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Resize disk partitions on a server

Posted on 2016-07-20
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Last Modified: 2016-07-26
what software would you recommend "based on your experience" to resize disk partitions on a server.

In windows disk management will only shrink to the left, and expend is there is Unallocated space on the left. since its the partitions I need to expend is on the right side disk management will not work.

Its a server on a remote location so the sofware should work by installation on the OS not a booth based program.

I would prefer something free, but I can afford risk to the server. If paid should it be reasonable and if possible to use on more then one server. I don't need any other function then a one time resize on that server and use for future clients need.
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Question by:Abraham Deutsch
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Expert Comment

by:itnifl
ID: 41721793
If the server has ILO (HP) or iDRAC (Dell) or similar set up, you can use a bootable disk partitioner remotely. Just mount the iso via these tools. Given that you have enough bandwidth. I have no idea on left or right on those partition tools, but I have always favoured gparted. Its a habit.
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Expert Comment

by:Forrest Burris
ID: 41721814
Active Partition Manager has a freeware version or their Pro software has a legit 21 day FULLY functional unlock. It's installable like you wanted and it won't block you from doing what you want, making you pay. Once you've done what you need, uninstall it. I also second Atle, gparted is one of my favorites.. but it's an ISO you burn and boot to
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 41721852
Why do you need to resize anything? If you are getting low on space on your OS partition, just manage it properly and you won't have any issues. For example, current windows OS's include a Disk Cleanup tool. With it you can easily remove unneeded files. Or uninstall programs and install them on another partition. No software other than the OS should be installed to C. use only a small 256mb pagefile on C, and another system controlled one on another partition. check your dump file settings, and make sure you only get minidumps, and so on and so on.

It should never be necessary to make your c partition larger.

If you really don't want to manage the server properly, then use the server tools from paragon for this.
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Expert Comment

by:akb
ID: 41721883
Have a look at AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite.
http://www.aomeitech.com/freeware.html
It is free and I used it recently to resize a partition on a Server 2008. Worked perfectly.
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41721995
AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite, will not move partition, and only resize on  Unallocated space so in its free addition it offers nothing more then the build in disk manager.

Same is with http://www.pcdisk.com/#!prettyPhoto in their documentation thy say nothing about moving partition. please correct me if I am wrong.
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by:akb
ID: 41722004
Have a look at the features page here :
http://www.aomeitech.com/pa/lite.html
It does say the free version will move partitions.
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41722114
See attached [results of aomeitech.com/pa/lite]
Disk.JPG
Move.JPG
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Expert Comment

by:akb
ID: 41722123
Looks like you'll need to shrink the partition before you can move it.
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41722128
I did to the maximum allowed
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by:rindi
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 41722247
Your 40 GB for the OS is large enough. Just follow the my instructions earlier and mange the server properly, and you won't have to resize or move partitions, and risk something going wrong, which would call for a restore from backups. Everything taking a lot of time too.
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41722909
How can I move programs already installed?
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by:rindi
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 41722913
You uninstall them, then install them again but this time you don't use the default destination, but rather select your own, for example "D:\Program Files\ProgramName" rather than "C:\Program Files\ProgramName", or "D:\Program Files (x86)\ProgramName" rather than "C:\Program Files (x86)\ProgramName". Most software allows you to select the location it should be installed to, and usually you just need to replace C with D. It is very simple and straight forward. The uninstallation/installation is usually also done quickly. and no big deal.
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Expert Comment

by:Jambon316
ID: 41722945
partition wizard will do what you need and I have done it remotely with partition wizard. it's free. just google it.

it'll queue up the changes you make
then reboots itself+ carries out the changes for you
once done the OS reboots normally and the changes made will have been applied.

the actual time when the server was offline was worrying because you obviously can't see the remote screen but have faith brother and watch with delight as it does exactly what you need.
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41723613
partitionwizard.com on their website thy only list comparability with PC versions. Did you use it with server?
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by:Jambon316
ID: 41723626
yeah I've used it with server versions of windows (personally used on 2008r2 + 2011, can't see why it wouldn't work with any version though) and workstation versions of windows
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41723948
See attached giving a msg the free version does not work with server. Would you mind providing a link to the download page?
IMG_1443.JPG
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by:Jambon316
ID: 41723969
lol yeah it didn't do that when I did it about 6 months ago, I wonder if an update to p wizard has killed that now. I'll try and dig out the version I used and get back to you.
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by:rindi
ID: 41724180
Why don't you stop worrying about how to make C larger? It is large enough and just needs proper management, like any server needs.
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by:Jambon316
ID: 41724776
because although you may  well believe that 40gb is fine for the c: drive , I totally disagree. HDD prices being so consistently low and all mean that you don't need to struggle with this issue. The server won't run better with a 40gb C: than it will with a 500gb C: drive. but uninstalling and RE-installing software and struggling to fit everything into that 40gb partition will involve a much greater amount of downtime  

whilst better space management and your holier-than-thou suggestions are maybe a better long term solution, , they will also be much much more hassle to carry out for little or gain over resizing the C: drive

OP asked the question about Resizing disk  partitions on a server ...
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41726151
Agree
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by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41726573
Seems I will not get this free. Whom do you recommend, having the bast experience.
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by:rindi
ID: 41726605
Rather than always blindly answering the Question, EE is there to show better options. People come here to learn how things are best done, and not just to get answers, particularly if the answer to those Questions wouldn't reflect "best Practice". On servers "Best practice" is as I mentioned earlier, use a small disk for C and manage that disk properly. Don't have 3rd party programs or data on it. It is strictly only for the OS.

But as I mentioned in my first comment, if you really do want to resize things, then use one of the server products of Paragon. You can probably even use trial versions.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jambon316
Jambon316 earned 200 total points
ID: 41726693
I've personally used:
partition wizard
partition magic
paragon suite
and stuff from ease-us

basically they all worked and there is very little set them apart from each other , how they look and feel may sway you.

I'd say partition wizard , see if you can download a trial version of the server edition first.
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41726967
I agree that rather than always blindly answering the Question, EE is there to show better options. and a server should be with minimum on the C: drive.  but on a existing server that is already the way it is, the way I see it, uninstalling and RE-installing software will involve a much greater amount of labor and downtime. I don't see it worth the investment.
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Accepted Solution

by:
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 41727108
No, it doesn't require downtime, the software may just not be available during the reinstallation. But any server modifications would be done after hours anyway, so no one would notice. It also doesn't take long, normally there isn't much software installed directly on a server anyway, maybe some of it wouldn't even be necessary, in which case it could be removed altogether. Particularly when you are not on site this is by far the easiest and safest way to do things.

Resizing and in particular moving partitions generally takes a very long time, is disk intensive so it stresses the disks more than necessary, which can cause disk failures, and during these processes the server will run very slow, which to the users would be almost like down-time, and many of the tools need to reboot the server to actually finish the job, so there is downtime. Also, this process must be done on absolutely 100% good file-systems. If the file-systems have corruptions it is very likely it will fail. That means that before you start you must run chkdsk /f /r on all those file-systems. During that time the partition being checked/repaired is offline and therefore not accessible, and if the disks are large, it can take hours. Also partition moving takes hours. And things can fail, so when doing this you should be onsite in case something goes wrong. It is also necessary that before starting you do a full backup just in case (even more time). You should also be on-site, or at least close, in case something fails...
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by:Jambon316
ID: 41727447
I have never ever had an operation like this fail. I have done the same resize / move of partitions a lot on various machines, it doesn't take hours and I believe the first step taken by the software is chkdsk

Rindl you are plain wrong in what you have said. this doesn't fill me with confidence as to the validity of what you're saying. what are the advantages and real life benefits of following your method? a fresh clean install of the OS takes up 32gb alone, there are no real benefits to squeezing the os on to a small drive. the page file  being on a different physical volume does give a performance increase but if the page file is on the same physical volume then you may as well have it on the system drive.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 300 total points
ID: 41727460
A fresh install of Windows takes much less than 32 GB. Actually it will be around 20GB or less, Of course depending on the roles you add it can then take a little more, but not much.

Shrinking and expanding a file-system doesn't take much time, that is practically instant, but that normally doesn't need any 3rd party tools either. What takes a lot of time is when you move or slide partitions to make space for the other you want to increase in size. It needs to move all the data from the left to the right. If there is a lot of data on that partition, it can take many hours. It depends on the size. Backing up the partition, deleting it, then resizing C, then restoring the backed up partition probably won't take any more time, and for that you also don't need a 3rd party tool. The chkdsk also takes a lot of time if there is a lot of data and file-system corruptions.

Of course it can work if you use 3rd party tools, but if your not there you can almost be certain that murphy's law will kick in and something will fail. It only works without problems if you are there and have taken all the precautions.

You must always consider murphy, if you don't you are careless and will almost certainly pay for that sooner or later.
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41727883
Partitionmagicserver does not support server 2012

Partitionwizard has feature I did not see by the others. It increases the size of a partition without the need to shrink the other partition before doing to increase

Easeus is more expensive
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41727894
partitionmagicserver gives a vary confidence feeling about them by promising

"data would not be destroyed or go missing when enlarging, shrinking or moving partitions around.
What’s more, under Enhanced Data Protecting Mode, you can execute the Move/Resize operation to system partitions or boot partition without harming the data.
Enhanced Data Protecting Mode
This function is an advanced security measure designed to protect your data when executing the operation of Move/Resize. Even in the event of a power failure or hard ware failure, you can be ensured that your data are completely safe. For some extreme conditions, such as if the partition suffers from unknown failure.

Easeus list more functions not directly related to partitioning then others.

I personally because of their promises I would go with partitionmagicserver but the fact it does not support server 2012 is a issue which maybe a deal brake.
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Author Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41727914
Sorry I see on the bottom of the page thy added server 2012 and my even have more features then easeus

This is based on online description but seems you used all of them did you find it so?
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by:Jambon316
ID: 41729623
yeah I've used all of them, never had a problem with any of them really. they all check the health of the hard drive before starting so if there's any issue it just won't run.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Abraham Deutsch
ID: 41729653
From all suggested software none of their free addition really work on a server. And with the paid additions, I ended up using MiniTool Partition from partitionwizard.com (paragon and partition magic gave me issues at check out even I was paying with PayPal) and following is my experience;
MiniTool Partition point out on their site one of the 3 key benefits;
 “One-key extend partition wizard helps increase system partition size without rebooting in order to minimize server downtime.”
It did require a reboot and took the server off line (by saying someone is using the drive, how is it possible some application should not use the drive, I had shot down all computers in the company prior to starting the process)
And while working on screen “do not power the matching when completed it will booth automatically”
Which was not the case I needed to booth it manually.
Yet another point from their top advertises benefits;
“Minimizing Downtime while Solving Low Disk Space Issues on System Partition”
It took 7+ hours (which I know I was not onsite and had no one to report to me after 7 hours till the morning so I am not sure how much longer it took) for a partition size 583 GB with 213 GB of date.
To tip off the experience it removed all shares/permissions/and security settings.
A very important point, thy do not offer phone support at all. Even email I think only during working hours [in the time you will not perform the re partitioning] so if you counter a problem you have no one to talk “imagine you being in a position have no one to talk and the office opens and the server is down”.
Based on my experience. If possible take rindi advice especially if you are offsite, you will have no idea what is going on as the server is in booth and there is no way to connect to it. But if you have no other choice a may give ease-us a shot maybe they do perform batter.
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