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Can a boot partition be merged with another?

Posted on 2007-03-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I have recently took over remote administration Dell server.  It has two RAID arrays, RAID 1 for the OS and RAID 5 for the data.  It's running Windows 2003 Server, and is fully patched.  

The problem I have is that either Dell or the people that set it up partitioned the mirrored array so that it now holds C: and E:, and C: is already too small for the OS, and this box has been in service only a few weeks.

Currently E: has Dev Studio and MySQL installed on it, both of which can be reinstalled if needed, and C: has the OS.

I'd like to merge C: and E:.  Can that be done with a boot partition or would I have to wipe and start over?  
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Question by:roberts0909
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Expert Comment

by:LauraEHunterMVP
ID: 18810461
You cannot do this while the system is booted.  You will need an NTFS boot disk as described here: http://searchwincomputing.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid68_gci1126671,00.html?topic=298540.

NB: I have not personally vetted this procedure, so all usual caveats about "please make sure you have good backups in place before trying this" apply.

There may be third-party tools that can merge partitions on a server, but I'm not specifically familiar - I used to use Partition Magic but that was only designed for desktop systems without RAID arrays.

Hope this helps.

Laura E. Hunter - Microsoft MVP: Windows Server - Networking.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18810513
If configured properly, you don't need all too much space for the OS. How large is C:\?
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by:roberts0909
ID: 18810702
C: has between nine and ten gigs of space (I forget the exact number).  
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rindi earned 250 total points
ID: 18810856
That's enough for the OS.

Just make sure no 3rd Party software that isn't installed by the OS is installed on C: (uninstall such software and reinstall to another location).

Make sure you don't have your pagefile on C:

Limit the size of the eventlogs.

Make sure user profiles etc aren't on C:

Change the location of any Temp directories to another drive.

Clear internet Caches.

Delete \windows\system32\$NTUnins... folders or move them somewhere else. These are made by windowsupdates so you can uninstall such updates. If the updates work that isn't necessary... (I usually leave them for a couple of weeks after the updates were installed, and when satisfied things work I delete them). On a new system you shouldn't need to roll back any updates.

Make sure your backup software and others don't write any logs or other files to C:.

Empty the recycler.
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