Extending system partition size in Windows server 2003

Posted on 2011-09-15
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi Everyone,

At present we have the old story of a server running out of space! We have assigned it more space and want to extend that on to the main partition. Now we know you cannot extend a system partition using diskpart as far as we can see.

So my question is what is the best third party software out there at the moment, that is capable of doing what diskpart seemingly cannot, in allowing us to extend the primary windows partition?

Many Thanks in Advance
Question by:Flight5497
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 36541292
Whenever this question comes up, I ask what, exactly, is taking up the space on the C: drive?  I ask, why not clean up the C: drive INSTEAD of RISKING CORRUPTING your server by using a partition expansion program?  There are MANY tools that will do this... they all seem to do it reasonably well or they wouldn't still be in business... but NONE will guarantee they work flawlessly and ALL will caution you to backup your system, JUST IN CASE.  Cleaning up the C: drive is generally much safer.  For your reference, I have a web page guide on what you can/should/shouldn't move - see

Expert Comment

ID: 36541326
Hello, We've had this many times. Damn Windows Updates hogging space! If the above dosn't help try downloading a Linux LiveCD (We chose Knoppix). Always make an image of the server first as I have seen resizing go wrong from time to time.

Once your confident you have a way back, boot from the CD and go through the start menu/programs within the bootable linux operating system and locate a tool called GPARTED or QPARTED. Run that and I recommend you read some online manuals for the software first.

Good luck and this can be a great tool.

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Author Comment

ID: 36541358
Hi Lee,

Thank you for your quick response. Unfortunatley this server is a file server, in that at present it holds shared directories that are used across the company, it also houses our users my documents folder redirection. We have named and shamed high volume users :) however it falls on deaf ears the users do not pay any attention to our request to move there data and archiving of the data on this server. We have tried the strong arm approach in limiting folder sizes but unfortunately we then get involved in a political battle, as some high level user will go to executives, and directors and make a complaint that they cannot save any more to their directory and we then get high profile company directors leaning on us to remove the limitations. So a bit of a no win situation.

So to summarise all company documentation sits on this particular server. If you say this is a risky business and that we should consider other options and use this as a last resort, I am happy to take that as at the end of the day we will have more complaints if we mess up the drive.

The other idea I had was to create a substantial second partiton and just move the data across out of hours, and replace all the shares back to what they were, and effectively the login scripts would not be affected due to the fact the share path would still be the same, I suppose that is another alternative until we can some how get the directors and execs on board to help us combat the users.
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LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 300 total points
ID: 36541415
Wait - you have ONE partition for EVERYTHING? WOW... I never do that - various reasons - this is one.

At this point, it depends on your folder structure, but you can create another partition and make a junction into the shared space or you can add one or more larger volumes and mount them to the shared folder (would require briefly unsharing and then a (likely) lengthy copy process to transfer the files to the new drive.

Like I said, There are MANY tools that will do this... they all seem to do it reasonably well or they wouldn't still be in business... but NONE will guarantee they work flawlessly and ALL will caution you to backup your system, JUST IN CASE - I have seen questions HERE asking about recovering after a failed attempt at expansion... but not TOO often.  So you CAN risk it and it'll probably be ok... but things that SHOULD work, don't always (I once created a software RAID 1 - KILLED the server - required a call to MS to fix).  When you do this long enough, you learn not to take chances when you really don't have to and how to make serious backups when you do have to.

Expert Comment

by:Amitabh Singh
ID: 36541416
you need a partition manager. Bootit-NG will move the e: partition up and expand c: for you.

their is also lots of  tool like Acronis Disk Director or Partition Magic. You could also use a Knoppix Live CD and use the free tool gparted.

Author Comment

ID: 36541569
First and foremost thank you all for your varying degress of assistance. I really appreciate it.

Lee - This was a server that was in place before my employment with the company and I would just like to point out I would never ever setup a file server with just one partition :) I always following the practise of keeping a partion for the system and a partition(s) for the file storage. Believe me if I could get hold of the ex employee who decided this was a good idea :)

I am sure if we did it, it would be ok but due to the nature of the data and the attention it would bring if it all came crashing down around our ears. I am very much with you on the finding another solution and not taking the chance when there is another option available to us.

Again many thanks to all of you for your assistance, especially yourself Lee.

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