Friday, February 20, 2009

Extending the System Partition in Windows 2003 Server

Before I start, I'd like to mention that the instructions in the following post (and all posts with instructions) is to be followed at your own risk; no guarantee or warranty is implied.

Someone asked how one might resize a Windows 2003 system partition (typically C:.)

There are several utilities that can do this: Acronis and Easeus are two that come to mind. However, they aren't all that cheap, especially if you need to perform this operation on multiple servers.

Window's disk manager does not work - I even tried converting the disk to dynamic. Parted couldn't extend it, either. A friend suggested gparted.

I've had some issues with gparted before, but I decided to give it a try.

- I booted the virtual machine in VMWare workstation (you didn't think I'd try this on a real machine first, did you?) and noted the partition size of C:. It was 20GB. - I then shut it down, and used vmware-vdiskmanager to extend the volume to 30GB.
- I made a snapshot of the vm
- I then booted from the gparted live CD and extended the C: drive to 27GB from there.
- I rebooted and logged in. C: was now 27GB. I even checked the disk with the windows disk tools, and there were no errors.

Note: you'll need to have free space on your disk for this to work (obviously.) Back up your C: drive/system drive before starting (you can use ntbackup - make sure you get the system state, too.)