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Extending a basic partition to fill unallocated space

Posted on 2004-09-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Windows 2000 Server
IBM xSeries 235
Primary hdd with OS (C: Drive) is 20GB

Here is the current partition layout of the C: drive --

[               C:                 ] [EISA] [                     Unallocated                          ]

As you can see I have a very small (60MB) partition in the middle stopping me from extending the C: to fill the whole disk.

So I have 2 questions:

1)  Can I move the EISA partition to the end of the drive?  Disk Management gives me no options of doing such.
2)  The C: is a basic partition created for Windows 2000 when the server was built,  can it actually be extended when the EISA partition is out of the way?  If not what other options are there?  C: is down to 60MB free space to extending it is very important.

Question by:Powerhousecomputing
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LVL 67

Expert Comment

ID: 11971574
To move the partition to the beginning of the drive, you'll either need to a) start over or b) use a 3rd party utility like Partition magic (www.powerquest.com).

Dynamic partitions can be extended...but again with Partition Magic, you can do this as well..

Author Comment

ID: 11971602
Powerquest (now owned by parent company Symantec)  says none of their Partition Magic products will work on the server,  it has to be Powerquest Volume Manager.

The C: drive isn't dynamic so could Volume Manager extend it anyway, or convert it to dynamic?  Volume Manager seems to have the same functionality as Partition Magic but for servers.
LVL 67

Assisted Solution

sirbounty earned 375 total points
ID: 11972753
Hmm - to be honest, I've never used the server product...hopefully another expert can provide further insight there.
But I don't believe your boot partition can be dynamic anyway...
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

tfjeff earned 375 total points
ID: 11973080
dell offers a utility called "extpart.exe" on their website that I've personally used with servers before (it is specifically designed for the windows server operating systems).  It is an unsupported utility and the possibility of data loss does exist when extending a partition like this, so make sure you have a good backup first.  Another option you may have is converting the volume you are wanting to extend to a dynamic disk, then windows will let you use disk management to extend the volume, however, I wouldn't suggest using dynamic disks, especially if you are already using a hardware RAID solution.
good luck
LVL 57

Accepted Solution

Pete Long earned 375 total points
ID: 11973191
not up on IBM's are you sure thats not RAID information stored in there? if it were a compaq or a Dell PERC Id say leave it well alone (the EISA partition)

Also this is just a pictorial representation, windows 2000 ALLWAYS puts unallocated space on the right hand side :)

The comment above is correct DO NOT EVEN ATTEMPT to use partition magic on this machine to dynamically resize a server partion you need to use Powerquest Volume Manager, Ive done it loads of times - and Im so confident I dont usually back up first - However common sense dictates you do so.


Author Comment

ID: 11973531
Ok so Volume Manager will indeed move the EISA partition and let me extend the C: , which is a basic disk?

Are they anything other programs similar to Volume Manager that will work, that does cost £400 ?  I rather not use IBM's extpart.exe if theres even the remotest chance of data loss or corruption.
LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 11973583
>>Ok so Volume Manager will indeed move the EISA partition and let me extend the C:

It will appear so to you, but all its actually doung is adding the unallocated space to c: your drive at a base level it doesnt look all ordered and neat like the picture on the screen, that EISA partition could be in 400 peices and scattered all through your C: partition :)

Not that Im aware of (people Have BENT partition magic to work on servers - But I think thats lunacy!)
LVL 56

Assisted Solution

andyalder earned 375 total points
ID: 11980164
If the EISA partition is really at the begining of the disk rather than in the middle you can save a bob or two and use diskpart.exe which is free from MS, www.microsoft.com/windows2000/techinfo/reskit/tools/new/diskpart-o.asp

There is a bug in that NTFS.SYS sometimes runs out of resources when using diskpart and it extends the partition but not the volume but if that happens MS PSS will send you the tool that extends the volume and fixes the problem, again for free.

Author Comment

ID: 11988929
I have had the go-ahead for Volume Manager so I will use that,  just can't believe its so expensive!

The plan is I will move the EISA partition to the farthest end of the drive possible (assuming I get a similar picture that disk manager gave me) and extend the C: to fill up the space.  Should be pretty straight forward, and can't take much time as the C: is only being extended not moved, and the EISA partition is only 55MB.

Author Comment

ID: 12025396
I can't believe it,  I have installed Volume Manager and it wont load, gives the error:

Int 183

"unable to identify windows partition"

Do I kill myself now?

Expert Comment

ID: 12296598
Just a quick note: I believe that you CANNOT extend a system and/or boot volume under Windows NT/2000/XP.

Another thing that will not work: Convert the disk to dynamic (caution: this is an irreversible process), and then it will allow you to add nonadjacent regions or free space to the volume. I believe this does not apply to partitions that are basic-converted-to-dynamic.

My suggesion is that you backup the sever and start over if you cannot use mount points for some reason. Mount point feautre allows you mount a volume to an empty directory of another volume (with a side effect of free space distribution becoming cryptic).

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