Merging two drives

Disk MgmtHi,
 
 I have a Windows 2003 server as virtual machine (in VMWare box) that has 3 drives/partitions:
 C Drive (29GB Total / 1.7GB Free) : contains OS and Program Files/Application software. Constantly running out of space.
 E Drive (39GB Total / 29GB Free): has data files for the software. The software knows there are certain files on the E drive.
 F Drive (273GB Total / 269GB Free): Not being used.

 This used to be a physical server a long time ago and I don't remember whether I was doing RAID 1 or 5. But anyway C and E drive were on one set of hard disks (in the raid array) and F drive was on another.
 I moved this to virtual environment in VMWare server and disk structure (Disk0 and Disk1) is carried over to this virtual machine.
 Since C drive is constantly running out of space, I need to do something to provide more space for C.

 Back in the day, I used to use "partition magic" to merge partitions, but I could not have used it to merge F drive into C drive because they were in physically different partitions (or hard drives).
 Now they are in virtual environment (and this VM is on one drive in raid array) and wonder if I can merge them easily.

 (1) Can I merge F drive into C Drive so that I can have new C drive with 300GB of space?
 (2) What software would you recommend for merging? If there is a free software that I can use?

Thanks.
LVL 1
sgleeAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Absolutely silly. 29 GB is plenty of space for a 2003 server.  What's taking up the space - EXACTLY what is taking up the space.  Give me 5 minutes on that machine you'll have at least 10 GB free.

Now since I don't intend to actually offer remote services for free, if you tell us what's on there, we can tell you what to move.

Now that said, WHY would anyone start over on a VM??!?  Shut the machine down, copy the virtual drive that has C: and E: on it.  Attach it to another machine running Windows 7 or later so you can fix the signature (see https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/24139/Windows-Signature-Collisions.html ), then:

1. Delete the C: drive from the copy of the virtual disk.  This leaves E:.
2. Start the VM, UNASSIGN the E: drive from the second partition on the original C: drive virtual disk
3. Attach the copy and assign the E: drive there to E: on the VM.
4. Delete the E: drive volume entirely (including extended volume) from the original disk
5. Extend C: to fill the drive.  You'll need to use a third party tool or mount the virtual disk in another VM running Windows Vista/2008 or later so DiskPart will work to extend the volume, but this procedure shouldn't take you more than 10-15 minutes if you know what you're doing.

At the same time, the procedure above is ENTIRELY UNNECESSARY if you properly configure the Windows OS since 30 is FAR more space than a properly configured C: drive needs.

Lastly, GET OFF 2003!  It's not supported, it's a security risk, and the longer you stay on it the greater the chance that it becomes impossible to use/migrate to newer hardware even if you're running VMWare.  It doesn't pay for companies to keep their products supporting other people's products that are no longer supported/widely used!
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KimputerCommented:
You still can't use partition magic or any similar software, even if it's virtualised. Make both drives dynamic. After that, you can "merge" F to C, in a way. It's actually just spanned. No software needed, it's all in the disk management feature set.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@Kimputer
"something like GParted live cd will work best" --> Is this free?
Do I run this program during the boot process or after OS is loaded? Can you be more specific?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes , Gparted Live CDROM is FREE.

or you could use VMware Converter.

You cannot really do a merge though, I would create new disks (virtual disk) and create a partition per disk.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions. Based on the suggestions above, I decided create a new brand new virtual machine with new server OS, load programs/software from the scratch, and move data files from this old OS/VM into the new VM.

Thank  you all!
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