Increasing C drive space in Windows Server 2008 R2

The most common issue in Windows Server 2008 is lack of free space in C drive. In this situation, nobody would like to back up, recreate partitions and restore everything, because it costs such as long time. There’s also potential data loss risk when restoring and verifying data. It can’t be better if you can resize partitions and increase C drive free space directly. Searching by Google, you’ll find that many people encountered the same problem and they asked similar question:

“I am running out of disk space on my c drive, I have a second drive that has plenty of space, is it possible to give to my c drive?” The answer is definitely yes, actually, you can increase C drive space by decreasing any other drives on the same disk. In this article, I’ll show you how to increase C drive free space in Windows Server 2008 R2 without losing data.

Theory of decreasing and increasing partition

A partition (also called a drive or volume) is a block of entire hard disk. A partition consists of

  1. file system of this drive
  2. start and end location
  3. total size
  4. used area and unused area

Windows Operating System read the records in MBR and DBR and then it knows the size and location of this partition. Via file system, it is able to locate all files in this partition. When resizing partition:

  1. move all files of this partition to new area
  2. modify its start or/and end location
  3. update other related parameters in file system and operating system

Cannot increase C drive in Server 2008 Disk Management

In Windows Server 2008 Disk Management, you can decrease and increase partition size with built-in Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions. Many people try to decrease D drive with Shrink Volume, but they found it is unable to extend C drive, because Extend Volume is greyed out.

From Microsoft explanation, to expand a partition with Extend Volume function, there must be adjacent Unallocated space. In addition, this Unallocated space must be on the right side. After shrinking D drive, the Unallocated space is on the right side of D, of course it cannot be used to extend C drive.

Extend Volume greyed out

To increase C drive space in Windows Server 2008 (r2), you need to run safe partition editor software. If you’ve shrunk D drive and got nonadjacent Unallocated space in Disk Management, you can move Unallocated space next to C drive. If you have not shrunk any partition, you can shrink D drive and make Unallocated space on the left directly.

How to increase C drive space in Server 2008 r2

Before resizing partitions, you should know 3 points:

  1. There’s no difference no matter you use SSD, mechanical HDD, any types of hardware RAID arrays or virtual server in VMware/Hyper-V.
  2. It is always a good habit to back up before any operations to a server.
  3. Select a reliable program to complete this task. A bad program is very likely to cause system boot failure or data loss.

Better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-well and 1-Second Rollback technologies to protect your server system and data. Furthermore, it is 30% – 300% faster because of its unique file-moving algorithm. This is also very important to a server.

Steps to increase C drive space in Windows Server 2008 R2 with NIUBI:

  1. Download and install the server edition, right click drive D: (the partition next to C drive) and click “Resize/Move Volume“.
  2. In the pop-up window, drag the left border rightwards to make Unallocated space on the left, or enter an amount in the box of Unallocated space before.
  3. 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.
  4. Press Apply on top left to execute, done!

If there is not enough free space in D drive, you can get shrink any other non-adjacent partition on the same disk. In that case, there’s an additional step to move D drive rightwards before adding Unallocated space to C drive.

Watch the video how to increase C drive free space on Windows Server 2008 R2:

Increase C drive

If there’s no other partition or not enough free space on the same disk, no software can increase C drive by adding free space from another separate disk. In that case, follow the steps in the video to copy disk to a larger one and extend partition(s) with extra disk space.

Copy disk

Besides decreasing partition and increasing C drive disk space in Windows Server 2008/2012/2016/2019, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations.

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