Re-partition C Drive on SBS 2008

Posted on 2014-08-19
Last Modified: 2014-08-22
We purchased a Dell PowerEdge T310 a few years back with a PERC6i/H700 RAID Controller. The system was setup with 4 1TB Drives in a RAID 5 Configuration. It came configured with a Small C Drive (80GB) and my question is what 3rd party software can I use to repartition the C drive and take from the D or E drive which has plenty of space available? I know there is a different approach that involves wiping the system out and reinstalling from Backup after it has been repartitioned but I would rather not go that route.

Any recommendation of software and anything else I should think consider would be greatly appreciated.
Question by:ozgc
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    by:Brad Groux
    Basically you need to shrink the D:\ or E:\ partition and extend the C:\ partition. I used Partition Magic in the past to do this, however it is no longer in production (was purchased by Symantec and decomissioned) - it should still function however. This functionality is included in Windows Server 2008, Vista and higher.

    Extend Partition in Windows:
    In Windows Server 2008 you need to go to Server Manager, found in the Administrative Tools folder or on the My Computer context menu.
    Next, scroll down till you get to the Storage section, and in it go to the Disk Management console.
    Select the disk you want to extend, for example Drive C.
    Note: Extending any volume is fine as long as you have additional unallocated free space on that same physical hard disk . Note that you can also extend the partition beyond the physical disk it is located on. This is useful when you run out of space on that physical hard disk, and have brought in a new physical hard disk that you wish to use. However, unlike using that new disk as a totally new partition by itself, this disk (or part of it) becomes a part of a partition located on the first disk. While useful in some cases, this scenario might cause fault tolerance issues, because this extended partition is NOT fault tolerant, and if something happens to one physical disk, all the data on that extended partition becomes unavailable, and data loss can occur. In any case, such an extended partition can contain an unlimited number of logical drives.
    Right-click the disk and select Extend Volume. 

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    LVL 87

    Accepted Solution

    Use GParted. As long as the RAID controller is correctly recognized (you shouldn't see the individual disks, but rather jist the virtual disks of the array), it should work fine.

    You will first have to resize D: (that can also be done natively from within Windows diskmanagement, shrink). Then from within GParted move D towards the end of the disk. After that you have unpartitioned space between C and D, and then you can extend your C partition (also this can be done natively in diskmanagement, only the move of D can't be done natively).
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    The information you provided is too vague.
    > The system was setup with 4 1TB Drives in a RAID 5 Configuration. It came
    configured with a Small C Drive (80GB)
    4x1 in a RAID 5 is 3TB.  You cannot have a 3TB drive that windows boots off an 80GB partition unless the system is UEFI and I'm fairly certain it's not.  This means that EITHER:
    1.  Dell created "partitions" or "containers" (as they used to call them) on the RAID controller.  If so, it really depends on on how they configured the containers - 2x1.5TB?  One at 80GB and one with the remainder?   If the latter is the case, the ONLY way to resolve is to completely backup, wipe, reconfigure the RAID arrays, and restore (you can then restore to larger partitions).
    2. Is the RAID configuration 3x1TB in a RAID 5 with Hot Spare?  If so then you'd be ok from the RAID configuration.

    As for what to do, I will concede 80 GB is a *LITTLE* on the small side.  However, there are things you can do to better manage it and potentially avoid resizing (which DOES have risk of corrupting all data - MAKE SURE you have full backups of everything before you start ANY resize).

    Find out what's taking up the space and re-organize where things are stored.  Put the pagefile on another drive, move the Exchange databases, the SQL databases, the WSUS files... move everything non-essential to a C: drive to another drive letter.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for all the help comments guys.

    I was a little vague. Let me provide more information. The Server is a RAID 5 with 4 x 1TB Drives with a total of 3GB or so of space. 2 Drives were created and this is what's shown in Windows. Disk 0 is 1.8TB and Disk 1 is 993GB. Image attached for clarification.  

    @Brad Groux - We also used to use Partition Magic but as you said its decommissioned now. If you look at my image, you think I can shrink the E -> Extend the C drive?

    @Rindi - Since only disk 0 and 1 show up in windows we can say that GParted would work right?

    @Lee W - Thankfully the server was not configured in your point 1. Its 2 Drives with 1 being 1.8TB and the other being 900 GB. With this information what you think Is the best option. I have already moved SQL Database, WSUS, and Exchange to the other drives. Also I've uninstalled software from C and reinstalled to other drives. I've used Jam Treesize to show me the biggest files/folders and moved what I could comfortably.
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    No. You have to boot to the Linux LiveCD of GParted, and if that tool shows you the RAID volumes rather than the actual disks, then it should work fine.

    If GParted sees the actual disks, then you will have to buy a commercial product which works for server OS's. The free products only work on m$ desktop OS's.
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    You can do the resize in Windows using Hard Disk Manager 14 Basic:
    It will let you take backup before you start with resize.

    Author Closing Comment

    Everyone had good ideas that could have potentially worked but ultimately i decided to go with GParted. I couldn't use the builtin Windows tools because of the location of the partitions that needed to shrunk and expanded (To expand a partition there needs to be unallocated spaced directly adjacent to it). As for a 3rd party tool, i felt GParted was a name that kept coming up in forums. I created a test environment and replicated the partition configuration I was attempting to fix and was able to do so with GParted. Actual implementation took a long time, due to the size of the drives i was working with, but all in all a successful job. Thanks everyone for the helpful ideas.

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