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How to extend C: drive in Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64)

Many people have trouble extending system C: drive on Windows 2008 Server. Although Windows Server 2008 has been released for such a long time, many companies still use this operating system to manage servers. This article introduces which tools have the ability to extend partition and how to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 and R2 in a safe way.

Why extend system C: drive

Originally, when there is no free space left in system C drive, if you want to solve this problem without reinstalling OS and programs, you have to backup, delete and recreate larger C drive and then restore everything. How time-consuming and annoying it is. New computer technology make things much easier, nowadays, you can extend C drive by taking free space from other partition without losing data. Of course, running safe disk partition tool.

Which tool to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008

Disk Management

After searching by Google or in Microsoft forum, some people suggest resizing Windows 2008 partition with Disk Management, because they think that native tool has best compability. But it's not true, it damaged my server several times when shrinking partition, especially when there are both Primary and Logical partitions on the same disk.

Though Server 2008 Disk Management has 'Shrink Volume' and 'Extend Volume' functions to change partition size, it cannot extend C drive in Windows 2008 server by shrinking any other volume. To extend a drive with Disk Management, there must be next contiguous Unallocated space. The problem is, after shrinking D: drive D: or any partition, Unallocated space is nonadjacent to C drive, therefore, Extend Volume function is always grayed out.

Diskpart Commands

Diskpart is another Windows built-in utility but runs by command prompt. Although it runs in different way, it has same shortages with Disk Management. That means, it cannot extend C drive by shrinking any other volume.

If you really want to extend C drive with Server 2008 native tool, the only option is deleting D (or E) to get contiguous Unallocated space next to C drive. But note that it still doesn't work if the contiguous partition D (or E) is a Logical drive.

If you don't want to delete any partition or if the contiguous volume is Logical, you have to run third party disk partition software.

Pay attention to data safety when extending C drive

To a server, data and time are both important, what's meaning? If you use a unreliable software and data damage happens, it costs several hour to a whole day to restore, verify data and complete other operations. Although most of server administrator will make backup before any operation to a server. Who'd like to waste a long time to recover server in a sorry plight?

Different with read-only program, disk partition software will modify all parameters of associated disk, partition and files. A slight error could cause boot failure and partition damage.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback technology to protect system and data. If any hardware issue or known software error happens, it is able to revert server to original status in a flash automatically. It is designed to work in virtual mode at first, so you can easily cancel and redo any pending operations.

To extend C drive in Server 2008 (r2), you must shrink another volume to get Unallocated space. No matter you shink partition with any software, the start position of this partition will be changed, all files in this partition will be moved to new locations, tool. A good file-moving algorithm is very important if there are large amount of files in this partition.

Steps to extend C: drive in Windows Server 2008 R2

Step 1: Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click volume D and select Resize/Move Volume.

Resize volume

Drag left border rightwards to shrink it in the pop-up window. Then Unallocated space will be made on the left. If you drag right border towards left, Unallocated space will be made on the right.

Drag to resize

Click OK, Unallocated space is made behind C: drive in virtual mode, a new pending operation is listed on bottem left.

Unallocated created

Step 2: Right click C: drive and select Resize/Move Volume again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to combine this Unallocated space.

Drag to resize


Resize C drive

Click OK, C drive will be extended by holding the free space from D. Click Apply on top left to execute. (All operations before clicking Apply only work in virtual mode, you can cancel and redo any step.)

Partition resized

Is it easy to extend C drive in Windows 2008 server? If you still do not understand how to operation, check the video guide.

No partition software can extend system C drive by taking free space from another separate disk. If there's no availiable free space on the same disk, follow the steps to copy disk too a larger one and extend partition(s) with extra disk space.

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Updated on: May 29, 2021

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