How to increase C drive space in Windows Server 2012?

After running the computers including the servers for a period of time, C drive runs out of space, because Windows updates, applications, caches and many other files went into C drive continuously, but you cannot waste hours or a whole day to start from scratch keeping the server offline. Nowadays, it is possible to increase C drive space by taking unused space from other disk drive directly, so today I want to share experience about how to increase C drive size in Windows Server 2012 (R2) without losing data.

If you do not trust 3rd party software, you can achieve this in Server 2012 Disk Management, however it is not the perfect solution. Remember to back up the server before any operations no matter using Windows built-in utility or 3rd party program.

Increase C drive space under Server 2012 Disk Management

Step 1: Right-click the Windows icon on bottom left and select “Disk Management”, where you’ll see all connected disk partitions. Transfer all files in drive E to other partitions. Right-click drive E and select “Delete Volume…”, it will be changed to free Unallocated after deleting.

Disk management

Step 2: Right-click drive C and select “Extend Volume…”

Extend volume

Extend Volume Wizard will be launched, click Next to continue.

Extend volume wizard

Step 3: If there is only one available Unallocated space, it will be selected automatically, otherwise, you need to select a disk, click Next to continue.

Select space

Step 4: Confirm the operation, click Finish to proceed.

Complete extending

In a short time, C drive size increased by using the space of data drive E.

partition combined

Disadvantages of Server 2012 Disk Management

As I said above, resizing partitions in Windows 2012 Disk Management is not the perfect solution, though it is Windows built-in utility, because:

  1. There is potential chance of losing data if you delete a partition, only if you clone the entire partition to other one with some program.
  2. Only the one data partition that is on the right side and contiguous can be used to increase C drive space. In step 2, if you deleted drive F, “Extend Volume” feature is grayed out when you right-click C.

The best solution to expand C drive is using 3rd party program, of course, the precondition is selecting the right one, here I recommend NIUBI Partition Editor.

Increase C drive size with 3rd-party software

With server partition software, it is very easy to resize disk partitions, and without deleting drives. As long as there is free space in any other drive, you can take the free space out and add to C drive.

Steps to increase C drive space on Windows Server 2012:

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 generate free Unallocated space.

Shrink volume

You may also input a value for the Unallocated space directly.

Drag to resize

Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll see 20GB Unallocated space created behind C: drive.

Unallocated space

Step 3: Drag the right border rightwards to hold the Unallocated space.

Drag to resize

Hold unallocated space

Step 4: Click OK and back to the main window, where you’ll see C drive extended to 60GB by robbing 20GB free space from D. Press Apply on top left to execute, done!

Partition resized

Video guide to increase C drive by taking free space from other drives

This partition software is 30% to 300% faster than ANY other tools, which is strictly tested. Furthermore, the unique Roll-Back Protection technology ensure 100% data safety even if power failure or any hardware issue occurred during resizing partition.

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