By Emily / Last Updated October 10, 2020

Necessary to resize system partition in Server 2003

The Server 2003 system partition is the partition that contains the Windows Server 2003 operating system located and crucial boot files. Compared with data drives, the system partition is more likely to run out of disk space. When your Server 2003 system partition has just a little space left, your computer will run very slowly, and you will spend a long time to boot up the OS and programs, or open the files/folders. Thus, it is necessary to extend system partition in Server 2003.

Besides, if you have given too much space to C drive when installing the Server 2003 system on a new disk, you might want to shrink it smaller for creating new partitions to make better use of the disk space.

Can you resize system partition in Server 2003 (R2) with DiskPart Command?

Generally speaking, when it comes to resizing system partition in Windows Server operating system, the default Windows Disk Management can help. But things become different in Windows Server 2003 (R2) because there is no “Extend Volume” and “Shrink Volume” options in Server 2003 Disk Management (as the following screenshot).

Server 2003 Disk Management

In this situation, most Windows Server users will turn to the DiskPart service. It is a command-line tool, enabling users to deal with some partition management issues. But can you shrink or extend system partition in Windows Server 2003 with DiskPart command? If you input the following commands in Server 2003 DiskPart window, you might receive the error message “the volume you have selected may not be extended”.

  • list volume

  • select volume c or 1

  • extend

That’s because DiskPart command can only extend NTFS partition with a contiguous unallocated space on its right side. If there is no adjacent unallocated space, you need to delete the volume such as D on the right side of the system drive. So the complete commands are:

  • list volume

  • select volume D : D is the drive letter or number of the volume that you want to delete.

  • delete volume :(Caution: remember to back up valuable files before this step).

  • select volume C

  • extend

So the answer to “can you extend system drive in Server 2003 using DiskPart command” depends on your situation. As for shrinking system drive with command in Server 2003, the answer is negative because it does not offer shrink command. To verify that, you can type “/?” in the DiskPart window and check all available commands. From the screenshot, we can find there is no shrink command. So, DiskPart is unable to shrink a volume on the Windows Server 2003 computer.

Server 2003 Diskpart

Best way to resize system drive in Windows Server 2003

Although we can extend system partition in Server 2003 using DiskPart in the special condition, not everyone’s disk partition structure can meet the requirements: NTFS file system on C drive and unallocated space available at its adjacent right side. Plus, it cannot shrink any partition.

So, the best way to shrink and extend the system drive in Server 2003 is to use a third-party Server partition manager. The AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a great choice to both resize system partition in Windows Server 2003, 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016 and 2019. Also, it supports expanding system drive on Windows 10/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista. You can download the install the Demo Version of AOMEI Partition Assistant Server on your computer for a free trial.

Part 1. Extend Server 2003 system partition

To expand the system partition in Windows Server 2003, you can try its “Merge Partition” and “Allocate Free Space” features. Both methods can help you expand NTFS and FAT32 system partition. The “Merge Partition” function can merge one, two, or more parts of unallocated space into a partition. In addition, it is able to merge 2 adjacent partitions. If there is unallocated space on your disk but not adjacent to the system drive, this method is recommended.

Step 1. Launch and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. Right click the system partition and select “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”.

Choose Unallocated Space

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

Apply Proceed

The “Allocate Free Space” feature can directly assign some free space from one partition to another. More simple and convenient! If there is no unallocated space on the disk, it is a great solution. Right-click the partition that has a lot of unused space left and select “Allocate Free Space”. 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 of them to the target (system) partition.

Allocate Free Space From D To C Drive

Part 2. Shrink Server 2003 system drive

Above is how to extend system partition in Windows Server 2003. If you want to shrink the system partition to make it smaller for some reasons, you can do as following:

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

Resize C Drive

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


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


As you can see, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server makes it as easy as possible to resize system partition in Server 2003 no matter whether you want to extend or shrink it. Furthermore, it has many other amazing features including:

  • Clone Partition: copy a partition to another partition or hard disk for data transfer or backup.

  • Split Partition: split a large partition into two smaller partitions.

  • Quick Partition: quickly partition a large hard disk into several partitions within two clicks.

  • Align Partition: realize 4K alignment on both Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and Solid State Drive (SSD) to accelerate the reading and writing speed for your hard disk.

Final words

To resize system partition on Windows Server 2003, the native DiskPart can only work under certain situations. By contrast, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server provides several easier and safer ways to extend disk partition easily. Besides, the AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited version allows unlimited usage within one company.