How to extend partition/volume in Windows Server 2016

In most of Windows servers, original partition size may not meet new requirements. The typical example is that C drive is getting full. Nobody likes to start over or waste a long time to recreate partitions and restore everything from backup. Many people ask whether it’s possible to extend partition in Windows 2016 server without losing programs and data. The answer is yes, but you need the right tool. In this article, I’ll introduce how to extend partition in Windows Server 2016 with safe tool.

Is it difficult to extend server partition?

Actually, it is very easy. To extend Server 2016 partition, you may either use Windows Disk Management or third party software. If you extend volume in Server 2016 with Disk Management tool, you just need to follow up the Extend Volume Wizard. If you extend Windows 2016 volume with server partition software, you just need to click, drag and drop the on the disk map.

Which is the right tool to extend Server 2016 volume

Disk Management is a Windows native tool. Many people think that this type of tool has best compatibility, but it’s not at least when shrinking and extending partition. Disk Management damaged my partitions several times when I shrinking a Logical drive. If you have both Primary and Logical drives on a disk, pay more attention.

Disk Management has other shortages while resizing Server 2016 partition:

  1. It can only shrink and extend NTFS partition, other types of partitions are not supported.
  2. It cannot change the start position of a volume, so it can only shrink a volume towards left or extend a volume towards right.
  3. It cannot extend partition by shrinking another one. Because, Disk Management Extend Volume function only works when there’s adjacent Unallocated space on the right. You cannot get such required Unallocated space when shrinking any other volumes.

Third party software is much more powerful and there are many choices in the market. However, you’d better back up server in advance and run the safest tool. Nobody likes to see system/partition damage and waste a long time to restore everything.

2 ways to extend volume in Windows 2016 Server

1. Extend Server 2016 partition with native Disk Management

As I explained above, to extend partition in Windows Server 2016 Disk Management, there must be adjacent Unallocated space on the right. Otherwise, Extend Volume option is grayed out. You won’t get such required space by shrinking any volume. The only option is deleting the contiguous partition by yourself in advance.

Extend grayed out

If you want to extend volume in Windows 2016 server without any software, you must delete the contiguous volume on the right. In addition, these 2 partitions must be the same type. For example, if you want to extend C: drive in Server 2016, you must delete D: and this partition must be Primary.

How to extend volume in Windows Server 2016 with Disk Management:

Step 1: Right click Windows on bottom left of the screen and select Disk Management. Right click the right adjacent partition such as D: and select “Delete Volume”. (Note: if D is a Logical drive, Disk Management cannot extend C drive even after deleting D.)

Step 2: Right click the left contiguous partition such as C: and select “Extend Volume…

Extend volume

Step 3: The Extend Volume Wizard will be launched, click Next to continue.

Extend wizard

Step 4: In the pop-up window, select the available space and click Next, if you want to use just part of the space, remember to enter an amount in the last box.

Type value

Step 5: Confirm the operation and click “Finish” to proceed.

Confirm

2. Extend Server 2016 volume with safe partition software

If your partition layout doesn’t meet the requirements or if you don’t want to delete any partition, you have to run third party software. There are many choices in the market, but as I said above, you’d better back up server in advance and run safe partition software.

Some people think that it doesn’t matter if the program is safe or not, because they have backup. Obviously, it’s wrong. There are large amount of data in a server. If the system or partition is damaged, it costs such a long time to restore and verify data. As the safest tool, NIUBI Partition Editor has many advantages when resizing server drives. For example:

  1. It can clone single partition and entire disk as backup.
  2. It has Virtual Mode and Cancel-at-well technology to avoid wrong operations before apply and when executing.
  3. If it detects error when modify partitions, it’ll revert server to original status in a flash automatically. If it happens, your server will back online immediately without modification.
  4. Before extending a partition, you need to shrink another one. When shrinking and moving partitions, all files in these partitions will be moved to new locations. It may cost a long time if there are large amount of files. With the help of special file-moving algorithm, NIUBI is 30% to 300% faster.

How to extend partition in Windows Server 2016 without losing data:

Step 1. Download NIUBI Partition Editor, right click the right adjacent partition such as D and select “Resize/Move Volume“.

Select Resize

Step 2: In the pop-up window, drag left border rightwards to release free space on the left.

Shrink d drive

Drag to shrink

Click OK and back to the main window, a pending operation is added on the left.

Unallocated created

Step 3: Right click the left adjacent partition C and select “Resize/Move Volume” again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to combine this Unallocated space.

Extend C drive

Step 4: Click OK and back to the main window, click Apply on top left to execute, done.

C drive extended

If you use any types of hardware RAID arrays, do not break RAID array. If you run Server 2016 as virtual machine in VMware or Hyper-V, follow the same steps, there’s no difference.

How to shrink and extend partition in Windows 2016 server:

Besides shrinking and extending partition in Windows Server 2016/2019/2022 and previous Server 2003/2008/2012, NIUBI Partition Editor helps you do many other disk partition management operations, such as move, merge, clone, convert, defrag, wipe, hide, scan bad sectors.

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