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Shrink partition in Windows Server 2008

Good news for the people who want to shrink a partition in Windows Server 2008, unlike in previous operating systems, Microsoft adds 'Shrink' feature in Disk Management, with which you can shrink a volume without other third party partition software. However, different people have their own choice, some like to shrink partition in DM, some still like to use diskpart to shrink a volume, while others like to use third party server partition software. In this article, I'll give you complete solution about shrinking a volume without formatting or Windows reinstallation.

Shrink partition under Disk Management

Step 1: Open Disk Management.

Right-click 'My Computer' > 'Manage' > 'Storage' > 'Disk Management', right-click the partition you want to shrink and select 'Shrink Volume'.

Shrink partition

Step 2: In the pop up window, enter the amoun of space to shrink. (The default value is the maximum space can be shrank)

Space to shrink

Click 'Shrink' and wait for several minutes, original partition split into a smaller partition and Unallocated space.

Partition split

Shrink a volume with Diskpart command

The same with previous Windows version, Windows 2008 Server also integrated diskpart command, better that the version of 2003 Server, in 2008 Server diskpart, many new commands added such as shrink.

Step 1: Press 'Windows' and 'R' key on the keyboard, type 'cmd' and click 'OK' or press 'Enter'.

Step 2: In the command line window, type diskpart and press 'Enter'.

Run diskpart command

Step 3: Type 'list volume' to list all disk partitions.

diskpart list volume

Step 4. Type 'select volume' to give focus on the partition you want to shrink.

Diskpart select volume

Step 5. Type 'shrink' to shrink the partition.

Diskpart shrink volume

When shrink a partition, you may add some parameters, such as 'desired='.

Diskpart shrink partition

Disadvantages of disk management and diskpart command

Both disk management and diskpart command are able to shrink a volume, actually, disk management is graphical user interface (GUI) of diskpart command, they have some disadvantages, such as,

  • If page file is located, you cannot shrink much space even if there is plenty of free space in this partition.
  • The Unallocated space can only be used to create new partitions.
  • You cannot extend C: by shrinking D: with Shrink and Extend feature. Because, after shrinking partition D: the Unallocated space is behind D rather than C:. To extend C drive, the Unallocated space should be behind it.

Shrink partition with partition software

With third party partition software, you can shrink any partition to create new or extend other partitions without any limitations.

Step 1: Launch Aomei Partition Assistant, you'll see all disk partitions connected to this server. Right-click the partition you want to shrink and select 'Resize Partition'.

Main window

Step 2: In the pop up window, drag left border rightwards to shrink it.

Drag to shrink

Shrink partition

Click OK and then you'll back to main window, where you'll find that 14.19GB Unallocated space created after C: drive.

If you drag right border leftwards in previous step, the Unallocated space will be created behind drive E:

Unallocated space created

The unallocated space can be used to create new partitions or extend C drive.

In conclusion, this article introduced three ways to shrink a volume in Windows Server 2008, but due to the limitations of disk management and diskpart, I suggest you shrinking partition with partition software.

Related Articles

  • How to resize partition in Windows 2008 Server?
  • How to merge Server 2008 partitions?
  • How to split partition on Windows Server 2008?
  • How to shrink drive D and extend C?
  • Partition manager for Windows 2008

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