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Resize RAID 5 Partition in Windows Server 2000/2003/2008 Safely and Easily

I have a client who owns a DELL PowerEdge 2950 Server running on Windows Server 2003 SP2, x64 Edition with RAID 5 configuration. I have checked out and found the Server was installed wrong way. The C: drive is only 15GB, what’s worse; the OS occupies almost 12GB of the 15GB. After starting Windows Update to check if the Server is up to date, only 750MB free space remains in C: drive. It is running out of space.

Fortunately, D: drive has enough unused space so I realized I can get free space from D: drive and add to C: drive. During the backup process, I searched how to resize RAID 5 partition in Google and found two programs: Norton Partition Magic and Partition Assistant Server Edition.

If you are reading this guide, most probably you will know what RAID 5 is. But just in case let me tell a few words about it.

A brief introduction to RAID 5

RAID 5, one of the most commonly used RAID levels, maps data across the drives and stores parity information for each data stripe on different drives in the array. Parity data is distributed across physical disks in RAID 5 array. If one disk fails, RAID 5 allows data to be recreated from the remaining disks.

  • Number of drives: 3~32
  • Advantages: Good performance because data is striped, and high data protection because of parity disks.
  • Disadvantages: Most complex controller design and redundancy is not as certain as RAID 1.

Which tools I should use to resize RAID-5 partition?

As mentioned above, there are two programs. Partition Magic is considered as the most well-known partition software. However, when trying to install it, I get an error: "Failed to install Partition Magic 8.0 in Windows Server 2003". Then, I realized Partition Magic is only compatible with Windows 98/NT/2000/XP so I have ended up with uninstall. As Partition Magic Server Software, Partition Assistant Server Edition is a magic and award-winning RAID Partition Manager which works well with Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2008, 2012, Windows Home Server 2011, Windows Small Business Server 2003, 2008, 2011, and Windows 8 and 8.1, Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 (support 32-bit and 64-bit), besides, all levels of hardware RAID are supported. It provides basic and advanced operations on RAID partition without data loss, such as resize/move partition without data loss, merge adjacent partitions into a bigger one, allocate free space from one partition to another, extend NTFS system partition without rebooting, split partition into two or more, sector by sector clone hard drive to upgrade disk without reinstalling Windows and applications, clone partition to another disk for migrating system volume and backup important data, etc.

How to resize RAID 5 partition with Partition Magic Server Software?

Note: Before you start managing RAID 5 partition on your live production Server, backup is always recommended.

Tips: If there is not enough free disk space available on the RAID 5 array, you can add additional disk to RAID 5 array to expand array capacity first.

Step1: Launch Partition Assistant Server. As with Windows Disk Management snap-in, the RAID 5 array appears on this program as a single disk as shown below:

Step2: Right click on D partition and select "Resize Partition".

In the pop-up window, position the mouse pointer on the left borderline and drag the slider bar rightwards to take unused space from D partition.

Step3: Click "OK" to return the main window.There will be a block of contiguous unallocated space behind C drive. Select C drive and drag the right slider bar rightwards to merge the unallocated space.

Step4: Now, we can preview the expanded RAID 5 system partition. To save all changes, click "Apply" on the toolbar.

Step5: Now the RAID 5 partitions have been successfully resized. If there is no live application on D partition, server doesn't need to reboot. The resizing partition time is determined by the data size in D partition.

With several mouse clicks and drags, a "new" RAID 5 server can be completed. What’s more, all the data remain the same. It is very easy and safe to resize RAID 5 partition with Partition Magic Server Software - Partition Assistant Server Edition. To test whether this program is compatible with your system and satisfies all of your requirements, please free download demo version and have a try before you buy full version.

Tips: For Enterprise users, Unlimited Edition provides unlimited usage within one company to save money, namely, you can install it on multiple machines in your company to maximize business productivity whilst minimizing the total cost of management.

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