3 Ways: Extend System Partition Server 2008 (R2) Safely and Easily

The post demonstrates 3 different methods about how to extend system in Windows Server 2008 (R2)/2012 (R2)/2016/2019/2022.


By Emily / Updated on May 12, 2023

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When need to extend system partition in Server 2008 (R2)?

Although today’s hard drive always comes with a large capacity, no matter how big the system partition is, the Windows Server 2008 updates, various installed applications, browser caches, and temporary files can quickly eat up your free space on the system drive. Sooner or later, the system partition will become full.

When there is little disk space, you will receive the “Low disk space” warning message. In this case, you had better clean up junk files from the partition and extend system partition in Windows Server 2008 as soon as possible; otherwise, your Windows Server 2008 operating system will run much slower and even crash someday.

Low Disk Space

How to extend system partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2)?

To extend C drive or volume in Server 2008, there are two built-in tools, DiskPart.exe and Disk Management, in Windows Server 2008 (R2) you can try. Both of them can help you to extend the primary partition under some specific circumstances.

If the built-in tool fails to work, you can use the third-party software (AOMEI Partition Assistant Server) to extend C drive easily without affecting OS. Below we would like to demonstrate how to extend OS partition in Server 2008 step by step in those three ways.

Way 1. DiskPart.exe tool

DiskPart.exe tool is a Windows command-line-based program to manage your disks and partitions such as shrink partition, delete partition, format partition, etc. Thus, if you have the plan to extend system drive Server 2008, you can use this tool to make it.

◤ Pros:
✔ No need to download it.
✔ High efficiency in extending partition.
◤ Cons:
✘ No graphic interface.
✘ Require some knowledge of command lines.
✘ More suitable for complicated users.
✘ Wrong commands can cause irreversible consequences.

The detailed steps are shown below:

◉ If there is unallocated space right behind the system partition, then you can do as below to use its Diskpart Command to extend system partition.

Step 1. Open "Start" Menu and type “cmd” to enter. Right-click the Command Prompt icon and select “Run as administrator”.

Step 2. Type “Diskpart” and press enter to launch the diskpart.exe tool. Then execute the below commands in turn.

•list volume: list all volumes on your computer.
select volume #: # is the volume number of the system partition.
extend: to expand the selected Windows server 2008 system partition by adding the unallocated space right behind the partition to it.

Extend C Partition Server 2008

When you see the message "DiskPart successfully extended the volume", you can type "exit" and press enter to close the window.

◉ If there is no unallocated space after the system volume you need to expand, you must delete the volume which is located after the C drive first, then add the generated free space to system partition. So some extra commands will be executed.

 Deleting the partition will cause data loss, so please back up anything vital via the reliable backup software in advance if you want to extend the OS partition in Server 2008 without losing data.

▪ list volume
▪ select volume #: select the partition located behind the C drive, usually the d drive
▪ delete volume
▪ select volume #: select the volume number of the system partition.
▪ extend
▪ exit

Way 2. Disk Management

If you do not familiar with Windows command prompt, you can use Disk Management which owns "Shrink Volume" and "Extend Volume" options. Like DiskPart, it also requires contiguous unallocated space to extend a target partition.

"Shrink Volume" can only generate unallocated space behind the partition you shrunk. And you cannot move the partition in Disk Management. Therefore, you have to delete the partition behind C: drive to get contiguous unallocated space.

◤ Pros:
✔ Easy to operate and simple to follow.
✔ No need to download it too.
✔ Suitable for computer novices.
◤ Cons:
✘ Limited in partition extending.
✘ You may suffer data loss.

You can do as follows:

Step 1. Press the "Windows+R" key to bring up the “Run” window, and type “diskmgmt.msc” to open Disk Management.

Step 2. Here, you can see the Extend Volume option grayed out since there is no unallocated space right after it. So we need to delete the D partition first to get such a space.

Extend Volume Greyed Out

Step 3. Right-click the D: drive, and select "Delete Volume".

Delete D Partition

Step 4. After the D drive is deleted and turns into unallocated space, now you can right-click the c drive to select “Extend Volume” again. Then follow the "Extend Volume Wizard" to complete extending the system partition in Server 2008.

From the above, we can know Windows native tools can only extend OS partition in Server 2008 when a contiguous allocated free space is behind the target partition. Deleting an existing partition to fulfill this precondition will lead to data loss. Backing up volume first and then restoring it after system partition expansion can be a workaround, but it is kind of time-consuming.

So, is there a way to extend C partition on Server 2008 without deleting the partition? Check out the last method now.

Way 3. AOMEI Partition Assistant Server

If you don't want to take the risk of losing data by deleting/shrinking partition when trying to expand system drive in Server 2008 (R2), you can switch to AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. This software provides more comprehensive and flexible functions to resize system partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2) and other popular Server operating systems such as Server 2012 (R2), 2016, 2019, 2022 etc.

Its following two advanced features can make up for the deficiency of Diskpart command and Disk Management to expand OS volume more easily. One is adding unallocated space into the system partition regardless of the location of the free space via the "Merge Partitions"; while another is assigning free space from one partition to another without requiring existing unallocated space via the "Allocate Free Space".

◤ Pros:
✔ Its graphic interface is friendly to users of all levels.
✔ It guides you to complete the operation with detailed steps.
✔ It offers different features to extend system partition with a few steps.
✔ It won't cause any data loss during the process.
◤ Cons:
✘ It needs downloading first.

PS.: It's available to download the demo version of AOMEI Partition Assistant Server to have a try!

Free DownloadServer 2008(R2)/2012(R2)/2016/2019/2022
Secure Download

Option 1. Extend (system) partition by "Merge Partitions"

If there's unallocated space on your disk, you can choose "Merge Partitions".

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition in Serer 2008. Right-click the partition you need to merge and choose AdvancedMerge Partitions.

Merge Partition

Step 2. Choose the unallocated space and click OK.

Tick Unallocated Space

Step 3. After finishing all the operations, click “Apply”. You will find your system partition is expanded.


If you want to merge the existing partition into the C drive, you can choose that partition in step 2, then in the C drive, there will have a folder named the merged partition which saves all data of that partition.

Option 2. Extend (system) partition by "Allocate Free Space"

Besides the “Merge Partition” feature, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server also provides another amazing feature named “Allocate Free Space”, which can directly allocate free space from another partition to the system partition. That is to say, you don’t need to prepare an unallocated space in advance.

Step 1. Right-click the partition which has a lot of free space you can add to C drive, and select "Allocate Free Space".

Allocate Free Space

Step 2. In this window, you can decide how much space to add to the system drive.

Allocate Free Space From D To C Drive

Step 3. Click "Apply" to commit the pending operation.

In addition to the above ways, you also can use the "Extend Partition Wizard" of the software to extend the c drive without rebooting the computer.

Extend System Partition

FAQs: Extend system partition Server 2008

◉ How to resize partition in Server 2008 R2?

To extend/shrink in Server 2008 R2, you can make good use of Windows built-in tools: DiskPart and Disk Management. However, both of the two programs have more or less limitations. But luckily, the third-party software - AOMEI Partition Assistant Server introduced above can perfectly resize the partition based on your needs.

Step 1. Open AOMEI Server, right-click the partition you want to resize, and click "Resize/Move Partition".

Step 2. In the pop-out window, adjust the length of the green bar by dragging the rings on both sides to how much space should be left. When it completes, hit "OK".

◉ How to extend C drive in Windows Server 2008 without formatting?

If you want to enlarge the size of the C drive without formatting, you can refer to the above content to get three different ways to make it. By comparison, applying AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is more recommended. It has obvious advantages in partition extending so you can take it easy to execute this tool in various situations.


This article has shown you three tools to extend system partition in Windows Server 2008. By brief comparison, we can get that AOMEI Partition Assistant Server provides easier and safer solutions. Besides, it also supports moving partitions in the Server computers. What's more, it is able to recover deleted data or system partition, split a large partition into several small ones, convert dynamic disk to basic without deleting volume, and so on.

If you want to install this program on an unlimited computer and manage your disk partitions conveniently, you can try AOMEI Partition Assistant Unlimited Edition.  The  Unlimited edition has a helpful function, Create Portable Version, enabling you to copy AOMEI Partition Assistant to a removable device and use it on other computers directly without reinstallation. 

Emily · Staff Editor
Emily is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; she has a great passion for providing easy solutions for people to tackle with all disk or partition management problems. In addition to writing articles about disk/partition management, she also edits great tutorials on how to back up and restore disk for data security. In her spare time, she loves to learn computer skill to improve herself or stay with her family to enjoy a good day.