There is a production table which was partitioned by someone in our company. Some partitioning files was wrongly located to different disk drive.

I have to move those files to the disk where they have to be. Those partitioned files for 2020 and 2021 are on production. How can I move those files to the main disk drive without stopping the database or services?

  • The files should be empty so just drop them and add the new ones to the place you want. – Denis Rubashkin Nov 4 '19 at 9:06
  • As far as i know, there was some data on those files. Is there a way to save the data before dropping them? @DenisRubashkin – Dbo Nov 4 '19 at 9:09
  • 1
    If there is some data inside a database file, that file can't be dropped. If you tried you would get an error ( I wouldn't try to check it out on the production though ). Anyway, you can add a new file to the filegroup and then use a command DBCC SHRINKFILE (N'OldFileLogicalName' , EMPTYFILE) to move data from the old file. – Denis Rubashkin Nov 4 '19 at 9:25
  • @DenisRubashkin Thank you very much for the help and informations you shared with me. Will this command " DBCC SHRINKFILE (N'OldFileLogicalName' , EMPTYFILE) " move the data new logical file? If so, where should i define the destination logical filename in the command? Thank you. – Dbo Nov 4 '19 at 9:50

To move a data file, if you don't have a maintain window, you should perform several steps:

Add a new file to the filegroup (Add Data or Log Files to a Database):

ALTER DATABASE [YourDatabaseName]
      NAME = N'NewFileLogicalName'
    , FILENAME = N'C:\Data\NewFileName.ndf'
    , SIZE = 8MB
    , FILEGROWTH = 128MB 
) TO FILEGROUP [YourFilegroupName];

Empty the old file (DBCC SHRINKFILE):


Remove the old file (Delete Data or Log Files from a Database):

ALTER DATABASE [YourDatabaseName]
REMOVE FILE OldFileLogicalName;

If a logical name matters (ALTER DATABASE File and Filegroup Options):

ALTER DATABASE [YourDatabaseName]
    NAME = N'NewFileLogicalName'
    , NEWNAME = N'OldFileLogicalName'

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