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How to expand C: partition on Win 2003 SBS server

Posted on 2007-09-30
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How do I expand the C: partition on my RaID 5 wIN 2003 sbs SYSTEM?
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Question by:hpaul3
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by:arcaex
ID: 19987875
If your using RAID 5 than chances are you have what's call a container. Also, it's either SW RAID or HW Raid, both manipulate the discs with a 'container' configuration. Although there is no way to modify the size of the container you COULD use a third party application to increase the size of your C drive. I believe Paragon makes one for 2003 and NTFS volumes but its pricey (200 bucks).

Also, BE VERY VERY VERY careful it does not screw things up. Anytime you manipulate your OS boot drive you could be opening pandora's box. I have used Paragon before and it worked fine.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19987879
You cannot expand a system partition.  So I would ask why you are wanting to do this?  

What size is your C: partition now?  

If you are running out of room, have you moved all data off the C: partition?  See http://sbsurl.com/movedata for details on how to do this.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:arcaex
ID: 19987900
Yes you can resize a system partition..done it many times.
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by:arcaex
ID: 19987924
I have used this program with success:

http://partition-manager.com/corporate/server/
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19988013
Actually, I"ll clarify my comment... you SHOULD not do this on a Server's System Partition.

There is, in fact, a way to EXTEND a partition of you have free space that's unallocated:
http://searchwincomputing.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid68_gci1126671,00.html

But generally, I wouldn't suggest using an partition resizing tool unless you first have a full backup (generally a full image of the volume done with Acronis True Image Server or similar is best) and are prepared to immediately restore that backup/image if things go wrong... which is very possible.

If the C: partition is currently 12GB or larger, then it shouldn't be messed with, in my opinion, because that's plenty large enough if data files are moved elsewhere.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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Shane32EE earned 1600 total points
ID: 19990877
I've always used PartitionMagic (currently owned by Symantec), although I think they locked it from working on server operating systems.  Acronis® Disk Director® Server 10.0 would undoubtably work...if you want to pay $500 for it.  Note that you will not want to use DOS-based partitioning programs if you are using a software RAID driveset, as they will not recognize the RAID and mess up your drives.  Acronis runs within Windows, so it should work without problems.
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
ID: 19993106
I love the use of "should work".  Is it any surprise why Partition Magic is locked from working on a server?

Resizing a system partition on a server, especially an SBS, is almost always a bad idea.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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by:Shane32EE
Shane32EE earned 1600 total points
ID: 19999342
Resizing a system partition, on SBS or Windows XP, is identical.  SBS doesn't know it's been resized any more than XP does.  The only real difference is that, for a server, you might have a software RAID configuration whereas this is unlikely for XP users, and secondly, if you do something wrong, it can cripple your company.  Symantec just doesn't want to take the blame when you mess up your server because you pushed the wrong button while resizing the partitions.  It will work just as well, just as easily, and just as stably, if you do it the right way.

There's no difference between Acronis server software and workstation software.  They just unlocked it to work on servers because they know they can get more money out of those users.  They may have also spent more time and effort making sure it's 100% compatible with server-type configurations (software RAID, for example, and other dynamic disks), but the software is identical.

Believe me, there's no reason, from a Windows standpoint, why you shouldn't resize the system partition if you want to.  It's only "not a good idea" because you might do something wrong.  So if you're not sure of yourself, clone the drive first, then go at it.  That's what I do whenever I'm unsure of myself. A month ago, I wanted to connect my HW RAID5 array to a new controller.  So I cloned the driveset to a single IDE drive first, then reconigured the new card.  It worked, as I was hoping it would, but if it wouldn't have, I would just have cloned it back from the IDE drive.

Again, if you have a software RAID5 setup, then chances are that most partitioning software would not work properly on your hard drives.  Acronis's server products would probably work, and certainly cost enough!!  If you have a software RAID5 setup, I'd call Acronis and talk to them about your configuration.  I'm sure that if they say it'll work, it will.
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by:hpaul3
ID: 20000279
Many thanks to Arceax: and Shane32ee:  My Raid 5 is an adaptec hardware controller.  

My nterest in expanding the partition is caused by the needs of a legacy database program that does not like keeping the data on an extended drive.  Currently the C: partition is 25 Gb and I need at least 40 Gb for the data alone not including the needs of the Win2003SBS Server OS and the database program inself.  
I may rethink this approach and set up another server on the intranet running Win 2003 Server or WinXP SP2 to just serve this database program.   This will avoid the storing it with the Win2003SBS OS.
Still not quite decided though.  Of course I would back up (clone) the drive before attempting a partition change.

Thanks to TechSoEasy: for the link to the MS article.  It would appear that Diskpart will do the trick (if I dedide to do the extension) because I have over 400Gb available once the extended partion is removed.

Again thanks to all.
Hpaul3
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by:Shane32EE
Shane32EE earned 1600 total points
ID: 20000647
How about partitioning extra space and mounting the extra partition into a folder on the C drive?  So, C:\Timberline is really your second partition?  Windows can do that internally, and it will keep the data on a separate partition, too.
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by:Shane32EE
Shane32EE earned 1600 total points
ID: 20000750
(Most of those propietary software programs put themselves into a subfolder of the root, with all the necessary files underneath that, so I just thought it might work.)  You probably can backup and delete the 400GB partition from within Windows, and then create a 40GB+ partition for your propietary software application, mount it, move the files onto it, make sure the original folder exists but is empty, and then dismount the partition and remount it to the empty folder.  Your app shouldn't know the difference.  Of course, if it spreads itself out all over the hard drive, that wouldn't work.  But if it does, you could then create another partition using the rest of the space (360GB?) for your data and mount it to D:
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by:Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy
Jeffrey Kane - TechSoEasy earned 400 total points
ID: 20001806
Okay... I'll tell you again that 25GB is PLENTY of space for your system partition, and you don't need to put your data on that partition.  My very first comment gave you a very good way to move most of the SBS generated data off the system partition, which would normally make it such that you only need about 8GB total for SBS's core files.

Secondly, if your database program doesn't like being on an "extended" partition, then how about on a separate partition or drive?  What if you installed the program itself on that other partition so it was in the same place as the data?  It's generally not a good practice to put data and system files on the same partition anyhow.

Jeff
TechSoEasy
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