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How to extend/expand disk partition in Windows Server 2012

As the sixth Windows Server edition, Windows Server 2012 added and improved many features, but the Disk Management keeps the same with Windows Server 2008. Though Disk Management console integrates Extend Volume feature to extend a disk partition, it is useless in most of the cases. This article will introduce how to extend a disk partition in DM console and with 3rd party software.

Expand disk drives under Disk Management

Right click "Windows" icon on the bottom left corner and select "Disk Management" and then the console will be opened.

Disk management

Right click any disk drive and you'll see the available features. Please compare the following two screenshots carefully.

DM3

DM4

Have you found out the difference? In first picture, the "Extend Volume" feature is grayed out but it is available in second one, why? Because there is "Unallocated" free space next to Drive D, but no such space behind C. So this is the key limitation in Windows Server 2012 Disk Management: to extend/expand a partition, there should be contiguous free space. That is to say, if you want to extend system C drive by shrinking drive D, it is impossible.

Extend Server 2012 partitions with 3rd party tool

Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant, the main window is similar with Windows 2012 DM console.

Main window

This partitioning software provide several ways to resize, extend partitions, such as "Resize/Move", "Allocate Free Space" feature, here I want to introduce another feature "Extend Partition Wizard" which is specially designed for extending partitions.

Step 1, click "Wizard" > "Extend Partition Wizard" in menu bar, in the pop-up window, there are two options. The first choice is for extending system partition only, while the second one is for any drive in any disk.

Options

Step 2, In option 2, select which partition you want to extend ( I selected the system C). In next window, select one or more partitions to take free space from.

Select drive

Step 3, Drag the scroll bar (marked as orange) or type a value (marked as blue) directly to expand partition.

Extend drive

Step 4, Preview the partition extending operations, click "Proceed" if you want to expand drives like this, otherwise, back to change.

Preview

When receiving the successful message, open Disk Management to check again.

DM2

"Extend Partition Wizard" provides full option to extend either system or data drives, shrink a single or multiple drives to expand partition. If there is no other drives in the same hard disk, you can copy to another larger disk, during copy process you can extend partitions easily.

This disk partition management software support local/removable hard disk drive, USB disk/memory card, VMware, Hyper-V and all types of hardware RAID with any raid controller. Read more features and system requirements.

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