Extend system C drive for Windows 2016 server in VMware

Published on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to extend system partition in VMware running Windows Server 2016. Shrink D or E to extend C drive in VMware without losing data.

How to resize partitions in VMware

If you run Windows Server 2016 as virtual machine in VMware, there's no difference with physical server while resizing VMware virtual partition. To do this, there are 2 kind of tools - Windows native Disk Management or diskpart command and 3rd-party disk partition software.

Windows Disk Management has graphical interface but diskpart works via command prompt. Because of many restrictions, both native tools are not the best choice.

Third party software is much more powerful, but you'd better back up first and run safe software, otherwise, there's potential system damage and data loss risk. Better than other partition software, NIUBI Partition Editor has innovative technologies to protect system and data such as:

To resize virtual partition in VMware, you just need to install NIUBI in VMware, then drag and drop on the disk map.

How to extend C drive in VMware by shrinking D or E

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 by right clicking.

NIUBI Partition Editor

In physical server, NIUBI will show every disk with real model. In VMware virtual machine, all disks are shown as VMware Virtual.

To extend system partition in VMware, firstly, check if there's enough free space in the contiguous partition D, if yes, shrink it to get Unallocated space, and then add into C drive. If there's not plenty of free space in drive D, you can shrink E or any other non-adjacent data volume on the same virtual disk. In that case, there's an additional step to move Unallocated space before adding into C drive.

Steps to extend system C drive in VMware running Windows Server 2016:

  1. Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume", in the pop-up window, drag left border towards right or enter an amount directly in the box of Unallocated space before.
  2. Right click C: drive and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine the contiguous Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

Disk partitions won't be changed until click Apply to confirm, before this step, you can click Undo to cancel any unwanted pending operations.

Video guide

How to extend VMware system partition by expanding disk

In physical server, if there's no available free space on the same disk, no software can add space from another separated disk, you have to clone disk to a larger one and expand system partition (and other volumes) with additional disk space. But in VMware, it is much easier.

  1. Follow the step to expand virtual disk in VMware, then additional space will be shown as Unallocated on the end of original virtual disk.
  2. Follow the steps in the video to merge Unallocated space to C drive (and other partitions).

Video guide

In Summary

To resize partition and extend C: drive in VMware running Windows Server 2016/2019/2012/2008, there's no difference when there's available free space on the same virtual disk. If there's not enough free space in all other data volumes on the same disk, you can expand VMware virtual disk and then expand system C drive with additional Unallocated space.

Before resizing VMware partition, you'd better back up and run safe software. Because of the powerful data protection technology and advanced file-moving algorithm, NIUBI Partition Editor helps accomplish this task fast and safely.