Resize Windows Server 2003 Partition without Reinstalling OS and Formatting

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Published: 13th August 2012
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How to resize Windows Server 2003 partition? It is a frequently asked question in many tech forums. There are various reasons why you need to resize partition in Windows 2003 Server.

For example, there is not enough free space on system partition C drive to install new software and download Windows update files; the system is running out of space but other partitions have a large amount of free space. Therefore, to solve those problems, this article will introduce two ways to resize data and/or system partition in Windows 2003.

Use Windows 2003 built-in Diskpart.exe Command-Line to resize data partition
Windows Server 2003 allows you to use Diskpart to extend a DATA partition without system page file from command-line interface.

Note: The partition you would like to resize must be NTFS file system and there must be some contiguous unallocated space on the right side of the partition you would like to extend.

To add unallocated space into a data partition and keep data intact, you must first select the partition to give it the focus, and then you can input how large to extend.

Step1: Click "Start" > "Programs" > "Accessories" > "Command Prompt", type "diskpart" and press "Enter" to continue.

Step2: Type "list volume" to display the existing volumes on the disks.

Step3: Type "select volume 0". The number is the data volume that you want to extend.

Step4: Type "extend size=10240".

Then you should receive a message states that Diskpart successfully extended the volume.

As mentioned above, you can only resize Windows 2003 partition under certain conditions: first, the partition must be data volume, but not system and/or boot volume, if you insist on extending system and/or boot volume with Diskpart in Windows 2003, you will receive "Diskpart failed to extend the volume. Please make sure the volume is valid for extending". Besides, there must be the next contiguous unallocated space on the same disk. Therefore, is there any way to resize partition in Windows 2003 without so many limitations? The answer is Yes, please read on.

Resize system and data partition in Windows 2003 with Partition Magic Server Edition
There are many partition software, however, not all of them are reliable and compatible with Windows Server 2003. For example, Partition Magic 8 only works with Windows 98/ NT/2000/XP; besides, some unreliable Server Partition Manager may cause your data loss. According to my experience, Partition Magic Server software - Partition Assistant Server Edition is recommended. As Partition Magic alternative, it do resize partition in Windows 2003 and keep your data intact.

Benefits: The "Resize Partition" function will help you extend partition, especially for Windows 2003 system and/or boot volume, to solve low disk space problem on C drive without losing data; Shrink partition to reduce partition size and generate unallocated space; Move partition to make unallocated space locate behind the partition you want to extend. With its absolutely easy-to-use interface, it's very simple to resize Server 2003 partition.

For the record, I took a screenshot of the Windows Server 2003 disk partition layout before proceeding. You see that the server had a C drive with 11.9 GB total size and 1.33 GB free space. Keep these values in mind because they will change at the end of this article.

Step1: Launch Partition Assistant Server. The detailed information of all disks and partitions are displayed on the disk map.

Step2: Right click on the partition (here is D) you want to resize and select "Resize Partition" in the drop-down menu.

In the pop-up window, position the mouse pointer on the left handle and drag the slider bar rightwards to shrink Windows Server 2003 partition. Or drag the right slider bar leftwards, and then position the mouse pointer on partition and drag it to move partition in Windows 2003 Server.

Step3: Click "OK". You will find a block of contiguous unallocated space behind C drive. Then, select C drive and drag the right slider bar rightwards to extend Windows 2003 partition.

Step4: To save all changes, do not forget to click "Apply" on the toolbar. After that, click "Proceed" button to move forward with the process.

When all operations are finished, you will receive a message like the one below. Besides, no reboot is necessary.

And, just to prove that the process was a success, the following is a look at Windows Server 2003 "My Computer" window that now C drive shows 29.9 GB total size and 19.3 GB free space - 18 GB free space has been moved from D partition to C drive. NO data loss!

Compare with Diskpart, Partition Magic Server Edition is more powerful, convenient and safe to resize partition for Server 2003 without having to reinstalling Windows Server 2003 even resizing system partition. In addition to partition resizing, it also lets you merge partitions, split partition, allocate free space, merge unallocated space, copy partition and copy disk on MBR and GPT disk, etc. You can free download partition magic demo version to try and compare before you buy a full version.

Tips: For Enterprise users, Unlimited Edition allows unlimited usage within one company to save time and money, in other words, you can install it on unlimited servers and PCs in your company to maximize business productivity whilst minimizing the total cost of management.

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