How to resize partition Windows Server 2016

by Allen, Updated on: July 7, 2020

This article introduces how to resize partition in Windows Server 2016 without losing data. Resize partitions with Disk Management and the safest partitioning software.

Resize partition means change the size of allocated partition, of course without losing data. To resize partition on Windows 2016 server, there are 2 options: run native Disk Management tool or third party partitioning software. Disk Management is safe in most cases but it has many limitations, 3rd-party software is much more powerful but it may cause system and/or data damage.

This article introduces how to resize Server 2016 partitions with both Disk Management and the safest software. Follow corresponding method according to your own disk partition type and structure.

1. Resize partition via Server 2016 Disk Management

To help resize volume on Server 2016, Microsoft provides Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions in native Disk Management tool. Shrink Volume is used to decrease partition and make Unallocated space. 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 partition, the problem is, it cannot extend partition by shrinking another one.

How to resize partition with Windows Server 2016 Disk Management:

To shrink a partition:

  1. Press Windows and X together on the keyboard and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click the 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 a partition:

  1. Open Disk Management.
  2. Right click the partition that has adjacent Unallocated space and select 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 Disk Management, it is impossible, because the Unallocated space shrunk from D is non-adjacent to C drive. This is the reason why many people feedback that Extend Volume greyed out for C drive.

2. How to resize server partition on physical disk

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

There's potential data loss and system damage risk while resizing partition in Windows 2016 server, 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 Server, 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 by right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to resize partition in Windows Server 2016 with NIUBI Partition Editor:

  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 side after resizing.
  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 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 amount on the box behind Unallocated space before/after.
  • 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 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 unused 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 0, 1, 5, 6 or 10. It is also not an issue if you use any different brand of raid controller.

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

If you run Windows 2016 server as virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, to resize virtual partition, you just need to install NIUBI Partition Editor to this virtual server and follow the steps above.

The 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.

In Summary

To resize partition in Windows Server 2016, 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 partitions, you just need to click, drag and drop on the disk map of NIUBI. Besides resizing and extending partition, it helps do many other disk and partition management operations.

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