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Extending the boot partition of Windows 2003 Server

Posted by Dominic Cronin at Apr 04, 2010 06:25 PM |
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In my work I quite commonly have servers on which over time I end up wanting to install more software, or simply upgrading what's there already, but in any case, consuming more disk space than originally envisaged by the person who set up the server. Today I was upgrading a Tridion development image to Tridion 2009 SP1. This was on a VMWare image whose C: drive was maxed out at 16GB. A while ago, I'd filled up the 16GB, and then gone though the rigmarole of trying to make it larger, and failed. At the time, it was more expedient to just add another disk and move some of the data off the C: drive. This approach only gets you so far, and sooner or later, you need a bigger C: drive.

So I'd already got as far as using the VMWare utilities to increase the size of the "physical" disk to 20GB, and then I'd booted the image from a GParted "live CD" .iso. and increased the size of the partition, also to 20GB. The problem was that although in the disk management snap-in you could see the full 20 GB, as far as Windows Explorer was concerned, there were only 16GB (and a pretty full 16GB at that!)

If you've ever been through this, you'll know that it can be about getting the magical incantations just right. The operating systems' own tools won't let you expand the boot partition, or a system partition, or the partition where the page file is or a whole bunch of other strange restrictions. (Yes - strange - even in 2003!) The reason for using gparted in the first place was that you definitely can't do it while Windows is running off the offending partition, and at some time in the past, I'd followed this approach, and it had just worked. Why not now? I don't know.

To cut a long story short, it just sat there staring at me, and wouldn't do what I wanted, when for no really good reason, I booted the system from gparted again, and this time used the "check and repair' utility. It duly checked and repaired, and I rebooted the system normally again, only to see that Windows had now decided that the disk was suspect and wanted to run CHKDSK. I let it run, and hey-presto, when the system came up, Windows Explorer could see the full 20GB. Job's a good'un, eh?

So while I don't have any solid explanation for it all, but in the hope that it helps someone - perhaps myself on some future occasion, I'm adding a blog entry. I don't know whether it was actually something that the gparted check/repair did that fixed the problem. In terms of probabilities, I'm leaning more in the direction that it was CHKDSK that did the actual fixing. If anyone is in the same boat, I'd be interested to know whether just running CHKDSK is sufficient.

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