Disk Management - Shrink Partition

How to Shrink and Create a Partition with Disk Management in Vista
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


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

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.​

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.

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

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

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)​

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.

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.

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

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.​

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

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

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

That's it,

Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink


I'm assuming that the 127.76 GB partition was suppose to be the D: drive? Correct me if I'm wrong. If so, then somehow it was converted to a EISA partiton instead of a normal Basic Primary partition.

Are you able to right click on the 127.76 GB partition and add a drive letter to it?
I shrunk my C: drive and at the end of the wizard I checked quick format. The wizard disappeared and a new box popped up to format saying I had to format it to use it. I checked quick format again and then was told that I couldn't format it because it was in use. So I closed it. Yet when I look at it in Disk Management it says I have a Simple Basic NFTS H: 78.12 GB Healthy (Primary Partition).

So, what is going on? I am afraid to do anything to it right now, or to shut down my computer, even.
Hello Oldroser,

You may have just accidentally opened the wizard twice giving you the in use error. As long as Disk Management shows it has a healthy partition you should be fine. :)
Is there a way to extend primary volume (drive C:)? I only have 200MB free space on drive C: but I enough free space on my drive D:. . . please help. . .
Hello Jsomodio, and welcome to Vista Forums.

Could you post a screenshot of your Disk Management window? This will help see what your drive layout is and what options you may have to able to expand the C: drive or not into the D: drive. :)
Hi Brink,

I apologies for this very late reply, I was so very busy last week, I was not able open my inbox. Here is the sreenshot of my Disk management. screenshotjulius.jpg .

I hope you can find a solution to this.

Thanks, Julius
Is there a way to extend primary volume (drive C:)? I only have 200MB free space on drive C: but I enough free space on my drive D:. . . please help. . .
Hi Brink,

I apologies for this very late reply, I was so very busy last week, I was not able open my inbox. Here is the sreenshot of my Disk management.View attachment 17730.

I hope you can find a solution to this.

Thanks, Julius
No problem Julius,

You will not be able to use Disk Management to extend the C: drive, but you should be able to using a 3rd party program like Gparted or Partition Wizard Home Edition. Just do not mess with the 13.81 EISA partition. That is your OEM Vista factory recovery partition. Without it, you would not be able to restore (reinstall) Vista.

Hope this helps,
Hello. Don't really have a problem, just wanna make sure of a couple of things b4 i do anything. My laptop came with 2 partitions... each 232-ish gb.. first one with windows, second one has the recovery things i need to restore to factory state. First I used the disk management to shrink C:. Max available to shrink was about 115-116 so half, same ratio as in the tutorial (curious why can't you shrink it more? perhaps only with third party program). All things well i got the new partition, however is it a problem it says it is a logical drive, instead of primary partition as in the tutorial?.

In any case last thing, the other partition the laptop came with, has the HDD recovery folder in it and it takes up arround 7 gbs. When i try to shrink that partition it says quite correctly it's able to shrink by 225gb-ish which is the total- what HDD recovery takes up. Doing the shrinking would not affect the recovery thing i'm hoping:)?.
This drive is "Healthy(Primary Parition)" doesn't have that Eisa configuration characteristic a previous user posted:D

Sry for so many nubish questions, just want to be clear on some things.
Thanks for your time, cheers. :D
Hello BK, and welcome to Vista Forums.

It's most likely a logical partition since it was created between the two partitions, but I would need to see a screenshot of your Disk Management to be sure. It will still work just fine as a logical partition though.

I would not touch your recovery partition. Doing so could render it unusable. To be safe you should create a set of recovery discs as a backup in case something should happen to the HDD or the recovery partition. You should have a "OEM Recovery Manager" type program shortcut in your Start Menu to use to do so.

Hope this helps,
Yes well, it ain't like on other systems where they make a partition for the recovery roughly the same size as the recovery thing. On mine recovery folder is like 7 gb on a 232 size partition. I've already used the Toshiba Recovery Media Creator to backup on 2 dvds. Actually i could just as well delete the recovery on the hdd as i've already saved it.

To sum up... 2 questions.
1. Leaving the partition with the recovery on it intact,full size... and filling it up with data leaves the recovery thing fully functional right? it's not as it would need 1 partition just for itself.
2. Disk management can only shrink the windows drive to 115-ish out of 232. For further shrinking i would definitely need third party program?
Unless you just really needed the hard drive space, I would leave the recovery partition to be safe. Burned DVDs can tend to get damaged, lost, or no longer work for some odd reason. If that should happen, you would have a problem without the recovery partition.

Q1) I wouldn't touch or save anything to the recovery partition to avoid it becoming unusable. It needs that extra space for working purpose while doing a factory restore.

Q2) Yes, for further shinking, you would need a 3rd party program.
"Unless you just really needed the hard drive space" that's really it isn't it?:D Not touching that space would mean 232gb unused out of my 460 gb hard disk which is half... huge in my oppinion. I think I'm quite willing to risk having to do a windows reinstall if smth should happen. That's why instead of delaying and saving stuff on that big partition with the recovery and risk smth happen to it latter, i'd probably rather partition it now... leave a 10 gb space for the recovery alone, let it stay there by itself. And if smth should happen the DVD's are quite fresh and almost definitely undamaged :D able to work. Will see anyway.
Thanks for your help. Happy new year mate:) and every1.

P.S. Restoring the system with the disks i've created would mean not only the windows 64 bit reinstall but it would also come with the additional software i had when i recorded those disks. Only a clean windows reinstall would lead to the "cleaning" of the junk software the producers put on the laptop i reckon?. Getting rid of those speeds up the system as i've heard
You might've missed the latter edit in the PS i've posted b4 your answer:D last thing i''m interested in. Tnx for your help again