1 primary partition and 1 extended partition...need to increase size of primary partition

I have a client with a server that was set up prior to us taking over their IT needs. The previous IT created a C drive with the size of 40GB and a D drive with well over 1TB. Needless to say C drive is perpetually out of space and I would like to increase the size. The rub here is the D drive is setup as an extended partition so I am not able to rob space from there to put on the C drive. I'm not liking my options after some researching online. I am concerned about data loss and downtime. There is a good backup happening nightly but at the same time I need to limit the downtime. Any suggestions as to how to handle this and impact the customer the least?
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There are partitioning tools that a lot of people swear by and they probably work 99% of the time.  But you don't want to be in the 1%.  The best way to handle this is to migrate the server to a clean install on larger drives.  Or better still to a VM.

Otherwise, BACKUP first.  Then backup again.  Then try partitioning software.  gparted is free and I've seen people recommend.  I've used a in the DISTANT past like Partition Commander (don't even know if it still exists)
Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
I've had good luck with the following partitioning tools - but they are NOT free:

Aomei Partition Assistant (less expensive):  http://www.aomeitech.com/aomei-partition-assistant.html
Acronic Disk Director (more expensive): http://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/disk-manager/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=bing_cpc&creative=8507303311&device=c&matchtype=e

Both of these do a lot more than partitioning, but their partitioning tools are very cool and fairly easy to use.  


As Lee M said, you must be sure you have a good, restorable backup of the server before taking the plunge.

Also, repartitioning a system drive will most likely take several restarts.  You'll first have to free up space from the other partition, then move that space to the beginning of the D: partition so the free space is contiguous with C:, and then do the actual expansion of the system drive.  I think both of these tools have a wizard that supposedly allows you to do this in one scheduled sequence, but I've always taken the cautious route and done them one at a time. So, IOW, this is not something you can do while the system is in use and I recommend doing it over a holiday weekend if possible because with large partitions it can take quite some time.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
The basic process is conceptually simple, but it does take time, as you have to move all of the data on the D: drive.

You CAN "...  rob space from there to put on the C drive ... " => it just takes a bit of "fiddling".

First, you need to resize D: to make it a bit smaller.   This will result in some free space in the extended partition, but it will be after D: ... NOT where you need it.   This should be very quick (a few seconds).

Next, you need to resize the extended partition, so it's the same size as the volume it contains (D:).
This will be VERY quick -- just a couple seconds.

At that point your free space will be after the extended partition.

Next, you need to "slide" the entire extended partition so the unallocated space on the disk is between C: and that partition.    This is the slow operation, as it requires moving all of the data in the partition.   How long it will take depends on how much data is in D:

Finally, you can simply resize C:, since the free space is now contiguous to it.   This operation will be VERY quick (a second or two).

You can use any tool that supports these operations to do the actual modifications.   I use Boot-It BM, which will work fine as long as it "sees" the disk okay ... I assume your "disk" is in fact a RAID array -- if that's the case Boot-It will work fine as long as it "sees" the RAID okay.    Just boot to a Boot-It CD and you can confirm that with no problem.   Note, however, that the system will be down for the entire time you're doing this -- so if you have a LOT of data in D: be sure you've planned enough time for the "slide" operation to complete.

An alternative approach that would have less down time is to copy ALL of the data from D: to another drive;  the simply delete the D: volume and the extended partition it's contained in;  then resize C: as desired;  and then recreate the D: volume and copy the data back to it.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
As already mentioned you do not need to use any partitioning tool except the one from Windows.
Process is simple - copy out data from D: to network or another drive. Delete D: drive via Windows Disk Management.
Then delete the Extended partition.
After that right click on C: - extend partition in Windows Disk Mamagement. Give it a desired size and press ok.
When finished create new partition of free unallocated space and assign it a D: drive letter. Copy your data back to it. Thats it.

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PIMSupportAuthor Commented:
I am considering just adding another drive to the RAID 5 and using the space that is added to increase the C drive
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Windows Server 2008

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