Move & merge Unallocated space in Windows Server 2016

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to move Unallocated space in Windows Server 2016, how to merge Unallocated space to C drive in Server 2016 without data loss.

Windows Server 2016 provides built-in Disk Management utility, but it cannot move Unallocated space or disk partition. Extend Volume functionality can only merge Unallocated space to left contiguous NTFS partition.

This article introduces how to transfer/move Unallocated space on Windows Server 2016, and how to combine/merge Unallocated space to any contiguous or non-adjacent partition.

Be cautions when moving partition and Unallocated space

Windows Server 2016 Disk Management cannot move Unallocated space, so you need third party disk partition software. Partition software is much more powerful, but it may cause system and/or data damage. When moving Unallocated space, the parameters of disk, associated partition should be modified correctly, in addition, all files in the related partition should be moved too. Any slight error will cause damage. Therefore, you'd better back up first and run safe partition software.

Among these server partition software, NIUBI Partition Editor is recommended as the safest and fastest. If any software error or hardware issue occur while moving partition and Unallocated space, it is able to automatically revert server to original status in a flash. Another Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies also helps prevent system and data from damaging by incorrect operations. Thanks to its advanced file-moving algorithm, it is 30% to 300% faster than other tools.

To move and merge Unallocated space on Windows Server 2016, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map.

How to move Unallocated space next to C drive?

When system C: drive is running out of space, many people try to expand it with Extend Volume in Disk Management. However, Extend Volume is disabled for C drive after shrinking D, because this Unallocated space is non-adjacent to C drive. In this situation, you just need to move Unallocated space from right of D to the left side, then Extend Volume is enabled.

Extend Volume disabled

How to move Unallocated space next to (behind) C drive in Windows Server 2016:

  1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume.
    NIUBI Partition Editor
  2. Drag the middle towards right side in the pop-up window, then Unallocated space is moved to the left at the same time.
    Move Unallocated
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)
    Unallocated moved

How to merge Unallocated space to C drive?

When there is adjacent Unallocated space on either side, you just need 1 step to combine Unallocated space with NIUBI. After moving drive D to the right side, follow the step to merge Unallocated space to C drive in Server 2016:

Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again. Drag the right border towards right in the pop-up window.

Merge Unallocated to C

Then system C drive is extended by merging this Unallocated space. Remember to click Apply to take effect.

C drive extended

Watch the video how to move and merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2016:

Video guide

How to add Unallocated space to other volumes

After shrinking D in Disk Management, Extend Volume function is disabled for all other partitions. If you want to extend drive E, you can combine Unallocated space to it with NIUBI Partition Editor directly without moving.

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

Merge Unallocated to E

If there's another drive F that is on the right of E, to expand drive F, you should move Unallocated space to be contiguous. To do this, similarly, right click E and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag the middle position towards left in the pop-up window.

Move Unallocated space

After that, run "Resize/Move Volume" again for drive F to combine Unallocated space. If you want, you can also move Unallocated space to the end of disk to create new volume.

Move/Merge Unallocated space to another disk

If there's free unused space in any partition, you can shrink it to expand other one on the same disk. But in some servers, there's no available free space in a disk, some people are wondering if it is possible to expand partition by adding Unallocated space from another separated disk. The answer is no.

To a physical hard disk, the size is fixed and a 500GB disk can't be increased to 1TB. If the entire disk is full, you can clone disk to a larger one and expand partition(s) with additional disk space.

If you run Windows Server 2016 as virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, when a virtual disk is full, you can expand it directly. After that, additional disk space will be shown as Unallocated on the end of disk, then follow the methods above to move and combine Unallocated space to the partition(s) that you want to extend.

In Summary

Windows native Disk Management is unable to move Unallocated space, it can only help merge Unallocated to left adjacent partition. In addition, this partition must be formatted with NTFS. To move and merge Unallocated space in Windows 2016 server, NIUBI Partition Editor is the best choice because of its powerful data protection and fast moving ability. To merge Unallocated space to C drive or any adjacent partition, simply drag the border towards other side, to move Unallocated space, drag the middle position towards the other side.