How to Extend/Increase My Primary Partition Using Secondary Partition on Windows Server 2003/2008?

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For most windows 2008 server administrators, increase primary partition size is necessary when the system partition is running out of space. Through searching some tech forums, people always suggest using built-in Disk Management. Because Microsoft provides the "resize" function in Disk Management on Windows Server 2008, unfortunately, there're so many limitations that you can not increase primary partition size as easy as your imagination.

Let's see two situations about "Why can not extend system primary partition on Server 2008 by using Disk Management"

Situation A: can not extend system primary partition by shrinking the secondary partition

Generally, if we want to extend system primary partition, we need to get some unallocated space by shrinking other drive. Then add the unallocated space to system partition. Actually, you can not do this in Disk Management. You will find the "Extend Volume" option greyed out as the following screenshot:

Extend System Primary Partition in DM

As you see, we have shrunk drive E: to get some unallocated space, but when we try to increase system primary partition (drive C:) size, the "extend volume" is greyed out. That means we can not use this function. This is because the unallocated space is behind the drive E: not the system partition, DM could only extend volume when there is an contiguous unallocated space behind it, and you can not move unallocated space behind system drive, unless deleting the whole secondary partition. However, this is not always effective, in some case you will find that you still can't increase system primary partition size in Disk Management, even though there is some free space behind system drive. Let's see situation B.

Situation B: Still can't increase system primary partition size even though there's free space behind

Sometimes, if the secondary partition is useless or indifferent, we could delete it and extend system primary partition into contiguous unallocated space, but in some case, it is out of order.

Delete drive E:

Extend volume greyed out

You see, we deleted drive E: and make it become free space behind system partition (drive C:) but the "extend volume" is still greyed out. Why? To answer this question we must understand two points. First, the drive E is the logical partition and drive C: is primary partition. Secondly, under Disk Management, from deleting logical partition you could get free space, but deleting primary partition you could get unallocated space. In other words, we can't move the free space into primary partition, only unallocated space is available. That's the reason why we can't increase system primary partition size even though there's free space behind.

To sum up, you could find the Disk Management has too much limitation to resize partition. However, when AOMEI Partition Assistant Server Edition released, It breaks the limitation of the Disk Management, not only support move space from one partition to another, but also increase system primary partition size, no matter the unallocated space is before or behind, no matter where it comes from, primary or logical. Partition Assistant could also do the best disk managing as its name without data loss and it supports all Windows OS. Here is the main interface of server partition manager. To extend system primary partition, you only need to drag the handle when there is an unallocated space beside.

Extend System Primary Partition by PAS

Learn more about "extend system/boot volume partition by Partition Assistant Server Edition", and free download Partition Assistant Server edition.

Note: We highly suggest you close all other applications when running the software; If possible, we suggest you do a defragment for all of partition.


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