HOW TO: Expand the Boot Partition During a Windows 2000 Upgrade

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This article describes the procedure to expand the existing operating system partition during an upgrade to Windows 2000.You can expand your existing operating system partition when you upgrade from Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows NT, but the revised partition can use only the free space that is adjacent to the partition that is being expanded, and the partition must be converted to the NTFS file system. This procedure can also enable you to expand your existing Windows 2000 boot partition by using the In-Place Repair/Upgrade option.

NOTE: There are situations when a partition cannot be expanded (refer to the following "Situations When the Partition Cannot Be Expanded" section in this article).

NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you perform a full verified backup of the entire computer before you commence the expansion of the partition.

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Expand the Operating System Partition

The procedure to expand the operating system partition:
  1. Restart your computer and access the operating system that is to be upgraded.
  2. Start the upgrade to Windows 2000.
  3. If you are prompted to upgrade the file system to NTFS, click Yes.

    NOTE: When you click Yes, you upgrade only the boot partition to NTFS. If you did not click Yes, you can still perform the NTFS upgrade by manually entering the "File System=ConvertNTFS" entry under the [Data] section in the Winnt.sif file. However, you must make this entry before you restart your computer and proceed with the upgrade process. If you do not upgrade your drive to NTFS, you are not prevented from performing the upgrade to Windows 2000, but the partition expansion procedure is unsuccessful.
  4. After the file copy process is complete, the computer can be restarted. However, click Do Not Reboot.
  5. Locate the Winnt.sif file in the C:\$win_nt$.~bt folder, and then open it by using Microsoft Windows Notepad. You may have to ensure that you are able to view any hidden files.
  6. Locate the [Unattended] section. To use the remaining free space, make the following entry:


    NOTE: If you set this value to 1, you can use all of the free space. To use only a portion of the free space, the entry must contain the number of megabytes by which you want to increase the existing partition. If you currently have a 2 GB partition with 1.5 GB of free space and you want to increase the size of the partition by 1 GB, you must enter the value of 1,024, not 3,070. If you set a value for which there is not enough free space, the upgrade process completes, but the expansion of the partition does not occur.
  7. Restart the computer and enable the upgrade process to proceed.
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Troubleshooting: Situations When the Partition Cannot Be Expanded

  • A partition that is FAT or FAT32 cannot be expanded. For the expansion of a FAT or FAT32 volume to succeed, the volume must first be converted to NTFS by performing step 3 in the "Expand the Operating System Partition" section above.
  • Boot partitions that use software mirroring will not be expanded. You must break the mirror before you use the In-place Repair/Upgrade option.
  • The disk must be basic, not dynamic.
  • The partition expansion cannot use the free space that is separated from the boot partition by another partition. This space includes the free space that resides in an extended partition that is adjacent to the boot partition.
  • The upgrade process requires 650 MB of free space on the boot partition for temporary files. Because the boot partition is extended after the file copy is completed, this method cannot bypass the free space limitation that is required for the upgrade process to begin.
  • The ExtendOemPartition option only expands the boot partition.
  • If you set an invalid size for the partition expansion where the size entered is in megabytes and the current size of the partition added together exceeds the available free space.
For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
250297 How to Install Windows 2000 or Upgrade from Windows 95 or 98
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Article ID: 289876 - Last Review: 01/11/2015 04:03:07 - Revision: 5.0

Microsoft Windows 2000 Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition

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