How Can Server 2003 Partition Resize Over 2TB?

How can Server 2003partition resize over 2TB? In this post, you’ll learn some basics of Server 2003, and then, we offer you some solutions to solve this problem.


By Lucas / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 is the second version of the Windows Server operating system. Although Windows Server 2022 is now available, many businesses continue to use Server 2003. It's a good system, however, it might not be compatible with newer high-capacity disks.

Why can’t Server 2003 partition resize over 2TB?

Many users find when they attempt to employ a disk larger than 2TB on Server 2003, the capacity can’t be full-used. There is always unallocated space that shows in Disk Management.

Why can’t Windows Server 2003 resize over 2TB or even recognize larger disks? To find the answer, we need to know more about this Server system and your disks.

▶ MBR and GPT partition scheme
MBR and GPT are two different partition schemes. The partition table structure in the MBR restricts the maximum storage space of a disk to 2 TB. Furthermore, it only supports up to four primary partitions or three primary partitions plus one extended partition combination. However, GPT disk supports hard drives with capacities larger than 2TB. It supports volumes of up to 264 blocks in length, or 9.44 ZB for disks with 512-byte sectors, and up to 128 main partitions.

Thus, if your partition scheme is MBR, then your large disk won’t be full-used on your Server.

▶ About Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 is available in a variety of versions, each geared toward a certain size and kind of organization. Due to the different services for different businesses, the editions have some limits among them. The system has a maximum of 2TB per physical drive, including all partitions, for the initial edition of Windows Server 2003. The maximum raw partition size for Windows Server 2003 SP1 and subsequent versions is 18 exabytes.

All versions of Windows Server, beginning with Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1, may use a GPT disk for data storage. As the system disk, only 64-bits Itanium-based systems can carry it.

In a word, breaking Windows Server 2003 2TB limit needs two points: the edition of Server 2003, and the partition scheme on your disk.

How to resize Server 2003 partition over 2TB

After you know some basics about Server 2003 and the disks, the next problem is from Disk Management. Unlike other Windows Server OS, the Disk Management in Server 2003 doesn’t have the “Extend Volume” and “Shrink Volume” buttons.

Server 2003 Disk Management

So, you can’t use Disk Management to resize the Server 2003 disk. What about Diskpart in CMD? Well, Only NTFS partitions with a continuous unallocated area on their right side can be extended using the Diskpart command. If there is no neighboring unallocated space, you must remove the volume on the right side of the system disk, such as the D drive.

You see, it’s quite hard to resize the Server 2003 partition with Windows built-in tools. Therefore, a third-party tool, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can be a better choice. It is an excellent option for resizing system partitions, resizing BitLocker partition, and converting MBR disk to GPT without deleting partitions in Windows Server 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016, 2019, and 2022. It's also available on Windows 11/10/8/7/XP.

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We’ll start by converting the MBR disk to a GPT disk to break the 2TB limit, and then we’ll show extending partition and shrinking partition.

Part 1. Convert to GPT disk

As we mentioned above, GPT disk can make full use of disks larger than 2TB. So, if your Server 2003 supports GPT disk, you can convert MBR disk to GPT disk without data damage via this tool.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. You can see its main interface that contains the basic situation of your hard disk(s). Right-click the MBR disk, and select “Convert to GPT” from the menu.

Convert 3TB disk to GPT

Step 2. It will ask you if you are sure to convert MBR to GPT disk. Click “OK”.


Step 3. You will back to the main interface and you will see that the MBR disk has already changed into the GPT disk. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” on the toolbar to execute it.


Now you can resize the disk and use unallocated space.

Part 2. Resize partitions in Server 2003

▶ 1. Extend Server 2003 partition

Way 1. Merge partition

“Merge Partition” feature can merge nonadjacent unallocated space to the target drive or merge two adjacent normal partitions into one.

Step 1. Launch and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Right-click the system partition and select "Advanced" > “Merge Partitions” from the drop-down menu.

Merge partition

Step 2. In this window, you will find the OS partition is chosen automatically, so you only need to tick another unallocated space and click “OK”.

Use unallocated space

Step 3. Back to the main interface, click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the pending operation.


Way 2. Allocate free space

The "Allocate Free Space" option allows you to transfer free space from one partition to another. It is preferable to enlarge the partition if there is no unallocated space on the disk.

Step 1. Right-click the partition that has a lot of unused space, and select “Allocate Free Space” in the menu.

Allocate free space

Step 2. Here we choose partition D: In the pop-out window, you can see how much free space this partition has. Now you can decide to assign how much space to the target partition.


Step 3. Click “Apply” to confirm the operation.

▶ 2. Shrink Server 2003 partition

To shrink partition, you can go “Resize/Move Partition” feature.

Step 1. Right-click the OS partition and choose “Resize/Move Partition”.


Step 2. In the pop-out window, drag the slide bar leftwards to shrink the C drive and click “OK”.


Step 3. Click “Apply” to execute the operation.


Final words

How does the Server 2003 partition resize over 2TB? Now you have an answer in your mind. AOMEI Partition Assistant can perfectly solve the problem and also provides more Server management services such as “Disk Clone Wizard”, “Convert to MBR/GPT”, “App Mover”, and “FAT32 & NTFS Converter”.

Lucas · Staff Editor
I prefer peaceful and quiet life during vacation,but sometimes I watch football match if my favorite club performs brilliantly in that season. And I love reading, painting and calligraphy, thus I send my friends festival handwriting cards every year.