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Resize an existing Windows partition

Posted on 2011-02-28
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a single 500 GB hard drive on a machine running Windows. There are two partitions, each with 100 GB of disk space. The remainder is unallocated.

I now want to resize both partitions to make them larger. What's the best / safest way to do this?

Can I / should I use gparted on a USB drive?
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Question by:Julian Matz
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16 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Rhyseh
ID: 35003217
It depends on the version of Windows. In 7 you can use the disk management tools. In earlier versions you will have to use a 3rd party application.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:subhashchy
ID: 35003240
which version of windows you are running ?

If windows 7 then you can extend the drive size right from disk management.
incase of xp or 2k3 you can use gparted.. But its always safer to take a backup of drives before such operation..

Personaly i used Partition magic home edittion and it worked fine..
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 35003255
Sorry, I actually meant to say Windows 7. However, the Windows 7 disk management tools won't allow me to resize.

It does allow me to extend my second partition, but not the active primary boot partition that has Windows on it.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:subhashchy
subhashchy earned 250 total points
ID: 35003275
that is because it need "Contigues" free or unallocated space . Mean to say there should be free space after the partition..

I guess You have 2 choice 1) Copy everything from 2nd partition to somewhere (may be in C: if there is some space) and delete 2nd partition. After deleting resize your boot partition as per your needs and create 2nd partition again.

2) Use any third party application. Note that resizing in this situation using third party application is always risky.

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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Rhyseh
ID: 35003308
I believe you can add space before the second partition using windows 7 disk management tools. Once you do this and there is free space after the primary drive you should be able to extend it.
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 35003311
Thanks! Are you saying that if I resized using Windows 7 by deleting second partition, etc. it would be less risky than using gparted, for example?
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 35003335
I can't seem to be able to move the space to behind the boot partition. I don't see any options for it.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:subhashchy
subhashchy earned 250 total points
ID: 35003394
I dont think there is such option as Rhyseh said, Rhyseh i would love to know if that is an option.Could you shade some more light please .

For your answer.. Yes..Its always better to use windows intenal features than relying on third party.
I dont think there is ANY risk in resizing the partition using windows disk manager.

Further, Not just g-parted,but any partition re-size app has to follow steps as similer.
1) As you are going to extend 1 partition so the next partition has to be pushed right side.
2) It will move (or say create a new)  your 2nd partition towards the end.
3) Once it finished moving the partition and get 2nd partition started from desired address it will start moving  data blocks from existing location to new location.
4) Once the data blocks has been moved , there will be free space after 1st drive..it will extend the 1st drive no2.

* Incase the process intruppes whlie the opration is progress there will be no data..
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 35003400
I think I see how it's done now, but it would involve a lot of shrinking partitions, creating partitions, moving files, deleting partitions, and then extending partitions. I think I'd be better off buying a new hard drive :)
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 35003432
I think what I'll do so is delete my second partition and then extend the first.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:subhashchy
ID: 35003471
that would be the best option..
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LVL 70

Accepted Solution

by:
garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 35003774
No need to delete the 2nd partition if you have data on it.

The issue is simple:   Your disk currently "looks" like this:

11111111111112222222222222222222xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

.... where the 1's are the first partition, the 2's the second, and the x's free space.

What you need to do is "slide" the second partition to a point where the amount of free space you want to add to the first partition is between it and the second partition ... i.e. you want it to look like this:

111111111111xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx222222222222222222222xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

==> At that point you can easily resize both partitions.

You can do this easily with Boot-It NG.    Just download the free demo [http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm ];  create a bootable CD using the included MakeDisk utility;  boot to the CD, selecting CANCEL at the first prompt; then OK.    

Now click on Partition Work; highlight the 2nd partition; and click on "Slide".     Set the "free space before" to the amount of space you want to add to the first partition ==> then just wait for it to finish.

Now highlight the first partition and click on ReSize ==> choose the new size (max you can) ... and let it do the resize (this will be VERY quick ... a couple seconds).      Now repeat this for the second partition (it will also be very quick).

Done :-)

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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:subhashchy
ID: 35003802
sir, i understand what you mentioned. I have  a question.
Wouldn't  it will have to move the data (Block level) in order to slide the partition 2 and it will take time..and that will take time depedn on the data...
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 35004041
Obviously it has to move the data -- the "slide" will take a while, depending on how much actual data is in the partition.     But of course if there's data that needs to be preserved, it has to be moved somewhere anyway before the partition can be deleted.

Clearly, if the second partition can simply be deleted (because it doesn't have data that needs to be preserved -- or there's another known-good copy somewhere else), then it would be faster to simply delete the second partition;  then ReSize the first one (using Boot-It,  GParted, or any other good tool);  and then recreate the second partition.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:subhashchy
ID: 35004895
got it..thanks for taking time to explain.
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LVL 21

Author Comment

by:Julian Matz
ID: 35098486
Thanks for your help and advice!
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