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Using DISKPART to shrink a data partition in Server 2008 R2

Posted on 2011-03-02
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Hey all,

I need to shrink an E:\ partition on a file server (2008 R2) at one of our sites by about 60Gb. The partition exists in a RAID5 array made up of 3 physical disks, there is only the system partition and this data partition. I've already checked and the tool says there's far more than that reclaimable, and I know what commands to use to do it.

So I only have a couple of small questions, as it's not mentioned in anything I've read, and I've never used DISKPART to shrink a partition before:

1) Can this be done whilst the partition you're shrinking is in use? The site is 24/7, and arranging an outage would be a pain, so I just want to know whether I should be able to run the shrink without rendering the partition unusable for the time it takes to shrink. Otherwise I will have to arrange an outage window to ensure no one is using the partition when I do it.

2) Are there are obvious problems to watch out for, given that the data on this partition is critical? It's obviously backed up but as I'm sure you can understand having to completely restore it would still be considered a disaster, so I'm just looking for anyone to advise what I should be careful of, if anything (or any special considerations given the RAID5 config, or anything like that!).

Cheers,

Pete
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Question by:PeteJThomas
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by:afthab
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1) Can this be done whilst the partition you're shrinking is in use :- Yes but if it contains important database, better take backup

Here more info
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731894.aspx
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by:PeteJThomas
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Thanks, I have already read that article you posted - So as far as you know, I can shrink this partition whilst everyone is using it, and there is no obvious reason not to? I already have a backup, though I'd have to have to use it if there's an obvious reason for me not to do this and I go ahead...

So I hope you don't mind if I wait a bit and see if anyone else responds, can't hurt to have a second opinion and draw from others experiences as well. :)

Pete
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by:afthab
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Hi Pete,
There is no gain without risk,Then what is the need of backup, if you need you can use it,  anyway
The shrinking time depends the size, If less number of users are accessing it, just ask a downtime , for your peace..:)

* I have done it without any problem 2008 server
* For my 2003 servers i am using a great software called Easeus partition manager, using this tool you can even change C drive space. I don know the compatibility with 2008 server.
http://www.easeus.com/

Of course we can wait for others to comment, I always looking for better solution because many tigers are around us and i am happy to accept a good one :)

FYI:
http://www.marcofolio.net/tips/tips_to_shrink_the_windows_directory_to_create_space.html

AtB

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by:noxcho
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Hm, you even don't need to go to DiskPart for this. Get to Windows Disk Management - right click on partition - shrink. And select new size for partition. Does this method work for you?
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by:noxcho
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Hi PeteJThomas,

as advanced member of EE you can get partitioning and backup tools for free from Paragon. Look this link: http://www.paragon-software.com/partners/ptac/index.html
Get a copy of Paragon Partition Manager 11 Server and do what you want with it on your drives.
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by:PeteJThomas
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Hey guys,

REALLY sorry I took so long to come back to you, works just been crazy!

@noxcho: As far as I know, the Disk Management GUI method you suggested actually uses DISKPART to perform the shrink anyway, I just tend to prefer command line methods - Nothing more than a personal preference... :)

@afthab: As it happens, I took that very stance, and just went ahead and did it, figuring that worst case scenario I did have a good backup. It worked great! The only knock on affect that I hadn't considered was that we replicate some of the folders on this partition using Microsoft Data Protection Manager, and I noticed the day after shrinking the partition that it had stopped replicating, saying that the replica was inconsistent - However simply reinitiating a replication with a consistency check rectified this and everything is back to normal! So thanks for your advice.

Back to noxcho: You can get free tools by posting a lot on EE??? How did I not know about this?! I'll definintely have a good look at that link you sent!

Many thanks for the responses guys, really appreciate your help!

Will split the points evenly as I found responses from both of you particularly helpful for different things. :)

Cheers!

Pete

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by:PeteJThomas
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Just thanks for the responses!
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