How to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data

Windows Server 2008 has been released for such a long time, but many people still use this operating system or servers. The longer you use this server, the higher risk C drive is running out of space. When it happens, Operating System runs much slower and you cannot install Windows updates or other applications. To solve this problem, the best solution is extending C drive with free space in other data partitions. All disk partitions have been allocated when building the server, is it possible to extend Server 2008 C drive partition without destroying data? The answer is yes. In this article, I’ll introduce 2 ways to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 (R2) with losing data.

Method 1 – Expand C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management

Better than previous version Server 2003, Windows Server 2008 has new “Shrink Volume” and “Extend Volume” functions in Disk Management. Both functions can resize partition on the fly. However, only NTFS partitions can be resized, FAT32 and any other types of partitions are not supported.

The major shortage of Disk Management is that it cannot extend a partition by shrinking another one. If you want to extend C drive in Windows 2008 server without any software, you must delete the contiguous partition D (or E). In addition, if the contiguous partition is a Logical drive, Disk Management cannot extend C drive even after deleting.

In a word, if you can delete the contiguous Primary partition, you may follow the steps below. Otherwise, jump to the next section to extend C drive with safe partition software.

Steps to extend C drive partition in Server 2008 r2 Disk Management:

Step 1: Transfer all files in the contiguous partition D (or E:) to other place.

Step 2: Click “Server Manager” on bottom left and switch to Disk Management. Right click the contiguous partition (here is D:) and select Delete Volume, then the disk space will be changed to Unallocated.

Step 3: Right click C: drive and select Extend Volume.

Disk management

Step 4: Click Next to continue in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window.

Extend volume wizard

Step 5: All Unallocated space will be added by default. If you want to add part of the Unallocated space, enter an amount on the bottom and click Next.

Add space

Step 6: Click Finish to confirm and start extending.

Complete extending

In a short time, the 20GB Unallocated is extend C drive on the fly.

Drive extended

As I said above, if you want to shrink partition to expand C drive, Disk Management cannot help you. As you see in the screenshot, after shrinking E: drive, the 10GB Unallocated space is behind E. Therefore, Extend Volume is disabled to C drive. Only when the Unallocated space is next to C drive, Extend Volume function is active.

Extend unavailable

Method 2 – Extend C: drive with safe partition software

To extend C: drive volume in Server 2008 r2, third party software is better choice. You can increase C drive space without deleting partition. Shrink a large volume to release free space and add to C drive. In this way, you can extend Server 2008 C drive keeping everything the same with before. However, you’d better make a backup and run safe disk partition software. Otherwise, there’s potential system damage and data loss risk.

Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback technology to protect system and data. It is able to revert server to original status automatically and rapidly if anything going wrong. If it happens, server will back online in a short time without damage. To avoid mistake, it has Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technologies to cancel incorrect operations before and after applying changes.

There are large amount of files in most of servers. Before extending C drive partition, another partition must be shrunk. During this operation, all files in the other partition will be moved to new locations. Because of the special file-moving algorithm, NIUBI saves 30% to 300% time to accomplish this task.

How to extend C: drive in Windows Server 2008 r2 with NIUBI Partition Editor:

Step 1: Download this program, right click the adjacent partition (here is D:) and click “Resize/Move Volume“.

Extend volume

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

Shrink d drive

Drag to resize

Click OK and back to the main window. Unallocated space is made on the left and there’s a pending operation listed on bottom left.

Volume shrank

Step 3: Right click C: drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again, in the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to hold this Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Extend volume

Click OK and back to the main window. C drive is extended from 30GB to 50GB. Click Apply on top left to execute the pending operations.

Volume extended

If there is not enough free space in the adjacent partition, you can shrink any non adjacent volume on the same disk. Watch the video how to extend C drive in Windows 2008 server.

If you use any types of hardware RAID array, or run this server in VMware/Hyper-V as guest virtual machine, the steps are the same. No other operations are needed. Besides extending C drive in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk and partition management operations.

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