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Help shrinking and expanding partitions on Raid 5

Posted on 2011-04-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a Dell R710 server running Windows 2008 R2 in a raid 5 configuration.  My initial plan was to use this server as an Exchange 2010 server and run a few Hyper-V VM’s for optional Edge transport and Unified Messenger servers.  All 3 are running on the same machine (1 physical and 2 virtual).  I would like to shrink the size of the partition running the physical PC and expanded the partition holding the 2 VM’s.  I need the extra room for a 3rd VM.  I’ve tried the resizing option in Disk Management.  I was able to shrink one of the partitions but the newly freed space didn’t become available to the other partition.  It seems like it was a sub partition of the original partition.. if that makes sense.   Is there a way to resize the partitions by making C: smaller and D: bigger?
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Question by:ND02G
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by:KeterHD
KeterHD earned 664 total points
ID: 35449824
First and foremost, I'd be extremely careful when doing anything like this. In case something goes wrong, your entire server may fail. Whatever you are doing, triple-check that you are doing the correct thing.

As far as I remember, you cannot do what you are requesting in Windows, as partition D begins at a certain point and Windows cannot move the initial point to an earlier stage. A third-party software could do something like this (such as Acronis Disk Director, or such), but you would have to do it from the offline, by booting your server off a CD/DVD. In case the software recognizes your storage controller and the disks, you would be able to first move the partition D into the free space released by partition C and then extend the partition D further.

HOWEVER! I cannot stress enough how dangerous this might be. If you are actually going to do this, make sure to clone your entire RAID first to another hard drive, so that you would be able to restore everything in case of an emergence (and after the clone, double-check that everything was copied correctly. Usually, the cloning software has the option to do so).
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PowerEdgeTech earned 668 total points
ID: 35453218
You would need partitioning software (something like Acronis Disk Director), as Windows Disk Management can only shrink partitions by cutting off space at the end (right side) and can only extend into Unpartitioned Space at the end of the partition to be extended (right side).  The only way to do otherwise, would be to convert your "disk" to Dynamic, which would not be advisable.  Every time you mess with system partitions you should be prepared for the worst.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 668 total points
ID: 35453240
You can resize it easily with the help of Paragon Partition Manager 11 Server Edition www.partition-manager.com
Take backup of entire configuration before you start the resize operation. This feature is included in PM11 as well.
Also you can use it to virtualize your physical machines in few steps.
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