How to: shrink a volume or partition in Windows
Starting with Vista and 7, Windows operating system has a feature that allows you to compress (or expand) the size of primary partition and logical drives. This can be useful if you find yourself in a situation when you need an extended partition and you don’t have additional drives. By shrink a volume you free up space on the disk; this Unallocated space can then be used to create any other required partitions. Today we’ll learn how to: shrink a basic volume or partition using Windows GUI, but for more advanced users we also describe the method using the command line.
Before beginning, make sure you made a backup of all important data.
To shrink a volume or partition by using the tool «disk Management»
If you have Windows 7, click start, in search box type «disk management» and press Enter. If you are a Windows 8 user.x, click the right mouse button in the lower left corner of the screen (or press the key combination Win + X) and select «disk Management».
«Disk management» is the place where you will find all the drives connected to your computer (hard drives, USB drives, CD / DVD, etc.)
Select the primary partition you want to compress, click on it, right-click and choose «Compress».
In the result, the operating system will begin the process of identifying available space for compression.
Specify the amount of space that you’d like to return and click «Compress». Remember that the amount of space, in megabytes, enter: for example, 1 GB is 1024 MB.
Exempt (or Unallocated) in such a way the space you can use to create a new partition.
To shrink a volume or partition using command line
To open a command prompt in Windows 7, go to start menu, type «cmd» in the search results, click the right mouse button on cmd.exe and select «Run as administrator». In Windows 8.x right-click the mouse in the lower left corner of the screen and select «Command prompt (admin)».
Enter diskpart and press Enter.
In the DISKPART prompt, type list volume. This command displays a list of all drives on the computer.
Now type select volume and the volume number which you want to compress. For example, type select volume 1 and press Enter.
Enter shrink querymax and press Enter. This command allows Windows to determine the maximum amount of space that can be compressed.
Now you have two options: first, you can simply type the shrink, and then Windows will compress all the space available; second, you can specify the desired amount of compression. In the second case, you need to enter the command shrink desired=objecth (example: shrink desired=2048). You can enter any number that does not exceed the value specified in the line «Maximum number of re-used bytes». Thus, with this command you can specify the exact amount of space that you want to compress.
If you do it right, then after the operation you will see the message:
DiskPart successfully completed a reduction of volumes on: chillay
That’s it! In order to properly complete the work in DISKPART, type exit and press Enter.
What to consider:
- When you try to shrink the primary partition or logical drive, you can’t compress a section on the layout area of unmovable files (for example, the storage area of shadow copies, hibernation, paging, etc.) Assume that if the disk with Windows there is a «first» in a blank space, and then there are unmovable files, followed by «second» empty space, you can compress the section just before the end of the second empty space, as in the middle are unmovable files.
- If it is discovered a large number of bad clusters, the compression will fail.
- You can use compression for primary partitions and logical drives or partitions with NTFS file system.