How to merge Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2012?

Better than old Windows versions, in Windows Server 2012 Disk Management console, Microsoft adds advanced functions. Besides creating new drives with Unallocated space, you can extend an existing drive. However, the Extend Volume function is very limited. The typical issue is Extend Volume greyed out after shrinking the data drive. In this article I’ll show you how to add/merge/move Unallocated space to C drive in Windows Server 2012. With partition software, you can move Unallocated space and add to C drive easily.

Where to get Unallocated space

Unallocated space doesn’t belong to any disk partitions, it can be used to create new drives. If add to a volume, the Unallocated space will be changed to free unused space of this volume. In Windows Server 2012, most of the people want to add the Unallocated space to C drive. To get Unallocated space, you may either shrink a volume to release or delete a single volume.

Shrink Volume

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

  1. Right click Windows on bottom left and click Disk Management.
  2. Right click the drive you want to release free space, and click Shrink Volume.
  3. Enter the amount of space to shrink from this drive, done.

See detailed steps to shrink volume in Windows Server 2012.

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.

How to add Unallocated space to C drive

You may either do this in Server 2012 Disk Management or with 3rd party software, however, the built-in Disk Management is limited, the Unallocated space can only be added to the drive that is adjacent and at left side.

Merge Unallocated space to C drive in Disk Management

For example, there are drives C: D: and E: in a disk, if you decrease drive D with Shrink Volume, the Unallocated space is behind D, so it cannot be added to C drive. To merge the Unallocated space to C drive, the only option is by deleting drive D.

  1. Open Disk Management console.
  2. Delete drive D
  3. Right click C drive and click “Extend Volume”.
  4. Finish the Extend Volume Wizard

Note: It is NOT a good idea to DELETE drive in a server, especially when there are applications, Windows backup or other services running from this drive. The best choice is moving Unallocated space to behind C drive, without deleting any drives.

Move Unallocated space to C drive with partition software

With partition software, you can move Unallocated space, or add/merge the Unallocated space into C: drive or any data drives.

Example steps to move Unallocated space in Server 2012:

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 middle position rightwards to move drive D.

Move partition

Move unallocated

Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll see the Unallocated space moved to behind C: drive.

Unallocated moved

Steps to merge the Unallocated space into C: drive

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 to combine the Unallocated space.

Combine unallocated

Merge unallocated

Step 3: Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll see the Unallocated space merged into C drive. Click Apply button on top left to execute, done.

Unallocated merged

This partition software can move the location of the Unallocated space, so it is able to merge the Unallocated space into any drive.

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