Cannot extend volume

Cannot extend volume in Windows Server 2019 Disk Management

The same with previous versions, Windows Server 2019 has native Disk Management to create, delete and format partition. It also has the ability to decrease and increase partition size on the fly with Shrink and Extend Volume feature. However, many people feedback that Windows don’t allow to select Extend Volume, or can’t extend volume C after shrinking D.

In this article, I’ll explain why cannot extend volume in Windows Server 2019 Disk Management, and what to do when you unable to extend volume.

Cannot extend volume

Why can’t extend volume in Disk Management

There are two common reasons why you cannot extend partition in Windows Server 2019 Disk Management.

1. No adjacent Unallocated space on the right side

From Microsoft explanation, to use Extend Volume function to expand a drive, there must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right side of this drive. So If you right click C drive directly, of course Extend Volume is disabled.

The most common situation as I said above, many people cannot extend C drive after shrinking D, because the Unallocated space shrank from D is nonadjacent to C drive. In my test server, there is 20GB Unallocated space between drive D and E, which is shrank from D. As you see, when right click the partitions:

  • Extend Volume is greyed out for C drive, because there is no adjacent Unallocated space.
  • Extend Volume is disabled for E drive, because the Unallocated space is on the left side.

Can't extend volume

2. Unsupported partition types

Extend Volume feature only supports NTFS and RAW partitions, so you cannot extend partition with FAT32 and other types.

From the screenshot, Extend Volume is unavailable for drive D, because it is a FAT32 partition.

Cannot extend partition

What to do if unable to extend volume

When you unable to extend volume in Windows Server 2019 Disk Management, run NIUBI Partition Editor which helps you solve this problem easily. As disk partition manager software, it can shrink, extend and merge partitions to change partition size. Comparing with Disk Management when shrinking and extending partition, NIUBI Partition Editor has advantages such as:

  • Shrink and extend both NTFS and FAT32 partitions.
  • Shrink volume and generate Unallocated space on either side.
  • Extend volume with adjacent Unallocated space on either side.
  • Extend volume with nonadjacent Unallocated space by moving partition.

Solution of cannot extend volume

1. Move Unallocated space to adjacent

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, the same with Disk Management, there is 20GB Unallocated space between drive D and E. If you want to extend C drive with this nonadjacent Unallocated space, follow the steps below.

Unallocated space

Step 1: Right click drive D and select Resize/Move Volume, in the pop-up window, drag middle position rightwards.

Move drive D

Unallocated space is moved to behind C drive.

Unallocated moved

Step 2: Right click C drive and select Resize/Move Volume again, drag right border rightwards in the pop-up window.

Extend C drive

Unallocated space is combined to C drive. (These two steps are listed as pending on bottom left, you can Undo, Redo or Apply these operations on top left.)

C drive extended

2. Merge adjacent Unallocated space

As I said above, you cannot extend FAT32 partition with adjacent Unallocated space in Disk Management, in this situation, run NIUBI Partition Editor and select “Resize/Move Volume” to combine this Unallocated space directly (similar with Step 2 above).

3. Generate Unallocated space

If you have not shrank drive D in Server 2019 Disk Management, run NIUBI Partition Editor instead, which can generate Unallocated space behind C drive directly.

Right click drive D and select “Resize/Move Volume”, drag left border rightwards in the pop-up window.

Shrink drive D

Then you can combine this Unallocated space to C drive. (The same with Step 2)

In Summary

When you cannot extend volume in Server 2019 Disk Management, simply run NIUBI Partition Editor to merge the Unallocated space on either side, or move the Unallocated space to adjacent and then combine.

Download to try

Solution – cannot/unable to extend volume in Windows Server 2019.
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