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Windows 2008 R2, expand c: drive, what is the best software to do this

Posted on 2015-01-07
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Last Modified: 2015-01-12
We have a Windows 2008 R2.  I need to make the C: drive bigger.  What is the best software in terms of performing this delicate operation to use?  I know Windows has its own built-in software to do this, but I want to use a third party application because I don't trust Windows, especially for something like this.
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Question by:Tlingit
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by:Will Szymkowski
ID: 40536158
Expanding a disk is a common practice and Windows Disk Part works fine. In 2008 and up Windows allows you to do this via GUI but the diskpart CLI is still available.

The risky operation would be shrinking a disk (not a good practice). Windows will be fine and you should have no issue. If you are using Disks over 2TB then you want to make sure you are using GPT format.

Will.
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by:pjam
ID: 40536159
do you have unallocated space on the hard drive?
Raid what?
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40536214
Funny, over 20 years of experience and I don't trust 3rd party applications to mess with the file system.  Best tool is the Windows tool in my opinion.
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by:Tlingit
ID: 40536287
I would have to shrink drive d to give to c, so there would have to be shrinkage but to a different drive.
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rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 40536301
If your free, unallocated space comes right after C:\, then the extending the partition using diskmanagement is free and very easy to do. Just make sure that you leave about 10MB Space unallocated, as otherwise sometimes Windows won't correctly show the correct partition size.

If on the other hand there is another partition between C:\ and your unallocated space, then you need a 3rd party tool, as you will first have to move that partition towards the end of the disk, so that the un-partitioned space is between the 2 partitions. Windows built-in tools can't do that. A very good tool would then be GParted, which is a free liveCD you boot into. The process can take a long time, so plan for enough down-time. Another good tool, but not free, is paragon's hard-disk manager:

http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=gparted
http://www.paragon-software.com/small-business/
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by:Will Szymkowski
Will Szymkowski earned 100 total points
ID: 40536304
So you have 1 physical drive that you have 2 logical partitions for C and D? You want to shrink D partition and expand unallocated space to C partition?

If this is the case you have no choice but to shrink the D volume and expand C. You can still do all of this with Windows. Shrinking a drive is more risky but it should work.

Are you using LUN's that are presented or is this a physical disk in the server?

Will.
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by:Joseph Daly
ID: 40536443
I have used Gparted as was mentioned in another comment. This tool will let you move partitions, resize, and extend. It has worked well for me in the past.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 400 total points
ID: 40536474
Shrinking D:\won't be enough. With Windows onboard tools you can only shrink a partition in such a way that the new space gets available behind that partition, and not in front of it which is needed so you have that space directly available for C:\. So unles you do a backup of D:, delete D:, then increase the size of C:, then restore D: again you are left with a 3rd party tool like I suggested.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 40536554
Move all data off D:. Delete D partition.  Resize.  Recreate D: partition.  Restore.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Tlingit
ID: 40545225
D drive was behind the C. I could shrink the D drive but couldn't move the unallocated drive after shrinkage. Had to use a third-party application in order to extend the C drive. I used Paragon. Thanks for your input.
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