By Teresa / Last Updated November 29, 2019

Why shrink Extended Partition on Windows Server 2008?

There are three different types of partition on MBR partition table, Primary Partition, Extended Partition and Logical Partition. An MBR disk supports to create up to four Primary Partitions or three Primary Partitions and one Extended Partition. In Extended Partition, you can create nearly unlimited Logical volumes to store data. For more information about differences between these partitions, please visit MBR partition basic understanding.

One of the most important reasons to shrink Extended Partition Server 2008 is to get maximize utilization of server storages and optimize server performance. In the beginning of Server building, hard drive may not be well-partitioned, which results in disk space waste. Some users want Windows 2008 to shrink Extended Partition to add more space in existing partitions like system drive C. Anyhow, no matter what leads you this demand, it is more important to find a way out.

Get “free space” after shrinking Logical Drive in Extended Partition?

It may be frustrating when you try to shrink Extended Partition with built-in tools of Windows Server 2008 (R2). In Disk Management, you only have option to shrink Logical Drive in Extended Partition instead of the Extended Partition itself. After that, you’ll get “free space” which is different from “unallocated space” at the end of the disk. You cannot create primary partition with that “free space”, nor add it to other primary partitions.

Shrink Logical Drive Disk Management

In Command Prompt you can make Extended Partition displayed using Diskpart, yet when you try to shrink it you’ll get error says: “The arguments specified for this command are not valid. For more information on the command type: HELP SHRINK”.

Shrink Extended Partition Diskpart

If you shrink logical drive, you’ll get into the very first situation. Now the problem is how to change shrank free space into unallocated space and make it available for primary partition.

Shrink Extended Partition software: make “free space” “unallocated”

AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a great and powerful partition manager that designed especially for Windows Server operating systems. It allows you to resize partition, move partition, create/delete/format partition, wipe disk, check partition, and many other basic disk operations in Server 2008 (R2). It also supports Winodws Server 2019/2016/2012(R2),etc. Let’s find out how this software help you make “free space” into “unallocated space”.

Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, you’ll find the “free space” and “unallocated space” are recognized as the same type, unallocated space. That is to say, you can make it available for primary partitions in this software. If want to add the shrunk space that you have already made by Disk Management to system drive C, you can try “Move Partition” in this tool to change partition location.

1. Right-click the D drive and select “Move Partition”.

Move Partition

2. In the pop-up window, drag the slider below partition to decide how much space you will move beside C drive. Click “OK” then.

Note: The unallocated space has to be larger than moved partition before you can move.

3. Click “Apply” > “Proceed” to keep the change.

4. Now go to Disk Management, you’ll find there are around 100GB unallocated space next to C drive. You can expand C drive with Disk Management or the same free partition manager.

Extend Volume C

How to shrink Extended Partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2) with ease?

Except for change “free space” to “unallocated space”, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can shrink logical drive in extended partition and get “unallocated space” directly.

1. Run AOMEI Partition Assistant Server again. Right-click the logical drive you want to shrink (here is D drive) and select “Resize Partition”.

2. At this window, adjust the partition size to let Server 2008 shrink Extended Partition.

3. You’ll find the “unallocated space” right after D drive. Click “Apply” and then “Proceed”.

Tips: you can add this generated unallocated space to another primary partition by repeating “Move Partition” steps. A reboot is required if system drive is involved in the process.

What else can you do with the unallocated space after shrinking?

With the new generated unallocated space from Extended Partition, you can create another Primary partition with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Server.

1. Right-click the unallocated space and select “Create Partition”.

2. Now click “Advanced” in the left corner to unfold hidden options. You can change “Logical Partition” into “Primary Partition”.

3. Preview the operation outcome, the E drive is created as Primary partition. Click “Apply” > “Proceed”.


You can shrink Extended Partition on Windows Server 2008 (R2) without any efforts under the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. This great can be helpful as well when you can’t use non-contiguous unallocated space to increase increase Extended Partition size in Server 2008 and it can merge non-adjacent unallocated space with the partition that you want to extend easily.