Windows Server: How to Extend the Boot Partition (C: Drive) in Windows Server 2003

Windows Server: How to Extend the Boot Partition (C: Drive) in Windows Server 2003


This article provides information on extending the C: drive into contiguous unallocated space based on Windows Server 2003 using the Diskpart.exe utility.



Warning: The procedure in this article is not officially supported by Dell or Microsoft due to the potential for loss of data.

There is no way to extend the boot partition (the partition on which Windows is installed, typically the C: partition) in Windows Server 2003 while the operating system is running. For instructions and screen shots on extending the boot partition in Windows Server 2008, 2008 R2, and 2012, see this TechNet blog entry.

There are third-party tools that can extend the boot partition in Windows Server 2003 and do not require the unallocated space to be completely contiguous, but this article addresses extending a C: partition that is running out of space using resources that are built into Windows. The procedure in this article will work in later versions of Windows Server, but it is generally unnecessary, as those versions offer the option to extend the boot partition within the OS using the Disk Management console.

In order to extend the boot partition in Windows Server 2003, the server must be booted using a boot disk formatted with the NTFS file system. Instructions for creating a boot disk can be found in this Microsoft KB article. If there is unallocated space available on the disk immediately after the boot partition, (Figure 1 (English-only)), you will be able to extend the C: drive into it. Contiguous space may be achieved by moving or deleting existing partitions on the disk supporting the boot volume. Please ensure that all data is backed up first.


Figure 1: Unallocated space is available after C:

With the system booted using an NTFS boot disk, the partition can be extended by running Diskpart.exe from a command prompt.
There are a number of commands available within the Diskpart utility. Listed below are the ones that are used in this procedure:

DETAIL -- Provide details about an object.
EXTEND -- Extend a volume.
SELECT -- Move the focus to an object.

Type the following commands in full or in short form using the first three letters as highlighted below:

Diskpart.exe (This will launch the Diskpart.exe utility.)
DISKPART > Select Disk 0 (This assumes that disk 0 is the disk that contains the boot partition.)
Disk 0 is now the selected disk.
DISKPART > Detail Disk (The output will vary but will be similar to what is shown below.)
Controller Type SCSI Disk Device
Disk ID: 2FE43460
Type : SCSI
Bus : 3
Target : 0
LUN ID : 0
Volume ### Ltr Label Fs Type Size Status Info
---------- --- ----------- ----- ---------- ------- --------- --------
Volume 1 C NTFS Partition 68 GB Healthy System
DISKPART > Select Volume 1
Volume 1 is the selected volume.
DISKPART > Extend Size=10000 (The value is in MB. If no size is specified, all available space will be allocated to the partition.)
Diskpart successfully extended the volume.
DISKPART > Exit

Reboot the server into Windows, and the system will have an extended boot partition.


Article ID: SLN164140

Last Date Modified: 02/13/2017 06:24 AM


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