Freeware to Shrink Extended Partition on Windows Server 2008 (R2)

July 16, 2019

AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite is a free partition manager that allows you to resize Extended Partition to generate unallocated space in Windows Server 2008 (R2), 2003, 2012, 2016, etc.

Why shrink Extended Partition on Windows Server 2008?

There are three different types of partition on MBR partition table, Primary Partition, Extended Partition and Logical Partition. An MBR disk supports to create up to four Primary Partitions or three Primary Partitions and one Extended Partition. In Extended Partition, you can create nearly unlimited Logical volumes to store data. For more information about differences between these partitions, please visit MBR partition basic understanding.

One of the most important reasons to shrink Extended Partition Server 2008 is to get maximize utilization of server storages and optimize server performance. In the beginning of Server building, hard drive may not be well-partitioned, which results in disk space waste. Some users want Windows 2008 to shrink Extended Partition to add more space in existing partitions like system drive C. Anyhow, no matter what leads you this demand, it is more important to find a way out.

Get “free space” after shrinking Logical Drive in Extended Partition?

It may be frustrating when you try to shrink Extended Partition with built-in tools of Windows Server 2008 (R2). In Disk Management, you only have option to shrink Logical Drive in Extended Partition instead of the Extended Partition itself. After that, you’ll get “free space” which is different from “unallocated space” at the end of the disk. You cannot create primary partition with that “free space”, nor add it to other primary partitions.

Shrink Logical Drive Disk Management

In Command Prompt you can make Extended Partition displayed using Diskpart, yet when you try to shrink it you’ll get error says: “The arguments specified for this command are not valid. For more information on the command type: HELP SHRINK”.

Shrink Extended Partition Diskpart

If you shrink logical drive, you’ll get into the very first situation. Now the problem is how to change shrank free space into unallocated space and make it available for primary partition.

Shrink Extended Partition software: make “free space” “unallocated”

AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite is free partition manager that designed especially for Windows Server operating systems. It allows you to resize partition, move partition, create/delete/format partition, wipe disk, check partition, and many other basic disk operations in Server 2008 (R2). Let’s find out how this software help you make “free space” into “unallocated space”.

Download, install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite, you’ll find the “free space” and “unallocated space” are recognized as the same type, unallocated space. That is to say, you can make it available for primary partitions in this software. If want to add the shrunk space that you have already made by Disk Management to system drive C, you can try “Move Partition” in this tool to change partition location.

1. Right-click the D drive and select “Move Partition”.

Move Logical Drive

2. In the pop-up window, drag the slider below partition to decide how much space you will move beside C drive. Click “OK” then.

Drag the slider

Note: The unallocated space has to be larger than moved partition before you can move.

3. Click “Apply” > “Proceed” to keep the change.

Apply and Proceed

4. Now go to Disk Management, you’ll find there are around 100GB unallocated space next to C drive. You can expand C drive with Disk Management or the same free partition manager.

Extend Volume C

How to shrink Extended Partition in Windows Server 2008 (R2) with ease?

Except for change “free space” to “unallocated space”, AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite can shrink logical drive in extended partition and get “unallocated space” directly.

Step 1: run AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite again. Right-click the logical drive you want to shrink (here is D drive) and select “Resize Partition”.

Resize Logical Drive

Step 2: at this window, adjust the partition size to let Server 2008 shrink Extended Partition.

Adjust unallocated space

Step 3: you’ll find the “unallocated space” right after D drive. Click “Apply” and then “Proceed”.


Tips: you can add this generated unallocated space to another primary partition by repeating “Move Partition” steps. A reboot is required if system drive is involved in the process.

What else can you do with the unallocated space after shrinking?

With the new generated unallocated space from Extended Partition, you can create another Primary partition with the help of AOMEI Partition Assistant Lite.

1. Right-click the unallocated space and select “Create Partition”. At the pop-up dialog, you can tell from the partition color that you’re creating Logical drive right now.

Create Partition

2. Don’t worry. Now click “Advanced” in the left corner to unfold hidden options. Switch “Logical Partition” into “Primary Partition” and you’ll find the partition color becomes green.

Create Primary Partition

3. Preview the operation outcome, the E drive is created as Primary partition. Click “Apply” > “Proceed”.


Tips: AOMEI Partition Assistant Server, the advanced version of Lite, allows you to allocate free space from redundant partition to another partition directly, which saves steps of shrinking and moving partition. It is available to shrink Extended Partition in Windows 7/8/10 as well.


Can’t resize Extended Partition? No, you can shrink Extended Partition Windows Server 2008 (R2) to any size you want to. Unallocated space in Disk Management cannot be used to increase Extended Partition size in Server 2008, yet you can do that with AOMEI Partition Assistant. Download this free software to experience more.