First introduced in Windows XP, Disk Management is a Windows built-in utility that enables you to manage hard disk drives and the associating partitions or volumes. To partition a hard drive with Disk Management in Windows Server 2016 is very convenient. You can access it via one of the following methods:
▶ Method 1. Open it from the Quick Start Menu
Right-click the bottom-left corner (or Start button) on the desktop to open Quick Access Menu, and then choose Disk Management.
▶ Method 2. Launch Disk Management from Run box
Press Windows+R to open Run, type “diskmgmt.msc” in the box and press Enter.
▶ Method 3. Access Disk Management from Computer Management
1. Right-click the Start menu and select Server Manager.
2. In the Server Manager interface, under Tools tab, choose Computer Management.
3. In the next screen, click Disk Management on the left panel.
How to use Windows Server 2016 Disk Management
To manage disks in Windows Server, Disk Management can be of great help. The main features of Disk Management are listed below:
● Connect and initialize disks.
● Create a basic, spanned, or striped partition.
● Format a volume or partition with exFAT, NTFS, FAT32, or ReFS.
● Convert the empty basic disk to dynamic or to GPT/MBR partition style.
● Extend and shrink NTFS volumes or partitions.
In the main interface of Disk Management, you can right-click on a disk or partition, and then it will display a menu listing all the options for the item. Disk Management allows you to do most of the operations without reboot or interruption, and it is quite relatively effective. Next, I'll show you how to use Disk Management to shrink and extend volumes.
To shrink partition:
1. Within the Disk Management interface, right-click on a partition and select Shrink Volume in the drop-down menu.
2. Enter the amount of shrink space that you need and click “OK”.
It will generate a block of unallocated space, which you can use to extend partition.
To extend partition:
1. Right-click on the partition which needs extending and select “Extend Volume”.
2. In the Extend Volume Wizard window, select the unallocated space and click “Next”.
Within a few seconds, Disk Management will complete the operation. However, Disk Management has limitations in many cases. Sometimes, you will find Extend Volume will be grayed out, this is because "Disk Management" can only extend a partition if there is continuous unallocated space to the right of the target partition. Due to the lack of the mobile partition feature in Windows Server 2016, you need to delete the partition first to gain unallocated space before extending the partition.
Besides, it has some other restrictions, such as, it can only convert an empty disk (without any partitions on) to MBR or GPT, can't format a partition larger than 32GB to FAT32, etc.
Fortunately, there is a third-party free partition manager software for Windows Server 2016 that lifts all the restrictions of Disk Management and provides many other excellent features. If you are looking for an alternative to Disk Management, you must not miss it.
Alternative to Disk Management in Windows Server 2016
AOMEI Partition Assistant Server is a disk partition tool for Windows Server 2022, 2019, 2016, 2012 R2, 2012, 2008 R2, 2008, and 2003. Compared with Disk Management, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server provides a more flexible and convenient way of managing disks and partitions. It has a user-friendly interface, and each step is clearly explained, so you don't have to worry about losing data due to operational errors.
If you cannot extend the volume in Disk Management because the unallocated space is not adjacent to the target partition, then AOMEI Partition Assistant Server can help you solve the problem. It supports expanding volumes without adjacent unallocated space, which I will show you in detailed steps:
Step 1. Open this software, click the partition you are going to merge and then choose “Advanced” and select “Merge Partition”.
Step 2. Choose unallocated space in the following window and then click “OK” to go on.
Step 3. To execute all the operations, please click “Apply”.
See? With three steps or clicks, you can easily merge non-adjacent unallocated space and target partition into a partition. If there is no unallocated space on the disk, you can try “Allocate Free Space” which can directly allocate free space from one partition to another without losing data.
Besides that, AOMEI Partition Assistant Server also has many other useful features listed below:
✔ Convert disks between GPT and MBR without deleting partitions/data loss.
✔ Convert dynamic disk to basic disk without affecting OS.
✔ Migrate OS to SSD without reinstalling windows.
✔ Copy disk to another storage device to save data in the case of a system crash.
✔ Quickly partition a hard drive with the preset partition size, type, and volume label.
✔ Delete or wipe partitions on the hard drive, even the partitions like recovery partitions that Disk Management doesn’t have permission to delete.
✔ Create Windows 11/10 to Go disk, so you can boot Windows 11 or 10 from an external hard drive.
✔ Run disk surface test to find and fix bad sectors.
✔ More other useful features.
Therefore, if you think the Disk Management in Windows Server 2016 is not enough for you, or you need even more advanced features regarding disk and partition management, be free to try AOMEI Partition Assistant Server. If you need to install this software on multiple PCs and Servers, you can consider the AOMEI Partition Assistant Technician or Unlimited edition based on your needs. The Technician and Unlimited edition have a helpful function, Create Portable Version, enabling you to create AOMEI Partition Assistant to a removable device.