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Can I repartition a large hard drive that has Windows 2003 SBS installed on it. Can I create another partition and install another OS on it

Posted on 2010-11-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I have an install of Windows 2003 SBS on a server with a lot of space on it. Realizing I want to put a more advanced version of the OS. I have 2003 & 2008 Server Standard. I was thinking about at least putting one of those two on that machine.

Can I do something like this? Does anyone know what the steps for that are please advise. Thank you.
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Question by:ruavol2
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by:
farjadarshad earned 100 total points
ID: 34236095
If you don't want to erase your windows 2003 then use tool named Partition magic for that

http://www.soft32.com/download_151.html
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by:KCTS
KCTS earned 100 total points
ID: 34236124
You could set up a dual boot system - but why - you cant have both running at once - unless you go down the virtualization road
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by:epichero22
epichero22 earned 200 total points
ID: 34236246
What Farjar said will work but what I would do is install a new hard drive and install the 2003 or 2008 on that.  Then you can use the second hard drive for your data / paging or in a RAID 1 array.

You can try repartitioning but it's risky.  If you still want it, make sure you first do a thorough backup of all your data.  I tried repartitioning a drive and it crashed halfway and the next three days were spent doing data recovery.
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by:Michael Dyer
Michael Dyer earned 100 total points
ID: 34236255
If you have enough free space, Partition Magic will work for you.  First, resize the existing partition to a smaller size to give you enough free space for the new partition, then create a new partition in the free space.  I've done this many times and never had a problem, however common sense tells you to backup first, just in case.  Good Luck!
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Author Comment

by:ruavol2
ID: 34236310
I have 4 hard drives on this machine 320Gig each. The first 3 were set up on RAID. (I only know that because I was told that.) I am not sure what RAID is other than it ties the 3 hard drives together as one.
The fourth hard drive is another 320 gig that is currently unused for anything. In fact I am setting it up now as an external. I just never used it.

So does that mean I can install Win2003Server Standard on that hard drive if so how does windows know which one to boot up with. The machine is a Dell PowerEdge 830. If that helps.

Do I still need to use the partition magic. I assume it is a commercial product I will need to purchase?
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Assisted Solution

by:epichero22
epichero22 earned 200 total points
ID: 34236393
It's probably a RAID 3 or 5.  It's a reliable setup that combines both speed and redundancy.


What I would do is copy all your data and Windows settings to the empty 320 gig.  Then once you've verified it, reformat the three RAID drives and install the new operating system there.  After you're done, restore all the data on to the drives and set your OS to page to the non-raid disk.

Or you can just perform an upgrade install and keep your settings.  That's a safer way to play it and based on your questions it may be more comfortable for you to do so.  Either way, you wont need Partition Magic with this setup.

How does Windows know where to boot?  When you install Windows, it looks for other Microsoft operating systems and automatically create a menu when the computer starts allowing you to choose.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ruavol2
ID: 34263155
Installed it. Thanks.
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