution according to your own disk partition configuration.

How to merge D and E drive in Server 2016 Disk Management

If D and E are contiguous and on the same disk, you can combine drive E to D without any software. Windows Server 2016 Disk Management has no Merge Volume functionality, but you can realize indirectly with another Extend Volume function.

Steps to merge D and E drive in Windows Server 2016 Disk Management:

  1. Transfer all files in drive E to D.
  2. Press Windows and X together on the keyboard and click Disk Management in the list.
  3. Right click drive E and select Delete Volume.
  4. Right click drive C and select Extend Volume.
  5. Simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard windows.

It is easy to do this, but there are some limitations with Disk Management:

With NIUBI Partition Editor, there are no such limitations, you can merge 2 contiguous partitions via several clicks, no matter the partitions are NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical. In addition, files in a partition will be moved to a folder in the other one automatically. (Watch the video)

Resize instead of merging C and D drive

If you want to merge C and D drive in Windows Server 2016, you may accomplish with native Disk Management tool if your disk partition configuration meet the requirements listed above. Or follow the steps in the video to combine with NIUBI Partition Editor.

If you want to increase C drive space, it is NOT suggested to merge C and D drive in Server 2016 Disk Management or with NIUBI. In most of servers, programs are installed to drive D, there may be some Windows services running from it, too. After merging drive D to C, D will be removed, then programs and services will stop working.

The best way is by shrinking D or other partitions on the same disk, then part of unused space will be converted to Unallocated, which can be added into C drive easily. In this way, Operating System, programs and anything else keep the same with before.

How to increase C drive space by shrinking D:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click D: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window. (You may also enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before)
  2. Right click C: drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag the right border towards the right side to combine Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

Video guide to increase C: drive free space from other volumes:

Video guide

How to merge C and E drive on the same disk

As you see in the video above, you can shrink drive E to expand C drive easily. If you don't want to keep drive E, of course you can merge it into C drive. However, Disk Management cannot help you in this case, because it cannot move partition D, so it cannot merge Unallocated space to the non-adjacent C drive.

Steps to merge C and E drive in Windows Server 2016 with NIUBI:

  1. Right click drive E and select "Delete Volume", then its disk space will be changed to Unallocated.
  2. Right click drive D and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the middle towards right in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space will be moved to behind C drive.
  3. Right click C drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to merge the contiguous Unallocated space.

Video guide

When you can extend a partition by shrinking or merging other partitions on the same disk, steps are the same no matter you run physical server with SSD, HDD, RAID arrays or virtual server in VMware/Hyper-V.

How to merge C, D, E drive in different disks

If these partitions are on different hard disks, no software can merge them together. In that case, there are 2 options to solve this program.

If you want to extend C drive but D or E is on another separated disk, copy entire system disk to a larger one.

Video guide

If you want to extend D or E drive, but you cannot shrink other partitions on the same disk, you may copy single partition to another disk.

Video guide

If you run Windows 2016 server as virtual machine, when there's no available free space in a disk, follow the steps to expand virtual disk in VMware or Hyper-V. Then additional space will be shown as Unallocated, which can be combined to other partition(s).

No matter you want to merge C and D drive in Windows Server 2016, or merge other partitions, there's a way with NIUBI Partition Editor. Better than other tools, it has innovative Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-well and 1-Second Rollback technologies to protect system and data.