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Resizing C: \ Partion

I currently own a Dell Server that shipped with a primary C:\ with 12GB and logical D:\ with 135GB.  The C:\ drive only has 4GB left and the D:\ drive as 100GB.  What programs are recommneded to complete this task?  I have been very careful the last 3 years installing all of the programs and data onto D:\.  I have moved the paging file and moved the Windows Uninstall folders.  

The system has a SCSI Raid 0 with two 80GB physical hard drives.  The disk manager reports that C:\ is the primary partition and D:\ is the logical partition.  

Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Debbie Hamatani
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DebbieHamatani
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DebbieHamatani
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1 Solution
 
Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Why?  You have 4 GB free.  Why is this a problem?  What do you expect to fill up the space on the drive?  It's a server - you don't install things other than updates and maybe one or two business apps... the space should NOT be used up quickly.

Resizing is possible, but keep in mind, NO VENDOR GUARANTEES that it won't corrupt your system.  There is a chance it will (I've seen questions about it here after a failed attempt).  

Most of my servers have 25% or more free disk space and I check them once a year or so... maybe twice... but I don't worry about the space on them.  IT simply doesn't grow very fast at all.  If you NEED to gain space, you can review my document on boot drive size, but I don't know how much help it will be if you already have 4 GB of 12 free. http://www.lwcomputing.com/tips/static/bootdrivesize.asp
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
As leew said, there is no risk-free method of doing this.  You can purchase third-party utilities (like Acronis Disk Manager) that will resize partitions while keeping data intact, or you can use a couple of "free" methods ... 1)  Use Dell's ExtPart to extend the size of C:.  2)  Use a Server 2008 DVD to extend C:.  In both cases, you will first need to backup and delete the D: partition, as C: can only be extended into Unpartitioned Space.
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DebbieHamataniAuthor Commented:
leew:

Thank you for your comments and yes I did read your document very carefully.  I get concerned when I apply an update and it takes 5GB of my C:\.  I am a planner and am looking for a back-up plan.  And yes, I realize that no vendor guarentees that it won't corrupt my system.  I spoke with Dell at length about this on Saturday and actually the gparted is what they recommended (not guarntee).  Since I had a subscription,  I was curious about what the experts thought and maybe had some recommendations of other programs.
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DebbieHamataniAuthor Commented:
dstewartjr:

Thanks!  This is exactly what Dell suggested also.  
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
While it's always possible something happens... I've never heard of or seen an "update" that takes up 5 GB.  Even service packs, if memory serves, for 2008 and Vista are only about 1 GB (but for those systems, the recommendations are to start with a much larger drive.  For your OS, unless you're planning on upgrading (which few people recommend - most recommend a clean install - and with disks as cheap as they are, I would recommend just pulling the drives and do a clean install on new drives - if you don't replace the server, which is something I'd also recommend if it were out of warranty.

(My position on servers is that if setup correctly, they are the most important systems in the company - therefore they need to be protected with excellent warranties and appropriate redundancies).
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Last time when I tested Gparted it reported some errors in half way of resize. Booting into Windows and running CHKDSK reported again no error.
Back to Gparted and errors came back.
The only Pro of free tool is that it is Free. That's all. Though I am the follower of free and open sourced software I would recommend using third party tool - commercial for operations with live server. Because open source leaves you with your open mouse when something happens and paid one gives chance to get professional help.
I use Partition Manager 10 by Paragon for similar tasks and recommend it. It is capable of taking backup before running resize operation thus provides you kind of insurance if anything bad happens.
www.partition-manager.com
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DebbieHamataniAuthor Commented:
leew:

It was a service pack for Microsoft Dynamics.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
That's just insane.  
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kennyhenaoCommented:
Partition commander will do the job. I have resized several servers and have not had any problems after.

http://www.avanquest.com/USA/software/partition-commander-10-server-edition-102577
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There are several solutions and I have included some in the link on my page.
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DebbieHamataniAuthor Commented:
noxcho:

What type of drives did you use the Partition Manager?  I downloaded the demo and the demo reported that I did not have any partitions that adjacent to each other.  Was your C:\ partition your primary drive and your othe partition listed as a logical drive?  

Thanks for the suggestion.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes. Look attached video example.
It is video and player in one file. Download exe file and double click on it. You will see how it works.
Resize-extended.exe
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TeethingCommented:
Instead of fixing a symptom of disk space, fix the cause:

You can create a temp folder on another drive with more space and then set your TEMP and TMP environment variables to use this new folder.  This will alleviate the space restraints from using the temp folders on your OS drive.
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DebbieHamataniAuthor Commented:
Teething:

Thanks for the suggestions.  The only programs that are loaded on the C:\ partition is the operating system and my backup program.  My temp files are all on the D:\ partition.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Better to increase the size of system partition when you do have adjacent space. This is easier than always shaking about in worry that space lack problem could reoccur.
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Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
As leew noted, 4GB is a reasonable amount of free space, so you don't really need to worry about this (yet).

However, to answer your question, Yes, it's possible to resize C: safely -- but do NOT use any of the "live" packages that attempt to do this from within the running OS.    I've found the best utility to do this is Boot-It NG -- it checks for any errors BEFORE it changes anything, and if it finds errors that would preclude doing the resize it will simply refuse to start.

A few caveats with your current structure ...

Your "drive" (the RAID-0 array) "looks" like this:

CCCCCCpppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppppp

where the C's are your C drive, and the p's are the extended partition that contains D.    The extended partition complicates things a bit.   If you look "inside" the p's, it looks like this:

DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

What you first need to do is resize D: -- so the extended partition (the p's) looks like this:

DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    where the x's represent free space.

Then you need to "Shrink" the extended partition to its minimum size -- which will make the disk look like this:

CCCCCCCCDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDxxxxxxxxxx

You will now have free space on the drive, but it will be in the wrong place => so the next operation is to "Slide" the extended partition so there's zero free space AFTER it.    This will make the disk look like this:

CCCCCCCCxxxxxxxxxxxDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

You can then simply Resize C and you'll be done :-)

So -- using Boot-It's terminology, the operations you need to do are (a) Resize (the volume that represents D);  (b)  Resize (the extended partition);  (c)  Slide  (the extended partition);  and (d)  Resize (C)

The free demo version will do all this just fine.    Download it [http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm ];  create a bootable CD (or floppy) with the included MakeDisk utility;  boot to the CD/floppy -- selecting CANCEL at the first prompt;  then OK at the 2nd;  go to Partition Work ... and you're ready to follow the process I described above.    The ReSize of the D drive will take a while (depends on how much data needs to be moved);  the Slide will take the longest (it has to move all of the data on D);  and the ReSize of C will be VERY quick (seconds).
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