Resize NTFS partitions using the GParted live CD

Working late tonight… I have a client that has a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server that is running out of disk space on the OS partition. The physical disk setup is a RAID 5 logical drive on 3 physical drives which is handled by the PERC 4 RAID controller. Dell shipped the unit with a 12GB / 120GB split with Windows 2003 Server loaded on the smaller C partition. Nowadays 12GB is certainly not enough room for the fully service packed 2003 operating system plus the usual array of management, AV, and backup utilities. Up to this point, everything that could be moved to the larger storage partition has been, including: Windows Server Update Services, Symantec Corporate Edition, and the systems page file. That was a time buying workaround, but the free space is ever decreasing with each wave of Microsoft updates. Now for the fun part.

I backed up the C and D partitions using the Acronis True Image Enterprise boot disk by creating a complete system image and storing it on an external USB drive. After that, I mounted the drive and its partitions on a Windows system and verified that the images contained the appropriate data in an uncorrupted state. I downloaded and burned a copy of Gparted live CD. You can download a copy for yourself here. After booting the server using the live CD, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it loaded the necessary drivers to see my logical drive from the PERC 4 card. Using the GUI provided by the live CD, I shrank the overly large storage partition down by about 15GB’s. Once that completed I went ahead and increased the size of the smaller operating system partition. It really is quite simple, you just choose the partition or drive that you want to resize and move the sliders left and right to shrink or grow the size. After applying my changes, I rebooted the server and watched the server boot into Windows 2003 Server. I ran a chkdsk just to verify that everything is in order as far as Windows is concerned. Result: Simple and flawless NTFS resizing done without the need to purchase any proprietary disk management software.

I highly recommend this live CD for anyone that needs to modify drives or partitions on a regular basis. You simply cannot beat the price and compatibility, the tool works on all modern file systems/drives.

–Himuraken

11 thoughts on “Resize NTFS partitions using the GParted live CD

  1. Hello,

    I’m currently using Gparted which comes with the Ubuntu 8.04 LiveCD. I’ve got a Dell PowerEdge server in my firm and ran into the same problem as you: 12GB for the OS partition, and over 200GB for the data volume… Gparted is really a good and fast tool to resize ntfs partitions when needed… especially in critical situations as that one.
    Thanks for reporting your story :o)

  2. I have the identical situation except the Dell server is an 800. I could shrink the D: partition just fine, but I could not use that space to expand the C: partition. The free space was displayed on the right side of the D: partition. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

  3. @Don Cobb
    Did you happen to make a Acronis True Image backup of the system? I have had failures when resizing before and did the following to resolve it: Used GParted to remove all partitions, create new partitions with the sizes I wanted, and then restored the old partitions to the new larger ones using Acronis.

    –Himuraken

  4. I’m in the same dilemma, but I don’t have the Acronis software available. Are there any alternatives to Acronis? It’s not in my budget currently to purchase this $1’300 sofware.

  5. @Frank
    Try Macrium Reflect, for $40 not quite as comprehensive as Acronis but it will create an image to an external or network drive.

  6. used the Acronis True Image Enterprise boot disk saved the dell sbs 2003 r2 server and C partations on the dell 2900 server, rebotted with Dell OMSA disk and ran Gparted and decreased D drive by 50GB and then moved the remaining D drive space to the right leaving 50GB for the C drive to expand, took all of 1 hr to get 75gb on C and decrease D by 50GB thanks for your solution

  7. used GParted & knoppix.

    knoppix for hard drive copy (bit to bit) worked no probs. Used Gparted for partiotion resize.

    No problame at all

    Linux all the way!!!!

  8. @bal
    I think dd will not work in that case as it will copy every bit on the partitions and try to restore them on partitions that have different sizes. AFAIK, dd doesnt care about used space but copies parts as full “blocks”.

  9. Iím not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your site to come back later on. All the best

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