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We have 2 servers, one Windows 2003 and the other Windows 2003 SBS.

Both come from Dell with 12GB C drives and now we are running out of space.

What's the best and safest way to increase the size of these partitions?

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1  
Is scheduling downtime an option? –  Sean C. Mar 29 '11 at 14:57
    
Yes it is.We can do this during the weekend. –  Adam Mar 29 '11 at 14:59
    
What kind of disk subsystem are we talking about? SCSI? SATA? Raid involved? –  Sean C. Mar 29 '11 at 15:01
    
SATA disks with hardware RAID5 –  Adam Mar 29 '11 at 15:06
    
This will invariably change answers. What functionality is provided by the RAID Controller? Can you dynamically add physical disks to the array or modify its configuration? –  Sean C. Mar 29 '11 at 15:16

4 Answers 4

Firstoff: I'm highly distrustful of so-called "non-destructive" disk partitioning utilities. I'd back-up the contents of all partitions on the disk before I started no matter what I was going to do.

I've had great luck booting a Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 setup DVD and using the built-in "DISKPART" utility to expand partitions. I've got nothing against third-party disk partitioning software, but I've nearly always got a Windows Server 2008 R2 DVD near my person and it's just too handy.

Using DISKPART you'd be talking about backing-up the contents of any other partitions on the disk, deleting them, expanding the "C:" partition, the re-creating the other partitions and restoring the data. Without knowing the exact layout of the disks I can't give you "step by step".

If you're not familiar with "DISKPART" you'll probably have better luck with something like gparted or other resizing tools. Again, though, be sure you back-up everything before you get started.

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There are ways to free up disk space. Review this KB, How to reclaim disk space on Windows XP and Windows Server 2008-based computers. I use it semi-regularly.

The section I use the most is 'Delete Windows update files'. I always make sure I have good backups prior to doing any reclamation.

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Easeus Partition manager is the way to go takes about 2-3 hours for whole process to complete. follow the tutorial on their web site to get the understanding. lets say, In the dell computers c:\ is usually about 10GB and D: or other part is huge. first you want to break the other drive letter partition in to a 2 part and then pick one of the part which should now be unallocated join with c:\ and viola! Backup! Backup! Backup! last time i did one took about 3 hours depends on how much files you have on the other drive letter as well

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DISKPART extend requires upgrading to dynamic disks. This is a fast solution provided there are no policies in place preventing you from upgrading to dynamic disks (for whatever reason). If you happen to already be using dynamic disks, you can simply install a new hard drive and extending can be done online within the GUI Disk Management tool, or via command line through DISKPART. Extending is an online operation and there's no reason to reboot to a PE or installation disk command prompt.

Another option is to use imaging software such as imagex, ghost or partimage to take an image of your system and boot volumes and then restore them to a larger physical disk.

As mentioned before, a verified backup should be created and tested before you do any of the work.

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-1 - This is absolutely false. The extend feature in diskpart works just fine on basic disks. –  Evan Anderson Feb 25 at 15:05
    
@EvanAnderson of course you are correct. Having written the answer nearly three years ago I can only speculate and say that I had confused spanning with extending. I had no intention of spreading misinformation. (+1 on the comment pointing out my error) –  Sean C. Feb 26 at 14:24

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