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A server I am working on has two 73GB SAS disks (configured as RAID 1). There are two partitions on the 73GB drive and the C: partition is only 15GB or so. This drive is near 100% capacity and I've freed up as much space as I can.

I've purchased two 300GB SAS drives (so I can mirror them as well). I'd like to move the data partition (D:) to the 300GB drives and make C: take up all of the space on the 73GB drives.

I'm comfortable using GParted. My question: After copying the data (D:) to the new partitions on the 300GB drives, can I delete the D: partition on the 73GB and then resize the C:? I've read that Windows may have issues booting after doing something like this, is that right?

I'm also thinking of cloning the C: partition and restoring it onto the new 300GB drives into a larger partition (and basically scrapping the existing 73GB disks). Will that work with Clonezilla? I haven't used it in a long time, so I can't remember if this will work the way I think it will.

EDIT: I fixed the problem over the weekend, so I thought I'd document the process here. The server only had physical space for two drives, so I cloned the original drives which were being mirrored (not individual partitions) to a USB hard disk using Clonezilla. I removed the original drives, put in the new ones, created the mirrored array, and restored the image to the new drives. I booted up the server and everything worked fine. I then restarted with GParted, resized the partitions, reboot, sat through an automatic CHKDSK, and everything worked ok. The only issue was that the data partition was effectively moved, so it had a new drive letter. I changed that through the Computer Management console, rebooted and everything was working perfectly. The whole process took approx 5 hours.... Thanks everyone for your assistance!

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Windows would have issues booting only if you changed the boot partition's physical position (f.e. if it was the second partition and you deleted the one before it); if the partition stays in the same place but just increases in size because you're taking advantage of the space freed by deleting D:, you should have no problem at all.

I did this lots of times using Partition Magin or Acronis Disk Director, and it always worked.

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Short answer, yes that will work. There will be no problems booting the machine after resizing the C: partition to use the full 73GB drive. Using the 73GB drive for the system and the 300BG for the data makes the most sense.

Running multiple partitions on one physical drive merely reduces performance, so it would make no sense in eliminating the 73BG drive and repartitioning the 300BG drive into two partitions. However, if you're going to eliminate the smaller drive just put everything on one partition on the larger one. Too many people underestimate, or even completely disregard, the performance cost of having the head assembly thrashing about to meet the needs of multiple partitions.

In regard to Clonezilla, I see no reason why it would have an issue doing such basic partitioning.

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Basically, if your partitions, especially usually C, end up in the same order, you will be fine regardless of size. So if you had a disk with 3 partitions, utility, C and D, you can get rid of D to a new disk, since the boot would still be from disk 0, partition 1. If you somehow deleted the utility partition, C would now be disk 0, partition 0, and it would not boot and you would be repairing.

I would point out this: When cloning a server drive, depending on what software you are using, check that it clones the drive bit for bit or it may not boot.

I once cloned a drive on a domain controller using a DOS boot disk of Ghost, and when it came up, I got some error that prevented me from logging in. I re-did it using the -IA switch to force a sector by sector cloning, and that worked.

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