Growing a system or boot partition on a live server

I migrated most of the infrastructure I work on to vSphere 4.0 last year and since then have live-resized a fair few disks as needed. For most of these it was the data partition that was increasing so it was a quick case of growing the vmdk, then loading up diskpart in the VM, selecting the partition, and typing extend.

However, as any reader of VMware or Microsoft KB articles will know – you cannot do this to a system/boot volume, only data volumes. Or can you?

I was recently shown a fantastic tool for this purpose – Extpart, which is made by Dell. Amazingly, it’s seven whole years old! If you read this, help spread the word.

If you’re on a 64bit machine you’ll find that it refuses to run. The .exe on the Dell site is actually a self-extracting zip file, not the tool itself. Use an archiver (7-Zip, WinRAR, etc.) and you’ll be able to extract it.

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