Extend SBS 2008 system C drive by shrinking D drive by 15GB?

I have a client with a Dell SBS 2008 machine.  It has a single hard disk partitioned into 4 drives.  According to the Disk Management graphic, we have:

1. a 63MB unmarked area at the left
2. a 3GB Recovery partition (e:)
3. a 60GB System partition (c:)
4. a 402GB Data partition (d:)

I want to remedy the 60GB problem with another drive at some other time, but for now, my question is:

With the layout I described above, can I shrink the D drive by 15GB and expand the C drive by 15 GB, using the Disk Management "Shrink Volume..." on D: and then "Extend Volume..." on C: ?

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Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
You can grow drives but only onto contiguous space but going on what you describe it should be possible although I would prefer to see a screen shot from disk manager before I can be sure.

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DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Here is a screen shot
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Yes you can shrink D:\ and grow C:\ .......very easily.
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You can shrink D using diskmanagement, but you'd also have to move D after shrinking to the end of the HD. Only after that can you extend C. The problem is that diskmanagement doesn't have an option to allow you to move partitions. For that you'd need a 3'rd party app. Paragon has such tools:


Since you need a 3rd party tool for moving the partition you might as well use that tool for the other shrinking and expanding.

If your Server's RAID controller is properly recognized you can also use the Partition Editor which comes on the OpenSource and free PartedMagic LiveCD to move, shrink, expand partitions:


Another thing that could work is to use the Server's built-in backup utility to make a full backup of D:, then delete that partition and expand C:, and after that restore D to the rest of the drive.

Further options you have that would allow you to keep your current partition sizes is to make sure that all data is on D, your backups are successfully completed so transaction logs from exchange etc are deleted, you have deleted unneeded and temporary data on C, make sure the large pagefile is on D (only leave a small, around 512mb pagefile on C so the minidumps can be created if necessary). This could free up enough space on your system partition so you could work properly again.
DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
My understanding of the shrink and extend commends is that they can be done while the server is runnig, with no services shut down or anything like that.  Do you concur?
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Yes that is correct, it can be done live, no down time required.
But as I said, there is no "move" option. You can only extend a partition if the disk has unassigned space right after the partition you want to extend. The problem is when you reduce the size of a partition the unpartitioned space will be behind that partition and not in front of it, where you need it...
Mike ThomasConsultantCommented:
Yes of course rindi is correct the shrink will create space at the end of the volume which will make it non-contiguous so you will not be able to expand on to it, so you will have to somehow manage a data move before and after the operation. You could however use the 3gig from the recovery partition.

Let's look at this from a different angle. Why do you want to do this are you running out of space on the C drive? If that is the case look at some areas to regain space. For example

1. Delete Old IIS Logs

C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Logs\.

2. Moving data such as Exchange store, SharePoint, User files tot eh D drive.

3. Cling up the WSUS repository

DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
The logfiles are largely cleaned up, and so it seems like this might be my most sensible approach with minimal downtime:

1. Add a large hard drive and call it F:
2. Move the contents of D: to the new F: drive.
3. Delete the partition on the old D: (or shrink to zero/near zero??)
4. Change drive letter F: to D:
5. Extend C: to take over the old D space (now unpartitioned)

Does this approach work?
If that is an option that would be the best way to do it. Yes this should work fine. Just remember to use the wizards to move stuff like Exchange, SharePoint, User Files etc.
I think it would be easier to clone your current D to the new HD (or restore an image backup you made of D to the new HD). Then delete your old D and start your OS. The new drive should now be D, provided you did the cloning / restoring not from within your main OS. After that you should be able to resize your partitions at will.

I'm not sure though whether the builtin backup tool of SBS 2008 can do this while the OS is offline.

I'd probably again use either CloneZilla which is also included on the PartedMagic LiveCD which I mentioned earlier. With this you can easily clone partitions. The main problem here again is that the RAID controller has to be properly recognized by the tool. But you can test that easily by booting your server with the CD. If it sees one HD and not the physical HD's of your controller, then it has properly recognized your controller and you can go ahead. If it sees every physical HD of the array, then it hasn't recognized the controller properly.

In such a situation I'd use one of the Commercial products from paragon which I also linked to earlier.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
My understanding of the shrink and extend commends is that they can be done while the server is runnig, with no services shut down or anything like that.  Do you concur?
With current configuration you have no chance to resize the partitions without reboot of the machine. Look, on D: drive you have page file and this means that your partition is always locked. No software will move the left border of this partition to the right without restart.
If you remove paging file temporarily from D: drive and stop all services or open files running from D: then it will run in Windows.
And I strongly recommend to stop the data interaction with this drive for the time of resize.
Also you must take backup of entire configuration before resize.
And finally you D: drive is a logical drive and you can get a problem which is typical to everyone who wants to resize similar configuration. Place is taken from D: but hot to assign it to C:?
Rindi posted a link to Paragon Partition Manager 11 Server edition. Give it a chance.
I have attached a video based example on resizing similar configuration.
I changed the file extension from .exe to .png so I could upload it here. Download it and change the extension back to exe. Then run it. No fear, this is video packed into player.
Example is based on Partition Manager exactly.

DaveWWWAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  It looks like I will need to set up a new drive to get the contiguous space I'm looking for.
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