How to move/add/merge Unallocated space in Windows Server 2012

The same with previous version Server 2008, there’s native Disk Management tool in Windows Server 2012 to help manage disk partition. Besides creating, deleting and formatting partition, it helps you shrink volume to make Unallocated space and extend partition with contiguous Unallocated space. However, many people feedback that they cannot move or add Unallocated space to C drive after shrinking a partition. In this article I’ll show you how to move Unallocated space location and how to add/merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2012 (r2).

Where to get Unallocated space

Unallocated space doesn’t belong to any disk partitions, it can be used to create new volume or extend another one. If you add Unallocated space to a partition, it will be changed to free space without losing data. Many people want to merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows 2012 server but failed. To solve this problem, first of all, we should know how to get Unallocated space.

1. Shrink Volume

With Shrink Volume function, you can easily get Unallocated space by shrinking an existing drive.

  1. Press Windows + X keys together and click Disk Management in the list.
  2. Right click the drive that you want to release free space, and click Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of space and click Shrink button.

See detailed steps to shrink volume in Windows Server 2012.

2. Delete Volume

  1. Open Disk Management
  2. Right click the drive you want to delete and select “Delete Volume“, the entire space of this drive will be changed to Unallocated.

What’s the difference

For example, if you shrink D: drive in Disk Management, Unallocated space is on the right of D drive, it is nonadjacent to C drive. If you delete D: drive, Unallocated space is adjacent to C drive.

How to add Unallocated space to C drive

To merge Unallocated space in Windows Server 2012 (r2), there are 2 kinds of tools – Disk Management and third party disk partition software. Extend Volume function can only merge Unallocated space to the contiguous partition on the left. Therefore, if you shrunk D or any other partition with Disk Management, this tool cannot merge Unallocated space to C drive. Only when you delete D drive to get contiguous Unallocated space, Disk Management can help you.

To add Unallocated space to C drive in Windows 2012 server, third party software is better choice, because it can merge Unallocated space to either contiguous partition by 1 step. It is also able to move and add Unallocated space to any nonadjacent partition on the same disk.

Merge Unallocated space to C drive in Disk Management

As I explained above, only when you deleted the contiguous D drive, you can add Unallocated space to C drive in Server 2012 Disk Management, follow the steps.

  1. Right click C drive in Disk Management and click “Extend Volume”.
  2. Available Unallocated space is selected by default in pop-up Extend Volume Wizard window, click Next to continue.
  3. Click Finish to confirm and start merging.

If you shrunk D drive and got Unallocated space on the right, Disk Management cannot merge Unallocated space to C drive, E or any other partition. To do this, you must run third party software.

Move/Add Unallocated space to C drive with partition software

To accomplish this task, it is important to run a safe partition tool, otherwise, there’s potential data loss risk. Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor has powerful Virtual Mode, Cancel-at-well and 1-Second Rollback technologies to protect your system and data. You just need to drag and drop on the disk map of this tool.

How to move Unallocated space in Windows Server 2012 (r2):

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

Resize volume

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag the middle rightwards, then Unallocated space will be moved to the left side of D drive.

Move partition

Move unallocated

Click OK and back to the main window, click Apply on top left to take effect.

Unallocated moved

How to merge Unallocated space to C: drive in Server 2012 r2:

Step 1: Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume”.

Resize c drive

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards, then Unallocated space will be combined to C drive.

Combine unallocated

Merge unallocated

Step 3: Click OK and back to the main window, click Apply button to take effect.

Unallocated merged

If you use any types of hardware RAID array, simply follow the same steps, there’s no difference. If you want to move or add Unallocated space to a partition on another separate disk, no software can do this, because the size of a disk is fixed. If your whole system disk is full, you can copy it to a larger one and extend partition with extra disk space.

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