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Extend the OS Partition

Posted on 2011-03-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I currently am running out of free space on my C: drive, which is where my OS is installed.  I'm looking for a tool that will allow me to take a partition that is blank (yet on the same physical disk) and merge it with the OS partition thus extending the amount of free space.
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Question by:jhaysbns
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by:Aaron Tomosky
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What os?
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by:garycase
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"...  take a partition that is blank (yet on the same physical disk) and merge it with the OS partition thus extending the amount of free space. "   ==>  You can only do this if the free space is immediately after the partition you want to extend.

For example, if your disk has 2 partitions, A & B, and a bunch of free space, it would "look" like this:

AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBBBBBxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

... where the A's represent partition A, B's partition B, and the x's are free space.

In this case, you could easily extend B, but could not extend A without additional partition operations.   To make B larger, you could use a partition manager to simply ReSize it -- it would be a simple (and VERY quick) operation.      If, however, you wanted to make A larger, you'd first need to "slide" B to the right, so there was free space after A.      You could slide B as much as you wanted -- all the way to the end, or only by the amount of free space you wanted to add to A.

After a "slide" operation, the disk would look like this:

AAAAAAAAAAAAAxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

... and you could then ReSize A as desired.      A "slide" operation will take a while, as all of the data in partition B has to be moved.

These operations can easily be done with the free demo of Boot-It NG  [http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm ]

Download it;  make a bootable CD using the included MakeDisk utility;  boot to the CD, selecting CANCEL at the first prompt; then OK.      Click on Partition Work;  and then you're ready to go.     If you simply need to resize a partition, highlight it and click on ReSize.       If you need to slide a partition, highlight it; click on Slide;  and when prompted enter the amount of free space you want before or after the partition (you choose one -- the other will be automatic).    Then just wait for the operations to finish.
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garycase earned 350 total points
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A couple of other thoughts ...

=>  If there are more than two partitions, the concept is exactly the same -- you may simply need to "slide" more than one partition to end up with the free space you need.    For example, if the disk "looked" like this:

AAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCCCCCxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

... and you wanted to increase the size of A, you'd first have to slide C, then slide B, and finally you could resize A

If the free space was BEFORE the partition you wanted to extend ... e.g. something like this:

AAAAAAAAAAAxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

... and you wanted to extend B, you'd have to slide B to the left;  then you could resize it.

.... and so forth.

Also, if the partition immediately after the one you want to extend contains data you don't need, you could simply Delete that partition, then do the resize.    For example, if the disk looks like this:

AAAAAAAAAAAAABBBBBBBBBBBBBBBxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

... and you can safely delete B (either because you don't need the data on it;  or you have a complete backup of it);   then the fastest way to extend A is to just delete B;  resize A;  then recreate partition B and copy the data back to it.
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by:nobus
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i found paragon disk manager user friendly for that :  http://www.paragon-software.com/home/pm-personal/download.html
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by:noxcho
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Really the tool you need depends on Windows OS you use.
Sometimes you can do this with Windows Disk Management tools and sometimes you need tool as suggested by Nobus - Paragon Partition Manager 11 or Hard Disk Manager 2011.
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by:jhaysbns
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I'll give garycase and nobus' suggestions a try and see how they go.  The immediate operating system I am needing to do this is a Windows 7 x64 machine, but will eventually need to do this to a Server 2003 os
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by:garycase
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OS doesn't matter with Boot-It  ==> you boot to its own environment and it simply works.    I've used virtually all of the major partition management utilities -- Ghost, Acronis, Paragon, etc. -- and while the interface is less "geeky" with many of them, Boot-It is simply rock-solid for partition operations.     I also avoid "live" partition managers (i.e. those that run from within Windows & try to modify partitions while the system is running).
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by:PowerEdgeTech
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This can easily be done from Windows 7.  In Disk Management (right-click Computer, Manage), then right-click on the C: partition, and as long as the space to the right of it is showing as Unpartitioned Space, then choose Extend, and you're done.

Server 2003 needs special software to extend - Dell's ExtPart (if a Dell server), GParted, or even a Windows Vista/7 or Server 2008/R2 DVD.
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