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

Running Windows 2008 Server for a period, most of the system C drive runs out of space. If there is not enough free space left, Operating System runs much slower immediately and you cannot install Windows updates or other applications, the worst, system crash, so you’d better fix this problem as fast as possible. The best solution is extending C drive by getting unused disk space from other data partitions. All disk partitions have been allocated when building the server, is it possible to reduce data partition size and expand the C drive without losing data? Yes, in this article I’ll introduce how to expand C drive on Windows 2008 Server without reinstalling Operating System or losing data.

Expand C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management

Microsoft improved the ability to manage disk partitions and added new “Shrink Volume” and “Extend Volume” feature under Windows 2008 Server Disk Management. Both features can be used to re-size a disk partition on the fly. “Shrink Volume” is able reduce either system C drive or any data partitions, however, in some environment it cannot shrink much space. “Extend Volume” can be used to extend a partition when there is contiguous free Unallocated space.

Step 1: Click “Server Manager” on bottom left and switch to Disk Management console, where you’ll see all connected disks and partitions. Right-click the system C: drive and select “Extend Volume…“.

Disk management

Step 2: In next window, you’ll see the Extend Volume Wizard, click Next to continue.

Extend volume wizard

Step 3: If there is only one available Unallocated space, it will be added by the Wizard automatically, otherwise, you need to select the Unallocated from a Disk, click Next to continue.

Add space

Step 4: In next window, you should confirm the extending operation. The selected disk and free space will be listed, click Finish if it is correct.

Complete extending

In a short time, the 20GB Unallocated has been used to extend C drive on the fly.

Drive extended

It is very easy to do this, however, the “Extend Volume” feature has defect. The typical example is that you cannot expand C drive if there is no contiguous Unallocated space. If you want to reduce a data drive by “Shrink Volume” and add the free space to C drive, impossible!

Extend unavailable

From the screenshot, “Extend Volume” is grayed out when you right-click C drive, because the 10 GB Unallocated space is behind drive E. Are there any other ways to expand C drive? Yes.

Extend Server 2008 C: drive with reliable software

Data safety is most important to a server! Nobody likes to see system boot failure or data loss, so you’d better select a reliable and safe partition software.

To resize Windows Server partition, I always recommend NIUBI Partition Editor. Better than other tools, it integrated unique Roll-Back Protection technology, which is able to roll back the server to the status before resizing automatically and rapidly, even if power failure or any other hardware issue occurred during resizing. Besides, its unique file-moving algorithm helps resize partition 30% -300 faster than other tools. Let’s see how it works.

Steps to extend C: drive on Windows Server 2008 (R2):

Step 1: Download and install NIUBI Partition Editor Server Edition, right click drive D: and click “Resize/Move Volume“.

Extend volume

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag the left border rightwards to take free space out from D.

Shrink d drive

Drag to resize

Click OK and back to the main window, where 20GB Unallocated space created behind C: drive.

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 the Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Extend volume

Click OK, C drive extended to 50GB by holding the 20GB free space from D. Press Apply on top left to execute, done!

Volume extended

If there is not enough free space in D, simply get from other drive in the same disk, just an additional step to move the Unallocated space (drag middle position rightwards).

Move D drive

NIUBI Partition Editor supports all types of hardware RAID (such as RAID 0, 1, 5, 10) with any raid controller. VMware/Hyper-V, HDD, SSD, USB disk are all supported.

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