How to extend volume in Windows Server 2012 r2

When you open Windows Explorer, do you notice C: drive is changed to be red? If you do, it means the system C drive runs out of space in your server.

C drive red

In this situation, you’d better extend this volume with free space in other drives. Otherwise, there is no free space to install Windows Updates, server becomes stuck or even crash.

Benefits to extend partition for Server 2012

When C drive is getting full, you can increase C drive space without losing. Shrink a data volume to release free space and then transfer to C drive. In this way, you can solve this problem fast and easily. It costs such a long time if you recreate partition, restore everything from backup and verify data. To extend partition in Server 2012 (R2), there are 3 kinds of tools. In this article, I’ll introduce how to extend volume in Windows Server 2012 R2 with these tools step by step.

3 Methods to extend volume in Windows 2012 server

To extend partition in Windows Server 2012 r2, there are 3 kinds of tools: diskpart, Disk Management and 3rd party software.

  1. Diskpart has been added from Server 2003. It works from command prompt and is able to do basic and advanced partition management operations such as shrink and extend volume. However, command prompt is difficult for many computer users.
  2. From Windows Server 2008, Microsoft added new “Shrink Volume” and “Extend Volume” functions in Disk Management with graphic interface. However, the same with diskpart, Disk Management has many restrictions when resizing partition. You’ll encounter many problem when extending partition in Server 2012  r2.
  3. Third party software is much more powerful than the native tools. However, there’s potential system/partition damage risk with unreliable software. Therefore, you’d better make a backup in advance and run the safest partitioning software.

Way 1 – extend Server 2012 partition with Diskpart cmd

  1. Press Windows and R to open Run, type CMD and press Enter.
  2. Type Diskpart in the command prompt window.
  3. Type list disk, press Enter, and then type list partition. (This operation is to view your existing disks and partitions.
  4. Type select disk 0, then select partition 1 (Select the disk volume to work on, typically this should be disk 0 and partition 1)
  5. Type extend size=XX (XX is the amount of space, 1024MB=1GB, if you do not specify the size, the command will extend partition with all available space.)

Note: this method only works when you delete the adjacent partition on the right and add space to the left partition. For example: before extending C drive in Server 2012, you must delete the contiguous partition D in advance.

Way 2 – extend Server 2012 volume with Disk Management

As I said above, Disk Management and diskpart work in different way, but they have same restrictions. Before extending a partition, you also need to delete the contiguous on the right. Furthermore, the 2 partitions must be the same Primary or Logical. If you don’t want to delete partition or if your partition layout doesn’t meet the requirements, jump to the next section.

How to extend volume in Windows Server 2012 R2 with Disk Management:

  1. Move all files in the contiguous partition on the right (such as D:) to other place.
  2. Press Windows + X keys together and click Disk Management in the list.
  3. Right click the partition on the right (such as D:) and select “Delete Volume”.
  4. Right click the partition on the left (such as C:) and select “Extend Volume”. Follow up the wizard.

Way 3 – extend partition in Server 2012 r2 with safe software

With server partition software, you can shrink D drive and make Unallocated space on the left. So C drive can be extended easily without deleting any partition. Operating system, programs and anything else keep the same with before. However, as I said above, there’s potential system and partition damage risk with unreliable software. You’d better back up server in advance and run safe tool.

Better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor has unique 1-Second Rollback technology. If it detects error when shrinking and extend partitions, it automatically reverts server to original status in a flash. To avoid mistake, it is designed to work in virtual mode. It lists all operations as pending for previous and real disk partitions won’t be changed until click “Apply” to confirm.

Another major benefit is that it is much faster. NIUBI’s special file-moving algorithm helps shrink, move and copy partition 30% to 300% faster. This is very helpful to save time, because there are large amount of files in a server.

How to extend partition in Windows Server 2012 R2 without losing data:

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

Drag to resize

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag the left border rightwards to shrink this partition and make Unallocated space on the left.

Shrink d drive

Drag to resize

Click OK and back to the main window, 20GB Unallocated space is made in virtual mode and there’s a pending operation listed on bottom left.

Unallocated space

Step 3: Right click C drive and select “Resize/Move Volume” again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border towards right to merge this Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Hold unallocated space

Step 4: Click OK and back to the main window. C drive is extended to 60GB in virtual mode. Press Apply to take effect, done!

Partition resizedBesides 1-Second Rollback and is much faster, NIUBI Partition Editor has other advantages such as:

  1. Hot Resize technology helps extend NTFS partition in Windows without rebooting server.
  2. Virtual Mode help you preview, cancel and redo any pending operations before clicking Apply to change real disk partition.
  3. Cancel-at-Well technology helps you cancel ongoing operations without destroy partitions.
  4. SSD/HDD, all types of hardware RAID array, VMware/Hyper-V virtual machines, USB flash drive and memory cards are all supported.

Video guide to extend volume on Server 2012 (R2)

Beside extending partition in Windows Server 2012/2016/2019/2022 and previous Server 2003/2008 (R2), NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations for your servers.

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