“I have a Windows Server 2012 R2 with C: and D: drives on the same disk. With more and more programs installed and data added, the C: drive is running out of free space but D: drive has a lot of free space. I freed up 100 GB unallocated space from the D: drive using the Disk Management "Shrink Volume" option and tried to add it into C: drive. But the "Extend Volume" option on the C: drive is grayed out and disabled.”
Why “Extend volume” is greyed out in Windows Server 2012?
Compared with previous Server versions such as Windows Server 2003 and 2000, Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 can resize partition or re-partition a hard drive more easily because it is equipped with an improved Disk Management, which adds “Extend Volume” and “Shrink Volume” options. However, the “Extend Volume” feature only works when the partition you want to extend meet the following two conditions simultaneously:
1. The target volume must be followed by a contiguous unallocated space.
2. The target volume must be formatted with NTFS file system.
If there is not adjacent unallocated space or the partition is formatted with FAT32 or other file systems, you will meet the “Extend Volume greyed out in Windows 2012” problem like the above user.
2 Solutions to fix "extend volume greyed out” issue in Server 2012
To solve the “Extend Volume” greyed out issue in Windows Server 2012 Disk Management, there are two solutions. Check them out and choose a proper method based on your situation.
Solution 1. Delete the volume behind the to-be-extended partition
First of all, you can delete the partition (here is E), which is right after the to-be-expanded partition, to create an adjacent unallocated space. But that will delete all data on the E drive, so please backup the partition beforehand. Then do as the instruction:
Step 1. Open Disk Management tool, right-click on the E: partition and select "Delete Volume" in the drop-down list.
Step 2. Once you have deleted E: partition, it will turn into an unallocated space and be automatically merged with other unallocated space next to it. Now you can right-click on the C: drive and the "Extend Volume" option is available.
Step 3. In the "Extend Volume Wizard" window, you can input the amount of space in MB to add into C: drive. To finalize the modifications, click "Next".
You can use the rest of unallocated space to re-create D: partition and then restore data.
Solution 2. Merge non-adjacent unallocated space into the target volume directly
The first solution requires you to back up partition (E), delete partition (E), extend partition (C) and restore data. This is quite time-consuming and easy to lead data loss. To evade all the hassles, you can run a Server partition manager like AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. You can download the demo version for a free trial.
As for the situation where the unallocated space is not adjacent to the target partition, it provides two fixes: one is moving the partition in the way of the unallocated space and the to-be-extend partition to the right side via the “Move Partition” feature, making the unallocated space behind the target volume and extending it successfully; while another one is directly merging the non-adjacent unallocated space into the target volume via the “Merge Partition” function. We prefer the second fix and show you how to do it step by step.
Step 1. Install and launch it. Right-click on the partition (here is C: drive) you want to extend and select “Merge Partitions” in the drop-down menu.
Step 2. In the pop-up window, check the box before unallocated space which means that the unallocated space will be added into C: drive. And then click “Next” button to continue.
Step 3. Now you can preview the unallocated space behind D: partition is added into C: drive. To make the changes come into effect, click “Apply” and "Proceed".
★If you want to extend a volume but there is no unallocated space on the same disk, you can use thi software to directly move some free space from one partition to another.
★This guide also applies to all versions of Windows, including Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2011, 2016, 2019 and Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, Vista, XP.
With those two solutions, you can easily solve the “Extend Volume” greyed out in Windows 2012. Apparently, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server offers an easier and safer solution. Besides, it also comes with many other amazing features that Server 2012 Disk Management does not provide, such as converting MBR to GPT without deleting partitions (vice versa), cloning partition, checking partition for errors, splitting a large partition into two smaller ones, etc.