Moving a server D: drive partition to another drive - what is the best method ?

My customer has Small Business 2008 server with a very small C: drive and a D: drive on the same disk.  I think the C: drive was made a very small 60GB by the default Dell server install.  

The other disks in the server are huge with plenty of spare space.  I want to know the best way to move the D: drive/partition onto another disk so that I can then extend the C: drive.

I've attached an image of the current Disk Management configuration.

Is it possible to mirror the D: drive onto the spare space and then delete the 'old' D: drive on the original drive ?  

What is the best method to move the D: drive/partition ?
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAsked:
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jpgobertEnterprise IT Systems ConsultantCommented:
Ok... so let's do this...

2)  Did you create a backup??  Cool... VERIFY IT.

...seriously make sure you have a good backup...

3)  Use a boot disk to boot the machine so that nothing will be in use or changed on D:

4)  Do the same process I mentioned earlier with creating the partition, moving your data, and reassigning the letter D to the new partition.

FYI... you don't have to delete D: to be able to move the letter... if you're running from a boot disk just change D to something available like P or Q.  Once applied, D will be free and you can set your new partition to D.

Once you've made the changes and the data is moved, reboot.

If your apps give you any grief after rebooting you can just change the new D to another letter, give the original D the letter D again and reboot again.  

Gives you some breathing room if you're worried something may go wrong...

Obviously you could buy 3rd party software like Acronis or Paragon to do this but it really is a simple change...  up to you.
jpgobertEnterprise IT Systems ConsultantCommented:
What's the D: being used for?  Any applications installed there?  

It sounds like it may be pretty simple... Just create a new partition on one of the other drives and give it an available drive letter.  Move the content of the current D: to the new partition you created.  Once everything has moved, delete the D: and expand your C: partition.

Once that's done, the letter D will be available since you deleted the original D: and you can change the drive letter on the new partition to D:.

Make sense?
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
D: drive has various program files and some data / small databases.  e.g. Trend Micro Worry Free Business Security Advanced, UPS software etc etc.
So whilst a copy might work I would prefer something that is transparent to any running software if at all possible.....
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Miguel Angel Perez MuñozCommented:
You can try add another drive and clone your actual D: partition extending during cloning. P. ex Acronis true image lets do this.
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
What about adding a mirror on Disk 1 ?
If you have the space then I would do it slightly differently than above, this won't require any thrid party software purchasing...

- Make a backup - can't stress how important that is.

- disable all the services you don't want running (all third party and application services, inc anti-virus, make a note of which ones you have disabled.)

- reboot the server

- create the new partition on your other drive, format it and give it a drive letter. e.g: I:

- ROBOCOPY the contents of D: to the new drive.  I've done this quite a few times on various old virtual machines and it works fine.  Use something like ROBOCOPY d: i: /s /e /v /copyall /r:1 /w:1  
There will be a few files it can't copy from 'System Volume Information', that's fine, keep a look out for any other files that it alerts you on, you may have left a service or program running that has these files locked.

- Once the robocopy is complete, change the drive letters around. Re-create any shares that should be pointing to the new D: drive.

- Enable the services you previously disabled.

- Reboot the server again.

- Once rebooted check all the services that you disabled are up and running ok, they should be and they should be accessing files from the new D: drive.

- Once you have confirmed that your apps etc are running from the new D: drive you can delete the old D: partition and expand the C: drive into it's space, Windows 2008 can do this without needing any additional third party tools.

jpgobertEnterprise IT Systems ConsultantCommented:
You're basically going down the same path I posted earlier but you're talking about having the server online when he does it...?  That's probably the most dangerous approach.

We have no idea what all is running on that box... unless he's 100% confident that he's properly disabled everything and/or he's able to fix any problems that come up if he missed anything then he should do this operation from a boot disk environment.

Even the 3rd party apps don't try to do the changes with the OS booted... it's always done during a reboot...

But hey... it's his call but it is reckless to do it with the OS booted...
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
What about adding a mirror of D: onto Disk 1, letting it mirror and then break the mirror so that the new D: drive is on Disk 1 ?  Can that be done ?
jpgobertEnterprise IT Systems ConsultantCommented:
That's a no-go... if you're talking about using software mirroring built into Windows then that's done at the disk level, not the partition.

You'd also have to wipe out everything on Disk 1 since Windows would try to mirror Disk 0 to it.
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
jpgobert my understanding was always the other way around ....i.e. Windows level mirroring is NOT at the disk level but rather at the partition level......

And that's when I select the current D: drive on Disk 0 it offers me an option to add a mirror on Disk 1......
jpgobertEnterprise IT Systems ConsultantCommented:
I may have it backwards... if so I apologize... I always steer clear of software mirroring due to the overhead.

The question is, if it will mirror at the partition level, what will Windows do when you break the mirror and delete the primary member?
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
I agree.  Can anyone answer that question ?
All methods carry risks, it's not the OS drive so he is unlikely to encounter uncorrectable issues.  Robocopy'ing the drive is a fairly gentle method that at worst would add a lot of files to an existing partition if he gets the drives the wrong way around or mixed.

Given what I've seen inexperienced users do with disk cloning tools I would also say that carries some hefty risks.

If the original primary member of the mirror exists when the mirror is broken it will fail back to theprimary, mirroring is not an option for this procedure, it will not do what you want it do.
Michael GreenSenior IT Consultant / IT Project ManagerAuthor Commented:
I'm afraid I don't like the risk I'm hearing in some of the suggestions so far.  I'm going to look at using a commercial product - Hard Disk Manager 12 from Paragon has been recommended to me......
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
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