Disk Management - Shrink Partition

ByLine
How to Shrink and Create a Partition with Disk Management in Vista
Synopsis
It is possible in Vista to repartition your hard disk by using the Shrink feature in Disk Management. You can shrink an existing partition (volume) to create unallocated disk space, from which you can Create a new partition (volume).
How to Shrink and Create a Partition with Disk Management in Vista

information   Information
It is possible in Vista to repartition your hard disk by using the Shrink feature in Disk Management. You can shrink an existing partition (volume) to create unallocated disk space, from which you can Create a new partition (volume). For more information, see: Windows Help and How-to: Partition and Understanding Disk Partitioning

Partition Type

Description

Primary Partition

A type of partition created on a hard drive that can host an operating system and functions as though it were a physically separate hard drive. Also called a volume. Only up to four primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended partition can be created on a single hard drive. Primary partitions can be used to install and start an operating system. If you want to create more than three partitions, the fourth partition is created as an extended partition. See: Windows Help and How-to: What are system partitions and boot partitions? and The Storage Team at Microsoft - File Cabinet Blog : Understanding the error message "There is not enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation" when you create a volume

Extended Partition

A type of partition on a hard drive that should be used if you want to create more than four Primary partition. Extended partitions can contain multiple logical drives that can be formatted and have drive letters assigned to them. An extended partition is a container that can hold one or more logical drive. Logical drives function like primary partitions except that they cannot be used to start an operating system. This option has been removed in Disk Management for Vista. For how, see: The Storage Team at Microsoft - File Cabinet Blog :How to create an extended partition in Windows Vista (Click Yes for Security Information)
warning   Warning
You will not lose any data on the partition (volume) that you are shrinking. You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.
Tip   Tip
The default location for Disk Management is C:\Windows\System32\diskmgmt.msc.


EXAMPLE: Before and After with a New Partition Volume
One_Volume.jpg
New_Volume.jpg




STEP ONE
To Shrink a Partition

1. Open the Control Panel. (Classic View)​
A) Click on the Administrative Tools icon.​
B) Click on Computer Management.​

2. Click on Continue in the UAC prompt.​
3. In the left pane, click on Disk Management under Storage. (See screenshot below step 4)​
4. Right click on the volume (EX: C:\ ) your want to shrink and click on Shrink Volume.​
Disk_Management_Shrink.jpg

5. You will now see this for a moment. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: It is verifying that there is enough free space on the disk to create a new partition.
Querying.jpg

6. Enter the amount of space in MB (1024 MB = 1 GB) to shrink by, from the available free space on this volume, for the new partition and click Shrink. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: The value in the Total Size Before Shrink box indicates the current size of the partition and the value in the Size of Available Shrink Space indicates the maximum size that you can allocate to the new second partition.
warning   Warning
The size of the available space can be restricted by the amount of space currently allocated to on the hard drive for the virtual memory page file, System Restore max size, and hibernation files. The location of the files on the hard drive plays a big part here because these files are marked as unmovable, and Disk Management is unable to relocate them. As such, if these unmovable files are located in the middle of the total amount of free space on the disk, then only the amount of free space on the other side (to the right) of these files will actually be available for the new partition. This will result in you showing that you have x amount of free space, but not being able to use it for your partition. The only way around this is to use a 3rd party hard drive partition management program, or setup the partition when installing Vista.
warning   Warning

If you wish to force the partition to shrink, then see: the How-To Geek: Working Around Windows Vista's "Shrink Volume" Inadequacy Problems
Shrink.jpg

7. After a few minutes, you will see the new unallocated (unformated) partition. (See screenshot below)​





STEP TWO
To Create a New Partition from Unallocated Space

8. Right click on the new Unallocated partition and click on New Simple Volume. (See screenshot below)​
Disk_Management_Simple.jpg

9. The New Simple Volume Wizard will now appear. Just click on Next. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This wizard will make the new unallocated partition usable when finished.
Simple_Wizard_Welcome.jpg

10. Enter the volume size you want for the new partition and click Next. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Unless you are going to shrink this new partition, you should use the Maximum disk space in MB.
Specify_Volume_Size.jpg

11. Dot Assign the following drive letter. (See screenshot below)​
A) Select a drive letter for the new partition.​
B) Click on Next.​
Drive_Letter.jpg


12. Dot Format this volume using the following settings. (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: This may take a while to format the new partition volume.
A) Enter a name for the new partition under Volume label.​
B) To save time, check Perform a quick format.​
C) Click on Next.​
Format_New_Partition.jpg


13. Click on Finish when the Succesfully Completed window pops up. (See screenshot below)​
Completing_Wizard.jpg

14. You will now see the Disk Management console with the new partition volume ready to be used. (See screenshot below)​
Disk_Management_New_Partition.jpg

15. Close Computer Management.​
16. Click on Computer in the Start Menu and see your new partition volume. (See screenshot below)​
New_Volume.jpg

That's it,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Hi Qwerty,

I have not used these programs myself, but Acronis should be able to safely create the partition you wanted.

Shawn
 
Hello I have problem to format my new partition this error is :you can not create a new volume in this unallocated space because the disk already contains the maximum of the partition.
 
Hello ARTADJ,

It sounds like you have reached the maximum of 4 primary partitions for a single hard drive. To regain the space you will need to extend the drive to the left in Disk Management back into this space.

Sorry,
Shawn
 
Hello ARTADJ,

It sounds like you have reached the maximum of 4 primary partitions for a single hard drive. To regain the space you will need to extend the drive to the left in Disk Management back into this space.

Sorry,
Shawn
Thanks Shawn can you explain for me what can i do now ?can i make new partition or no?
Again thanks for your answer.
I have dell inspiron1525 laptop i have only 2 partition one of them is recovery drive D
and one of them is drive C Total hard drive capacity is 150GIG 10 gig for recovery and 136 Gig for Drive C.and i want shrink Drive C and add another drive like F.
 
Quick question - I want to shrink capacity in one partition and add the space to an EXISTING partition. Is that possible?

I'm trying to have 1 large primary partition on my hard drive. (OS and data) and one small one (web server data). I don't "get" why Dell produces a hard drive partitioned like they did mine, below. If someone can clue me into why they did it this way, maybe it's best to leave it as is. But for now, I don't get it.

I have the following:

C: 288 Gb
D: 298 Gb
E: 10 Gb

I'd like:
C: 550 Gb
D: 50 Gb

Can I do this by shrinking D to 0 and allocating 40 to E: and the rest to C:?

Thanks,

Nutts0327
 
Hi nutts0327, and welcome to Vista Forums. You will need to copy anything you do not want to lose from D: & E: to C: , then delete D: and E: . Now, Extend C: into all of the space from D: & E: except for 50 Gb to make that the new one large 550 Gb C: drive. Next, create the new simple volume with the left over 50 Gb space for the new D: . It's a bit of a shuffle, but it should do the trick for you.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Thanks Shawn can you explain for me what can i do now ?can i make new partition or no?
Again thanks for your answer.
I have dell inspiron1525 laptop i have only 2 partition one of them is recovery drive D
and one of them is drive C Total hard drive capacity is 150GIG 10 gig for recovery and 136 Gig for Drive C.and i want shrink Drive C and add another drive like F.
ARTADJ,

How much space were you trying to allocate for this new F drive from C ?

Since you only have two partitions, you should be able to shrink C: and create a new simple volume with that shrunk space as the new F: drive.
 
Brink, thanks. After posting my note, (not knowing you'd respond so quickly!) I tried shrinking D: and Extending C:. It wouldn't let me do this. "Extend" was greyed out as an option when I selected C:.

I might have left off an important detail - you tell me. Both E: and C: are on "Disk 0" and D is on "Disk 1" when I look at it in the Disk Management tool. I believe that this is still physically a single hard drive but cannot swear to it unless I open the tower, which I'd prefer not to do, as it may invalidate my Dell warranty.

I didn't try to "delete" drive D: as you suggested yet. Before I do, I just wanted to make sure I disclosed the Disk 0/Disk 1 point. Let me know if that changes anything (like if there were a rule that you could only extend a partition that's on the same drive, or if there's no way to shrink/extend at the drive level...)

Thanks, and thanks for such a quick response.

Nutts0327
 
Nutts0327,

LOL, yeah that would be an important detail. ;)

It would depend on if it is two drives or not. If it two drives, then you would only be able to combine C & E.

If it is one drive, then D was created using some 3rd party program to make it a Extended Partition. To delete the D partition if you cannot delete it from Disk Management:

1. Open command prompt.
2. Type Diskpart.exe and press Enter.
3. Click Continue for UAC prompt.
4. In new DISKPART command prompt window, type select d: and press Enter.
5. Type partition d: and press Enter.
6. Type delete D: and press Enter.
7. Type Exit and press Enter.
8. Close the original command prompt window.
9. Delete the E partition in Disk Management.

You should now be able to what was described:

You will need to copy anything you do not want to lose from D: & E: to C: , then delete D: and E: . Now, Extend C: into all of the space from D: & E: except for 50 Gb to make that the new one large 550 Gb C: drive. Next, create the new simple volume with the left over 50 Gb space for the new D: .
 
Thanks Shawn can you explain for me what can i do now ?can i make new partition or no?
Again thanks for your answer.
I have dell inspiron1525 laptop i have only 2 partition one of them is recovery drive D
and one of them is drive C Total hard drive capacity is 150GIG 10 gig for recovery and 136 Gig for Drive C.and i want shrink Drive C and add another drive like F.
ARTADJ,

How much space were you trying to allocate for this new F drive from C ?

Since you only have two partitions, you should be able to shrink C: and create a new simple volume with that shrunk space as the new F: drive.
Shawn,
drive c has a 83 gig free but when i want a shrink drive c the maximum space available is 29gig i dont now why but i want 50 gig for my new partition .
 
ARTADJ,

That space difference is for the allocated space set aside on the C drive for restore points, virtual memory page file, shadow copy, hibernation file, etc... That space cannot be moved or used for anything else, so you were only able to use 29 Gig of the total free space.

The only way to get more space is to delete unneeded files on the C: drive. :(

You might consider getting another drive though to make it easier and give you more space. They are pretty cheap right now.
 
That space difference is for the allocated space set aside on the C drive for restore points, virtual memory page file, shadow copy, hibernation file, etc... That space cannot be moved or used for anything else, so you were only able to use 29 Gig of the total free space.

The only way to get more space is to delete unneeded files on the C: drive. :(

You might consider getting another drive though to make it easier and give you more space. They are pretty cheap right now.
Shown i try to install disk director suite maybe it`s better than vista partition creator and sorry i have another question how i can delete unnecessary file i used disk cleanup and sorry what`s hibernation file cleaner can i delete this file in disk cleanup because this file is 2 gig .do you have another way to delete unnecessary file.
 
Last edited:
ARTADJ,

The hibernation file is where everything is stored when your computer goes into hibernation instead of sleep. If you do not use the hibernation or hybrid sleep mode, then you will not need this. For more, see:

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/165508-hibernation-enable-disable.html

The only other way is to uninstall any programs that you do not use, and/or delete and files (Ex: setup files, documents, music, video, etc...) you do not want or need anymore.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
ARTADJ,

The hibernation file is where everything is stored when your computer goes into hibernation instead of sleep. If you do not use the hibernation or hybrid sleep mode, then you will not need this. For more, see:

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/165508-hibernation-enable-disable.html

The only other way is to uninstall any programs that you do not use, and/or delete and files (Ex: setup files, documents, music, video, etc...) you do not want or need anymore.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
Thanks for your help. i installed the disk director suite but it is trial version and i cant make my partition.
 
Your welcome ARTADJ. I hope you are able to free up enough space to do it through Disk Management.

Shawn
 
Brink, if you can imagine, they slipped one by me. Apparently, this is a 2 HD system with 2 300gb drives.

Not a happy Dell customer right now.... Not at all.

Got a tip for how to push my shared documents directory to this D drive?

Maybe they look at it as a practical thing - put all your data on C: and then back it up to D:. My only issue with that is that if your machine takes a surge hit or anything electrical, it's going to belly up and fry both drives - not just C: That's why I prefer an attached HD that can be detached when it's not being used to back up the system drive.

Oh well.

nutts0327
 
ARTADJ,

I see your problem. You already had 4 partitions (71MB, D , C, 250or2.50GB) on that drive (Disk 0). That is the max per drive. If you have a Vista Recovery DVD to reinstall your Vista with, then you not have to have the D Recovery partition. You could combine it and the 71 MB one to give allow you to create the other partition.

Shawn
 
Brink, if you can imagine, they slipped one by me. Apparently, this is a 2 HD system with 2 300gb drives.

Not a happy Dell customer right now.... Not at all.

Got a tip for how to push my shared documents directory to this D drive?

Maybe they look at it as a practical thing - put all your data on C: and then back it up to D:. My only issue with that is that if your machine takes a surge hit or anything electrical, it's going to belly up and fry both drives - not just C: That's why I prefer an attached HD that can be detached when it's not being used to back up the system drive.

Oh well.

nutts0327
Nutts0327,

You can change the location in the folder's Properties page to the new drive. This tutorial will show you how to do it if it is your C:\Users\(User Name)\Documents folder, but you can still use step 4 in METHOD ONE for any other folder. Just be sure to give share permission again for the folder at the new location.

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/107990-personal-user-shell-folders-move-location.html

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
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