Windows Server 2019 Disk Management

by John, Updated on: March 9, 2020

This article introduces the ability of Windows Server 2019 Disk Management and how to shrink/extend partition with it, and the comparison with server partition editor.

The same with previous version, Windows Server 2019 has a native Disk Management tool. The same with other native tool, Disk Management can do some basic operations, it is not as powerful as third party software. In this article I'll show you what does Windows Server 2019 Disk Management do and the limitations comparing with server disk partition manager software.

What does Windows Server 2019 Disk Management do

Firstly, open Disk Management in Windows Server 2019, there are several ways:

Right click a partition or the front of a disk, you'll see the options. Unavailable options are greyed out, that means, the disk/partition type of current configuration does not meet the requirements of this function.

To an allocated partition, the options include:

  • New Spanned Volume
  • New Striped Volume
  • New Mirrored Volume
  • New RAID-5 Volume
  • Convert to Dynamic Disk
  • Convert to GPT disk
  • Offline
  • Properties

Disk Management

To a disk, the options include:

  • Open root directory in File Explorer
  • Mark partition as Active
  • Change drive letter and path
  • Format
  • Extend Volume
  • Shrink Volume
  • Add Mirror
  • Delete partition
  • Properties

Disk Management

Besides the basic ability to create, delete and format partition, Windows Server 2019 Disk Management has some advanced ability.

Manage dynamic volumes:

Server 2019 Disk Management is able to create and manage Simple, Mirrored, Striped, Spanned and RAID 5 dynamic volume.

Dynamic disk volumes consume much server resources, if one disk is damaged, all data in this volume will be lost. Hardware price is much cheaper now, so most of servers use hardware RAID arrays instead of dynamic volume.

Disk conversion:

Disk Management has the option to convert disk between MBR and GPT, convert disk between Basic and Dynamic.

However, it can only convert Basic disk to Dynamic without losing data. To convert Dynamic disk to Basic or convert between MBR and GPT, you must delete all partitions in the disk.

Change partition size:

The same with previous version, Server 2019 Disk Management has Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions to help resize allocated partition without losing data (in most cases).

But because of some restrictions of both functions, Disk Management cannot extend a partition by shrinking another one. In addition, only NTFS partition can be resized.

How to resize partition with Server 2019 Disk Management

To shrink partition in Server 2019 Disk Management:

  1. Right click a NTFS partition in Disk Management and select Shrink Volume.
  2. Enter and amount of space and click Shrink. (If you do not enter an amount, the maximum available space is used.)

Disadvantages of Shrink Volume feature:

  • Unallocated space can only be made on the right while shrinking.
  • It can only shrink little space if there are unmovable files located in this drive.

To extend partition in Server 2019 Disk Management:

  1. Right click the right contiguous partition (D:) and select Delete Volume.
  2. Right click the partition that you want to expand (C:) select Extend Volume.
  3. Simply click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.

Disadvantages of Extend Volume feature:

Follow the better method to resize partition on Windows Server 2019.

Comparison with server disk partition manager

Comparing with Windows Server 2019 built-in Disk Management tool, third party software is much more powerful. There are many server disk manager in the market, the GUI and functions are all similar. But better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor is much safer and faster because of its advanced technologies:

Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you'll see the main window with disk partition structure and other information on the right. Available operations to highlighted disk or partition are listed on the left and by right clicking. Unavailable operations will be hidden to keep the interface clean.

Partition Editor

Available operations to a partition:

  • Resize volume (shrink and extend)
  • Move partition location
  • Merge two adjacent volumes by 1 step
  • Copy volume to Unallocated space
  • Convert partition between Logical and Primary
  • Convert NTFS to FAT32
  • Change drive letter (such as D:)
  • Change label (add or modify name of partition)
  • Set as Active
  • Check file system integrity
  • Defrag to improve performance
  • Hide from File Explorer
  • Delete (files can be recovered)
  • Format volume to use as new
  • Wipe (erase data permanently)
  • Surface test (scan bad sectors)
  • Explore (view files/folders with directory)
  • View properties

Partition tool

Available operations to whole disk:

  • Initialize brand new disk
  • Change status to offline or online
  • Set read-only attribute
  • Wipe disk (cannot be recovered)
  • Surface test
  • View properties
  • Clone disk to migrate data and OS
  • Convert MBR disk to GPT
  • Delete all partitions
  • Cleanup disk