Server 2008 Shrink Extend Partition

How to shrink and extend Server 2008 partition without losing data?

All the sizes of physical disk partitions or RAID array virtual drives are allocated while building the Windows 2008 Server, however, the scheduled size may not always meet your needs, for example:

  1. System partition was created too small and no free space left after a long time.
  2. To manage files more effectively, you need to shrink the large partition and create more smaller ones for different usage.
  3. A data partition is too small, but files keep going into it.

Comparing to the previous Server Operating Systems, Windows Server 2008 Disk Management console provides new feature – “Shrink Volume” and “Extend Volume”, which can be used to decrease and increase partition size. However, you cannot extend the system C drive by shrinking other data drive in this console. After reading this article, you’ll know the details about this new feature and the difference with third party partitioning software.

How to shrink Server 2008 partition?

– Shrink partition under Disk Management

 Step 1: Press “Windows” and “R” on keyboard, type “compmgmt.msc” to open Disk Management console. Right click the partition and select “Shrink Volume”.

2008 disk management

Step 2: In the pop-up window, type the value how much free space to shrink from the C drive. (or any drive you want to shrink)

Type value

Click “Shrink” and the operation complete in a short time. Original 120GB C drive becomes 10GB and the unused space becomes Unallocated.

Partition shrank

– Shrink partition with 3rd party software

Step 1: Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server and you’ll see the disk partition layout, which is similar with Disk Management. Right click the partition you want to shrink and select “Resize Partition” feature.

Resize partition

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag left border rightwards or right border leftwards to shrink this partition.

shrink C drive

 Step 3: Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll see that original C drive shrank to 30GB and the unused space becomes Unallocated. Remember to press “Apply” button on top left to proceed. (You can cancel any operations before clicking “Apply”, because it works in the virtual mode of the program. After clicking it, the physical disk partition will be resized.)

C drive shrank

Shrink Ability Comparison

1. When you shrink a partition, unmovable files (for example, the paging file or the shadow copy storage area) are not automatically relocated and you cannot decrease the allocated space beyond the point where the unmovable files are located. In this case, you can only shrink a little space.

2. When you shrink a partition, the Unallocated space can only be created behind it.

3. The Unallocated space shrank from a partition can only be used to create new partitions.

1. The maximum space can be shrank is all free space in a partition.

2. You may drag either left or right border of this partition to shrink, so the Unallocated space can be created before or behind this partition.

3. Besides creating new partitions, the Unallocated space can be used to extend any drive in the same disk.

How to Extend Server 2008 partition?

– Extend partition under Disk Management

Step 1: Right-click the partition you want to extend and select “Extend Volume…”

 Extend 2008Step 2: In the pop-up window, type the value how much space to add to C drive and click Next.

Add space

Step 3: Confirm the operation and click “Finish” to proceed.

Confirm extending

The extending operation complete in a short time.

Partition extended

Only when there is adjacent Unallocated space, you can extend a partition.

Extend unavailiable

From the screenshot, when you right click C drive the “Extend Volume” is grayed out. The 20GB Unallocated space can only be used to extend drive E.

– Expand partition with 3rd party software

If there is already Unallocated space, launch the partitioning software, right click the Unallocated space and select “Merge Partition”.

Merge partition

In the pop-up window, click the check-box of C drive (or other one you want), select C: as the target partition to hold the free space in the drop-down box.

Select partition

Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll find that the free Unallocated space added to C drive.

C drive extended

If there is no Unallocated space, you can expand C drive by taking unused space from any data drives directly.

Right click a data drive and select “Allocate Free Space”.

Allocate space

In the pop-up window, type the value how much unused space to take from the data drive E:, select C: as the target drive in drop-down box.

Add spaceClick OK and back to main window, the unused space of E: has been added to drive C:. Remember to click “Apply” button on top left to proceed.

C drive extended

In summary, Windows Server 2008 Disk Management has the ability to change the size of existing partition, but it is very limited. To shrink and extend partition on Windows Server 2008, the 3rd party partitioning software is the best choice.

 

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