Extend Primary Partition in Windows Server 2003

Posted on 2007-08-02
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I believe I need to extend my current C: drive (~4GB) (primary partition and boot) and was wondering if you could give help out?  I currently have 620 MB free.

Ive already moved the pagefile.sys, various logs, Exchange Information stores to E: but am still short of space to install Win2k3 SP2 and Exchange SP2.  (Win2k3 requires 369MB + 369MB for uninstall)

My particulars:  Im running Hardware: Dell PowerEdge 2850 Software: Windows 2003 Server with Exchange Server 2003 and have six (6) X SCSI Hard Drives with 146GB each.

All are Basic disks.  Looking at the Disk Management console I have the following:

Disk 0:
Volume      Layout      Type      Filesystem      Status                  Capacity      Free Space      Fault Tolerance
<Dell utility?>       Partition      Basic      <blank>      Healthy (EISA)            31 MB            31 MB       No
(C:)            Partition      Basic      NTFS            Healthy (System)      4 GB            620 MB      No
Data (E:)      Partition      Basic      NTFS            Healthy (PageFile)      146.75GB      143.25GB      No
New Volume      Partition      Basic      NTFS            Healthy                  19.53GB      19.47GB      No

To summarize:
Primary Partition: <31MB + (C:) 4GB NTFS > | Logical Drive: <(E:) Data> | Primary: 19.53GB | Unallocated: 649.41GB

After reading numerous posts on this subject, my first inclination is to use Norton Ghost (which we already own) to ghost the partition, delete the partition from the recovery console, write it back from Ghost with a large partition size.  Comments on this approach?

Other possibilities I considered, but don't think would work in my situation include:
1. Moving the C:windows/system32 folder to my E: drive (which would free up ~400 MB) or is this just 'kicking the can down the road' until the next SP release?
2. I've looked into buying Acronis (too expensive) or some other 3rd party software (i.e. BootIt NG (, Ranish, however, these would be more difficult to use since I can only use "approved" software due to government constraints on software).
3. Not sure about mounting an empty NTFS folder into C:?
4. Other?

1. I looked at Microsoft's Diskpart.exe utility and am unsure if it will work on Win2k3.  From reading other posts as well as Microsoft's (KB: 886986) I've heard conflicting ideas.  The old diskpart utility from Win2k may work on Win2k3 but I haven't heard of anyone successfully doing that with something similiar to my setup.

2. Dell also has an expart.exe utility, but again, I haven't heard of anyone successfully extending a boot partition with something resembling my setup.


- Jeremy
Question by:jeremyd123
    LVL 22

    Accepted Solution

    I would recommend using the ghost path.

    The reasons for this:

    1) If anything goes wrong, you have a recent known good backup (The ghost image)
    2) I've used this method to increase the system partition of a server a few times, and haven't had it fail yet.
    3) Other options that I would consider, are considerably more expensive.

    I would say just make sure that your image is known good before proceeding to wipe out the partition.

    Hope this helps!


    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution


    From what you have described of your setup, I am guessing you have RAID configured?  If so, you do not exactly have 6 x 143GB drives any longer....If you do not, you should seriously consider setting up RAID on  Win2k3 server if your data is at all of value....

    Either way, I believe your initial thought to use Ghost is going to be your best bet.  Even if you try something else, having a Ghost backup of the partition is a good idea.

    Diskpart.exe is an excellent utility but *will not work on a boot or system partition*
    There are ways around this, but not when you are using a RAID array...

    If you are wanting to use another utility such as Partition Magig, check this thread which has answered this question before:

    Expert Comment

    A product called EASEUS Partition can do it to the primary partition.  It is not a free product.

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