Extend Volume greyed out in Windows Server 2012 r2

There are “Shrink Volume” and “Extend Volume” functions in Windows Server 2012 (r2) native Disk Management. When C: drive is getting full, some people try to shrink partition and extend C drive. After shrinking D or other partition, they found that Extend Volume is disabled for C drive. Few people know the exact reason. In this article, I’ll introduce all possible reasons why extend volume greyed out in Windows Server 2012 (r2) Disk Management how to fix this issue easily.

Extend Volume grayed out

Why Extend Volume grayed out in Server 2012 r2?

Before explaining the reasons, let’s see the scenarios Extend Volume is grayed out in Windows Server 2012 Disk Management.

Scenario 1

If you right click a drive without contiguous Unallocated space, Extend Volume is absolutely grayed out.

Cannot extend C

Scenario 2

Most of the people want to do is shrinking D to expanding C, so let’s try to shrink D first. Right click D: and select “Shrink Volume”

Shrink drive D

Shrink 10GB space.

Shrink drive D

Now, 10GB free space has been taken out from D. Right click C drive but Extend Volume is still disabled.

Extend volume disabled

Scenario 3

From Microsoft, to extend a drive there should be adjacent Unallocated space, then what about deleting D?

Delete drive D

Did it, but Extend Volume is still grayed out!

Cannot extend C

Scenario 4

From the screenshot, there’s still no Unallocated space, it may be caused by the Extended partition, so delete all volumes in the Extended partition and retry.

Delete volume E

Delete the Extended partition.

Delete extended partition

Now, the disk space shows as Unallocated, and Extend Volume becomes available.

Extend available

The reasons why Extend Volume greyed out in Server 2012 r2:

  1. You may try to extend a FAT32 partition. In Windows Disk Management, only NTFS and RAW partition can be extended.
  2. There is no adjacent Unallocated space. Only when there’s contiguous Unallocated space on the right of a NTFS partition, you can extend this partition with Disk Management.
  3. If the adjacent drive D is in the Extended Partition, you cannot extend C drive by simply deleting D. You should delete all volumes in the Extended Partition and then delete the entire Extended Partition.

What to do when Extend Volume disabled?

It is absolutely a BAD idea to delete drive D as well as other volumes in the Extended Partition. Instead, you can MOVE the Unallocated space with partition software. Firstly, let’s open Disk Management:

Disk Management

As you see, C drive is 39.66GB and the 10GB Unallocated space (shrank from D) is behind D:.

Download and launch NIUBI Partition Editor, the disk partition layout is the same with Disk Management.

Partition Editor

How to fix Extend Volume greyed out in Windows Server 2012 (R2):

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

Resize volume

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag middle position rightwards.

Drag to move

Move partition

Click OK and back to the main window, where the 10GB Unallocated space moved to behind C: drive.

Unallocated moved

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.

Drag to extend

Extend volume

Step 4: Click OK and back to the main window, where the 10GB Unallocated space added into C drive. Click Apply on top left to execute, done.

Volume extended

Check in Disk Management:

Volume extended

C drive increased to 49.66GB.

When Extend Volume is disabled for C drive in Server 2012 (R2) after shrinking, run NIUBI Partition Editor to move partition D to the right and make Unallocated space contiguous to C drive, then C drive can be extended easily.

Other solutions when Extend Volume greyed out in Server 2012 (r2) Disk Management:

  1. If you want to extend a FAT32 partition, there’s no difference with extending NTFS partition. Watch the video guide.
  2. If you deleted Logical partition D and extend C drive greyed out, recreate D drive in Disk Management, and then resize partition with NIUBI.
  3. If you cannot extend a partition past 2TB on a MBR disk, convert MBR to GPT and then extend partition with Unallocated space.

Besides helping fix Windows Server 2012 Extend Volume greyed out issue, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many disk partition management operations.

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