How to Shrink and Extend Disk Partition in Windows 7 or Vista

Here I come again with an useful tutorial on how to extend a disk partition in Windows 7 or Vista using the disk management snap-in available in Computer Management tools.

It often happens with us, We create a 30-40 GB partition for primary OS and later on when we install lots of software, the space crisis begins, partition gets full and bugs us with the warning of low disk space. So, to solve this bothering issue, we can use the free space available on other partition of disk and add it to the partition in which we need more disk space.

Note: if you are using disk as Basic then only it will work. Dynamic disks doesn’t support the shrink/extend volume options.

Lets start the tutorial, Follow these steps to successfully extend the disk partition.

1. Click Start and type compmgmt.msc and hit Enter, or click on Control Panel and open Administrative tools and select Computer Management from the list of options available.

2. In Computer Management, select Storage and open it, double click to open Disk Management Snap-in.

3. Now, right click the partition from which you want to squeeze the free disk space which you will want to add in the other disk partition and click on Shrink Volume option.

4. By default it will give you option wipe all the free space available on the partition but its better to leave the 5-8 GB free disk space. Click on Shrink button to complete the process.

5. A new Unallocated partition will be created and available to use.

disk management in windows 7

6. Now right click on the partition which you want to extend and click on Extend Volume option.

Extend disk volume in windows 7

7. The Extend Volume Wizard will run and show you the available disk space available to use. Select the Unallocated disk space and click Next.

Extend disk volume in windows 7

8. Click on Finish button and wait for while until Disk Management completes the process.

Extend disk volume in windows 7

9. You have now successfully extended your disk partition. The partition with the extended disk space will be shown in the disk detail area.

Extend disk size in windows 7

This option is available in Windows Vista and 7 only. For earlier version of Windows, you need to use third party Partition Manager software.

About Amit Bhawani

6 comments

  1. But the tool is unable to merge active system partition. I’ll use Gparted for this purpose. It can help in editing partition types too,.

  2. Hi ,

    Great tutorial indeed.

    I little doubt though..you mentioned “Note: if you are using disk as static then only it will work. Dynamic disks doesn’t support the shrink/extend volume options” . I believe there is no “static Disk” thing exist in windows. As far as I know there are two type of Disks. Basic and Dynamic disk. .Dynamic disk does support extend and shrink option from windows 2003 itself. In fact scalability is one of the best thing for Dynamic disk. There are couple of microsoft KB which will support this .

    I would love to hear from you
    Thank you.

  3. Sorry, My bad, I used Static word instead of ‘Basic’. thanks for pointing it out… error corrected!

    A little more info,
    Problem occurs when you create all the partition of your basic disk at the time of installing Windows, It marks all partitions as primary and the maximum number of primary partition allows per disk is 4. Then when you create a new partition by shrinking one of those partition, its prompts that creating a new partition will convert the disk in to dynamic, and this will damages the current windows installation. so, it will not work in this condition also!

  4. hi, NItin, You are welcome.

    A little bit information from me too.. I would like to mention the reason of “maximum number of primary partition allows per disk is 4”.
    The Basic disk or MBR based disk has something called an MBR. An MBR is a 512 Bytes value on the Sector #0 on each HDD> It has basicly 2 parts, Boot executable code and a partition table. as the name says the partition table holds the information about the partitions on the disk. The partition table consist of 64 bytes (16 bytes for one partition) which limites a MBR disk to have max of 4 partitions (primary). We can create an extended partition and then inside that extended partition n number of logical volumes. The extended partition itself has a seprate partition table which does not have any limit like the MBR so it can hole n number of logical volume info.

    rest of the 448 bytes of MBR is the boot executable code, which scans the partition table to find the active or say system partition. it finds so by seraching for the hex value 80 in start of each of the partition table entry. 80 means bootable or active whther 00 means non bootable parition. only one partition can be active or start value with 80. The Rest of the partiton table entry goes as follow.
    bootmarker, partition starting sector, relative sector, C, H, S , partitoon filesystem value, partition ending secotr, C, H , S (the order can be a bit age pichhe 🙂 not remember for sure )

    Well thats about the 4 partition limit.

    As far as you said the current installation is damaged by shrinking disk, I think i can do a long argument on it and show live examples. However, The information you provided in the article is for basic users and that is well explained with great screenshots so argument does not make sense. I do appreciate your efforts in replying to the first comment and your answers sounds like I am talking with someone knowledgeable. You does have my email address, I believe it would be really nice to be friend with you. Please send request on gtalk.

    Excuse my typo please :).

  5. @Arup , If you are talking about the default 100 MB partion (System partiton) which comes with windows 7 and win 2k8 R2 versions , Its is really not recommended to mess with it. And by chance, If this partition is gone Boot from a USB bootable thumb drive (should be NT6.0 or above) or a windows 7 installation DVD and execute bcdboot.exe C:\windows /s C: and it will take care of it. It will create all neccery bcd entries and files. For others readers, using gprated or any third party partition management utility will risk you data so “backup” if you think your data is important before going for those utilities..Ask about their success rates with real peoples who deals with it. you will see what i mean

  6. Yup this article is for general Windows users, as experts do not require this!! you are already in my FB Profile, drop a message anytime!! Its facebook.com/nitinagarwal1988

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.