We use gparted to extend our C: drives on 2003 and 2008 servers. I'm trying to find out of there have been any new/better methods to do this with no downtime. Anyone have any good tools?
I never used it myself, but from reading other posts it seems Dell's extpart does a pretty good job in online resizing the system disk (definitely not supported by MS though). For Windows 2008 you should be able to do this in the Windows disk management itself.
This link will help you to extend C drive in different 6 methods - http://vsphere-land.com/tips-tricks/re-sizing-virtual-disks.
For extending C drive in 2008, it doesn't require reboot.
The other posters are correct - using Disk Management in Windows 2008 will let you extend boot volumes without downtime, and Dell's Extpart utility is a great way to do it for older versions of Windows. Here are two blog posts that describe the procedure:
The issue you might have with Extpart is that Dell seems to have taken it down off of their website. The download page is still up but the download itself does not work. If you need it and are unable to find it, post here and I can send it to you.
My blog: http://www.thelowercasew.com
That's awesome about 2008. That's easy.
I tried extpart on my 2003 servers. It worked on one, but on the others I got "unable to connect to c: or it does not exist".
I read that you may have to get into safe mode to make it work, but that kind of defeats the purpose. Has anyone been able to get around this without bringing down the server?
On a somewhat related issue...
If I create a 40 GB VMFS partition then use 32 GB of it for the OS boot drive - leaving 20% for VMWare.
Then, I extend the boot drive to 60 GB.
Now the space I left for VMWare is reduced from the original 20% down to 13%.
Do I need to allocate more space to get the free space back up to 20%?
I don't want to use linux kernal tool to work on Windows, especial on Servers.
To Server 2008, you can extend and shrink partition under disk management without any other tools, but you need to delete the data partition that behind the system partition.
To server 2003, you may try diskpart commands line, which provides by microsoft and is free, but it also has some disadvantages.
There are many server partition software in the market that can help you do this job better, for example, acronis disk director, paragon partition, partition wizard, partition assistant, etc.
When running either of the partition software, you just need to shrink a data partition, and then extend the system partition with the unallocated space. Some tools contains HOT RESIZE feature, if the system partition is NTFS, you can extend it without rebooting the Servers.
In fact, it is the same to work on VMware with the physical disk partitions. see this article how to extend C drive on VMware
In windows 2008 the built-in disk managmenet could help you extend C drive when there a free space behind it,
The disk Part could not extend C drive in Windows 2003,
And you could also use other third-party partition software, such as Disk Director or Partition Assistnat, you could read the atcile about "how to extend system partition without rebooting"
To extend the 2003 C:\ (boot) drive, a new method I like, is to use boot the 2003 VM off a 2008 R2 .iso, enter repair mode, and use diskpart to extend the C:\ disk in the command prompt. As when you boot off the 2008 R2 the C:\ is not the boot\system disk and you can extended it easily.
I think I just did:
select disk 1
select partiton 1
then just disconnect the .iso and reboot (done).. more info here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/300415
Its fast, but still needs an outage and you dont have to mess w/ disconnecting the disk, hooking to another VMs, or re V2V'ing the VM etc.
Regarding "Unable to Connect" for ExtPart.exe; I have seen this when Windows Search or Indexing Services are running. Stop Search and Indexing services then retry and it should work. One other misconception is that extpart doesn't work on 64bit OS. This is untrue, only the inital extraction executable doesn't work on 64bit servers, so extract it on a 32 bit OS and then copy the extracted extpart.exe to the 64 bit OS and it will work fine.
Have you tried to extend your C drive in Disk Management on your Windows 2003 and 2008 server?
What you should do is really simple: back up everything important, shrink some useless or unnecessary partition and add the newly created unallocated space to your C drive by highlighting “Extend” option.
But, you also should know that this way is only workable as the unallocated space is exactly continuous behind this C drive.
So, if your free space is not next to your C drive, you may have to apply the tested IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free to successfully extend your C drive on 2003 and 2008 servers
If you are interested in this free partition tool, you can download it here: http://www.resize-c.com/
Note: In order to avoid any data loss, you’d better never forget to back up everything important.
You are right! Your mentioned partition tool is really helpful for me, as my F drive is nearly empty and the C drive is only 150MB free space left. Fortunately, the IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free, the free tool, has finally extended my C drive successfully. It is really easy to use.
I am really happy to find your answer here.