Easily Solved: Extend Volume Grayed Out in Server 2008

When Extend Volume option grayed out in server 2008, what should we do? Here we discuss why the issue happens, how to solve it and extend volume successfully in Windows Server 2008 or 2008 R2.

AOMEI
December 23, 2014

Extend Volume grayed out in Server 2008?

“I am attempting to extend the C drive partition using Disk Management on a Server 2008 environment. I do have the unallocated space on the disk, but when I right click on the C drive, the “Extend Volume” option is grayed out. Any other way to add the unallocated space to the system drive? Any immediate help is greatly appreciated!”

Why is the “Extend Volume” option greyed out in Windows Server 2008?

Since Windows 2008 built-in Disk Management contained Extend/Shrink Volume feature, extending volume should have been never a problem in theory. However, sometimes we still cannot extend a volume in Server 2008 successfully. When you right-click one volume and the “Extend Volume” option is grayed out in Server 2008, which means this function is not available. The behind causes might conclude:

How to solve the “Extend Volume” greyed out in Server 2008?

Since culprits are quite diverse, you need to take the corresponding measures for each one. Below are elaborate solutions. Check them out and pick out the proper one for your situation.

Situation 1. The volume is of FAT32 file system

If the partition you plan to extend is formatted with FAT32, you can convert it to NTFS file system with Command Prompt beforehand. Different from reformatting FAT32 to NTFS, the conversion process won’t delete anything on the partition: press Win+R to open Run dialogue, input cmd and hit on OK. In the elevated Command Prompt, execute the command: convert drive: /fs:ntfs.

Note: If you want to convert an NTFS drive back to FAT32, you need to save copies of any files you want to keep, and then reformat or partition the drive. Or use a third-party partition manager to convert NTFS to FAT32 without formatting.

Situation 2. There is no unallocated space

If there is not any unallocated space in the disk, you can shrink an existing partition to create one, but the unallocated space can ONLY be generated behind the donor partition. So you have to delete the partition located after the target drive you want to enlarge. For instance, if you want to C drive but no unallocated space on the disk, you need to delete D drive first.

Situation 3. The unallocated space is not contiguous to the target volume

When the unallocated is not adjacent to the target partition, you cannot move it to the expected location via Disk Management. So, similar to the last situation, you have to delete the partition on the right side of the target volume.

Situation 4. The unallocated space is located in the extended partition

In this case, you need to delete all logical volumes inside the extended partition and then remove the extended partition itself to get contiguous unallocated space.

Easier ways to extend volume in Server 2008 flexibly

To avoid the above annoying limitations resulting in “Extend Volume” option grayed out in Server 2008, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server instead. This Server partition manager can extend not only NTFS, but also FAT32 partition. Morever, it provides several easier ways to extend volume in Windows Server 2008 (R2), 2012. 2016 and 2018. (PS.: There comes the demo version for free download and trial)

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Situation A: when there is no unallocated space on the disk

In this situation, you can use its “Allocate Free Space” feature, with which you can directly assign some free space from one partition to another.

Step 1. Install and run the AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Right click a partition, which has some free space, and choose “Allocate Free Space”.

Step 2. Input how much space you would like to add to the target partition from the chosen volume, and choose the destination partition. Click “OK”.

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

Situation B: if there is unallocated space, but not contiguous to the to-be-extended partition

When the unallocated space is not adjacent to the target partition, you can make them adjacent through “Move Partition” function, or use the “Merge Partitions” feature. By contrast, the “Merge Partitions” is much more convenient. Below are the steps:

Step 1. Right-click the partition you wish to enlarge and choose “Merge Partitions”.

Step 2. Tick the unallocated space and click “OK”.

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

Except for the above functions, you can also make use of "Extend Partition Wizard", which can help extend (NTFS system) partition without rebooting your Server or PC.

Summary

So, when you meet “Extend Volume” grayed out in Server 2008 or Server 2008 R2, you can turn to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. This versatile partition manager offers several easy ways to extend partition in Windows Server. Besides, it is also compatible with Windows 10/8/7 (32-bit and 64-bit). For enterprise users, Partition Assistant Unlimited Edition is a better choice to support the unlimited usage within one company. Also, you can use Technician Edition to provide charged technical services to your clients.