How to Resize Partition in Windows 2016 Server Safely

by Allen, Updated on: July 19, 2022

Resize partition means change the size of allocated partition, of course without losing data. To resize partition in Windows 2016 server, there are 2 options: run native Disk Management tool or third party partitioning software. Disk Management is safe to adjust partition size in most cases but it has many limitations. 3rd-party software is much more powerful but it may cause system and/or partition damage. In this article I'll introduce how to resize Server 2016 partition with both Disk Management and safe partition software. Follow corresponding method according to your own disk partition type and structure.

1. Resize partition with Windows Server 2016 Disk Management

To help change partition size in Windows 2016 server, Microsoft provides Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions in native Disk Management tool. "Shrink Volume" is used to decrease partition and make Unallocated space on the right. "Extend Volume" is used to increase partition size when there's contiguous Unallocated space on the right. Both functions support NTFS partition only. With Disk Management, it is easy to resize Server 2016 partition, but the problem is, it cannot extend partition by shrinking another one. Before extending a partition, you must delete the contiguous partition on the right. In addition, these 2 partition must be the same Primary or Logical drive.

To shrink Server 2016 partition:

  1. Press Windows + X together on the keyboard and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click the NTFS drive that you want to decrease and select Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of space in MB and then click Shrink to execute.

Enter amount

In some cases, for example: there are unmovable files in this partition or it has file system error, Disk Management cannot shrink partition.

To extend Server 2016 partition:

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Right click the partition that has adjacent Unallocated space and then click Extend Volume.
  3. In Extend Volume Wizard window, simply click Next till Finish.

Extend Volume Wizard

Shrink Volume function can only shrink a partition towards left and make Unallocated space on the right. If you want to shrink D to expand C drive with Server 2016 Disk Management, it is impossible. Because the Unallocated space that shrunk from D is always  non-adjacent to C drive. This is the reason why many people feedback that Extend Volume is greyed out for C drive.

2. How to resize Server 2016 partition on SSD/HDD

Third party software has no such limitations, and it's much easier to resize server partition. However, not all software can accomplish this task safely.

There's potential data loss and system damage risk while resizing Server 2016 partition, because all associated parameters must be modified, files must be moved, system boot record must be updated. Any slight error could cause boot failure and data loss. If it happens, it costs a long time to restore everything.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful technologies to protect system and data, for example:

In addition, it is 30% to 300% faster because of the advanced file-moving algorithm.

Download  NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see all disks with graphical partition structure on the right side. Available operations to the selected disk or partition are listed on the left and after right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to resize partition in Windows Server 2016 without losing data:

  1. Right click a NTFS or FAT32 partition (such as D:) and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag either border towards the other side in the pop-up window. If you drag left border towards right, Unallocated space is made on the left of this partition.
  2. If you want to create new partitions, right click this Unallocated space and select "Create Volume". If you want to extend other partition (such as C:), right click it and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine this Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute. (Any operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

Video guide to resize Server 2016 partitions:

Video guide

  • While shrinking a partition, besides dragging the border, you may enter an accurate amount by yourself.
  • If you want to extend a non-adjacent partition, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space.
  • If there's no available free space on the same disk, you can copy disk to a larger one and extend partition(s) with additional space.

3. How to resize Server 2016 RAID 1/5/6/10 partition

It is common to use hardware RAID arrays in a server. If you want to resize RAID partition in Windows 2016 server, do not break array or do any operations to RAID controller, just check if there's free space in the same RAID array and follow the steps above. The same array means Disk 0, 1, etc that are shown by NIUBI Partition Editor.

To Operating System and NIUBI Partition Editor, there's no difference if you use physical hard disks or RAID arrays. It doesn't matter if you use RAID 1, 5, 6 or 10 with any brand of RAID controller.

How to resize Server 2016 partition in VMware/Hyper-V

If you want to resize partition in VMware/Hyper-V running Windows Server 2016, you just need to install NIUBI Partition Editor to this virtual server and follow the steps above.

The only difference is, if there's no available free space on a disk, you can expand VMware and Hyper-V virtual disk directly. Additional space will be shown as Unallocated at the end of original virtual disk. Then merge this Unallocated space to the partition(s) that you want to extend. So, you don't need to clone disk to a larger one.

In Summary

To resize partition in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022, the native Disk Management is not the best tool because of many limitations. Back up the server and run safe partition software. Because of the powerful data protection technologies, faster file-moving algorithm and other benefits, NIUBI Partition Editor is recommended as the best tool to help accomplish this task. To resize Server 2016 partition, you just need to click, drag and drop on the disk map. Besides resizing and extending partition, it helps do many other disk and partition management operations.