How to Resize Windows NTFS Partition without any Data Loss

Mack JohnData Scientist
I am a Data Recovery Specialist working as a software developer.
NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficiency etc.
Need for resizing the NTFS Partition
Due to several advantages provided by NTFS file system, it is the mostly used, replacing the FAT file system. The main reason for resizing the NTFS partitions is to maximize the performance by shrinking or extending its size. Another reason for resizing is when a new OS needs to be installed but there is no enough space for a new partition. In such cases, we can shrink the Windows NTFS volume to free up space for creating new partition. We can also perform the expand operation to use all the available free space that are no longer in use.

Methods to resize the NTFS Partition
Some of the available methods for resizing the NTFS partitions without any data loss are as follows:
1. Using Disk Management
The Disk Management is the in-built utility present in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows OS for file size management of NTFS partitions. In order to use Disk Management, we will follow the steps defined below:
  • Go to ‘My Computer’ and right-click to it to view the list
  • Choose ‘Manage’ option from the menu
  • Computer management window will appear, select ‘Disk Management’ under Storage Tab
  • Alternatively, Disk Management option can be accessed by following the path: Start -> Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management ->Disk Management
  • Disk Management will show all the available partitions of the disk drives present in the system.
  • Select any desired partition and right-click on it and user can select one of the two options i.e., Extend (to increase the size) or Shrink (to reduce the size) as per the requirements.
  • Extend Volume will only be available when there is an unallocated space near the partition.
  • Clicking on Shrink Volume will require you to input the amount of the space to shrink. It should be kept in mind that we cannot exceed the storage size that is available for shrink space.
  • After selecting the desired size, click on Shrink option to start the process. Windows system will reduce the size of the partition as defined.
  • For extend Volume operation, Click on Next and select the disk from where we will use the space to extend the volume. Start the extend operation by providing the size details and click Next. Select Finish button to complete the process.

2. Using Command Line
Microsoft also provides an ability called Diskpart  to resize the volumes directly using command line. It is mainly used for partitioning the disks/volumes on system. To resize the NTFS partition using diskpart, following steps needs to be followed:
  • Go to Start Menu, type Diskpart in the search box and press enter key
  • Select Continue when Windows system ask for allowing the program to run
  • Before performing shrink or expand operation, we need to select the volume we need to work with
  • list volume’ command can be used to check all the available partitions and their IDs
  • Use Select volume ID command to select the volume with the ID found in the list
  • We can either use shrink command to start the shrink process of the volume with the maximum size it can have.
  • Shrink can be used with other two arguments: desired= is used to shrink the volume by the desired size in MB and minimum= to shrink it with the specified amount in MB.
  • Similarly, extend command will be used to extend the volume with all the available free space. It can be used with two arguments: size= for extending the volume by desired amount and disk= to specify the disk that has free space to extend the volume.

NTFS, being the mostly used file system in most of the Windows system needs to ensure that partition size is managed properly, which demands occasional resizing of the NTFS partitions. The article has been aimed to focus on the possible solutions on how t0 resize the NTFS partitions without any type of data loss.
Mack JohnData Scientist
I am a Data Recovery Specialist working as a software developer.

Comments (2)

Thomas Zucker-ScharffSenior Data Analyst

I have used Paragon Hard Disk Manager and partition magic for these operations.  I used Paragon server suite to repartition a 2003r2 windows server sometime ago with excellent results (no loss of data and a total of 1:45 hours downtime - on a saturday).
Sriram KWintel Administrator

Thank you! very helpful

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