By Emily / Last Updated October 13, 2021

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

Although today’s hard drive always comes with 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 critically low disk space, you will receive the “Low disk space” warning message. In this case, you had better 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.

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 primary partition without data loss under some 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 via those three ways.

Way 1. DiskPart.exe tool

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 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 extend the selected 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.

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

  • ▪ list volume

  • ▪ select volume #: select the partition located behind C drive

  • ▪ delete volume

  • ▪ select volume

  • ▪ 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 needs contiguous unallocated space to extend a target partition.

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

Step 1. Press "Windows+R" key to bring up “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 c drive to select “Extend Volume” again. Then follow the "Extend Volume Wizard" to completing extending system partition in Server 2008.

From 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 system partition on Server 2008 without deleting partition? Check out the last method now.

Way 3. Extend system partition on Server 2008 (R2) without deleting (2 methods)

If you don’t want to take the risk of losing data by deleting/shrinking partition in Server 2008, 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 system partition regardless of the location of the free space while another is assigning free space from one partition to another without requiring existing unallocated space.

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

Download Demo Server 2008(R2)/2012(R2)/2016/2019/2022
Secure Download

Option 1. Extend (system) partition by merging allocated space

First of all, it can directly merge unallocated space into system partition even if the unallocated space is not right after the C drive. Below is how it works.

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server edition in Serer 2008. Right-click D drive to select “Resize Partition”. If there is unallocated space on the disk, skip to step 3.

Resize D Partition

Step 2. Move the slider right to generate unallocated space for extending OS partition.

Shrink D Partition

Step 3. Now, you can see there is an unallocated space after C, now right-click C drive for “Merge Partitions”.

Merge Partition

Step 4. Then select unallocated space to merge with C drive. Click “OK”.

Tick Unallocated Space

Step 5. After finishing all the operations, click “Apply”. You will find your system partition is expanded.


Option 2. Extend (system) partition by allocating free space from another partition

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 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 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 “Extend Partition Wizard” of the software to extend c drive without rebooting computer.

Extend System Partition


This article has shown you three ways 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 partition in Server computer. What's more, it is able to recovery 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 the 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 create AOMEI Partition Assistant to a removable device.