As many of you know, by day I am a VMware administrator. I manage hundreds of virtual Windows machines. Every once in a while these machines start running low on disk space. In the old days, on physical servers, if you were running low on disk space you had to do major cleanup. If cleanup wasn’t possible, then you had to look at cloning the drive to a bigger drive, and running some offline disk partitioning software like Gparted to fill the entire disk right? Each of those things requires downtime. Downtime sucks.
Well, Windows Vista, 2008, 7, and 2008 R2 come along and smartened up. Plus you have the awesomeness of virtualization and now all of a sudden things are easier. In VMware you can just add an extra 10 Gigs of disk space to your system drive all willy nilly like, then in your newer Windows OS, just go into the disk manager and extend the volume. Easy peasy right?
What about legacy operating systems? By that I mean something like Windows 2003 R2 64bit? Well with that you are shit out of luck pal. You can still add the extra 10GB to your system partition, but you can’t extend it without rebooting to your GParted live CD again.
Well, at least with Windows XP and below there is a free solution. It is called EASUS Partition Master Home. With it, and just like Vista and Windows 7, you can move and resize your disk partitions on the fly without rebooting!
Here are a list of benefits from their website:
- FREE partition manager for Windows 32 bit & 64 bit HOME USERS. No Adware and Toolbar.
- Support removable devices like flash drives and memory cards.
- Extend system partition to maximize computer performance.
- Partition Manager utility for better hard disk management and computer performance maximization.
- Copy Wizard to copy partition or migrate entire hard disk to another without Windows system reinstallation.
So that’s cool that it is free for workstations, but what about us folks that work on servers?
Well, EASUS makes a version for servers as well called EASUS Partition Master Server, however it is not free. For about $160 per server though, this will let you re-size server partitions without rebooting. If you have a whole slew of servers, you may want to purchase the enterprise edition for $400.
Of course, there are sites that are giving away the server edition for free… *wink* *wink*
What software do you use to resize partitions on the fly without rebooting? Know of any free ones that you can use on a Windows Server? Let us know in the comments.