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Cannot shrink partition in Vista!

    Question


  • I am trying to create a new partition in Vista to reload XP (never should have deleted in the first place). Problem is, when I try to shrink the partition size, it will only allow me to shrink it by 1GB. The drive I am trying to shrink has 45GB of available space. Furthermore, I have defragged the volume, deleted all shadow copies, and ensured that no pagefiles are stored on the volume that I am trying to shrink. I’ve been trying to use the built in Vista partitioning utility, but after that didn’t work, I moved on to Acronis Disk Director (which gave the same error). Anyone have any clue of how to fix this? Thanks a ton.
    Thursday, March 08, 2007 9:18 AM

All replies

  • Anyone...anyone?
    Friday, March 09, 2007 4:51 AM
  • Did you solve this problem? I am stuck as well. 35GB free but can only shrink by 48MB. I turned off pagefiles, crash dumps, hibernation, restore points to no effect.
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:35 PM
  • Did you guys solve this problem? I'm having the same issue. Please let me know if you fixed it and how.

    Thanks
    Saturday, March 24, 2007 3:38 AM
  • There has been no update since to this orignal post? Please advise as I have the same issue and it would be very helpful to have a solution provided.

    Thanks

     

    • Proposed as answer by Andy Song Friday, October 30, 2009 8:56 AM
    Sunday, March 25, 2007 10:15 PM
  • Have you tried to shrink the partition in cmd?

     

    cmd.exe

     

    -diskpart

    -shrink querymax

    -shrink desired=(size in MB) minimum=(size in MB)

     

     

     

    Thursday, March 29, 2007 4:30 PM
  • Same issue here. Its only allowing me 173MB but 15GB are free! I assume it has something to do with fragmented data on the drive, but I've run defrag and no change.
    Wednesday, April 04, 2007 2:57 PM
  • Having the exact same issue here. Have disabled pagefile and System restore. Still no luck. It even tells me I can shrink up to 24GB, but I'm only trying for 9GB. I get an error every time and it asks me to restart. What a pain!
    Sunday, April 08, 2007 7:50 PM
  • Once again I have been disappointed by MS.  Diskpart Shrink only works sometimes and when it does, it doesn't want to shrink by the requested amount.  Something that is free, reliable and works every time is the Linux Gparted Live CD.  Very easy to use!
    Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:23 PM
  • Thats a bit vague but I worked through it

    1. go to start bar and type cmd into field
    2. select cmd icon and run as administrator
    3. Commands in order are:

    cd c:\
    diskpart
    select disk=0
    select partition=1
    shrink querymax
    shrink desired=(MB) minimum=(MB)

    Unfortunately, this did not fix my error.... heres what happened:

    *launch cmd as admin*
    **************************************


    Setting SDK environment relative to C:\Program Files\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v6.0
    .
    Targeting Windows Vista x86 DEBUG


    C:\Windows\system32>diskpart

    Microsoft DiskPart version 6.0.6000
    Copyright (C) 1999-2007 Microsoft Corporation.
    On computer: TACHIKOMA

    DISKPART> list disk

      Disk ###  Status      Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
      --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---
      Disk 0    Online       186 GB   504 KB

    DISKPART> list partition

    There is no disk selected to list partitions.
    Select a disk and try again.

    DISKPART> list volume

      Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
      ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
      Volume 0     F                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
      Volume 1     E   SIMCITY4     CDFS   DVD-ROM      557 MB  Healthy
      Volume 2     C                NTFS   Partition    178 GB  Healthy    System
      Volume 3     D   HP_RECOVERY  NTFS   Partition   6747 MB  Healthy
      Volume 4     B   XP           NTFS   Partition   1812 MB  Healthy

    DISKPART> select disk=0

    Disk 0 is now the selected disk.

    DISKPART> list partition

      Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
      -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
      Partition 1    Primary            178 GB    32 KB
      Partition 2    Primary           6747 MB   178 GB
      Partition 3    Primary           1812 MB   185 GB

    DISKPART> select partition=1

    Partition 1 is now the selected partition.

    DISKPART> select volume=2

    Volume 2 is the selected volume.

    DISKPART> list volume

      Volume ###  Ltr  Label        Fs     Type        Size     Status     Info
      ----------  ---  -----------  -----  ----------  -------  ---------  --------
      Volume 0     F                       DVD-ROM         0 B  No Media
      Volume 1     E   SIMCITY4     CDFS   DVD-ROM      557 MB  Healthy
    * Volume 2     C                NTFS   Partition    178 GB  Healthy    System
      Volume 3     D   HP_RECOVERY  NTFS   Partition   6747 MB  Healthy
      Volume 4     B   XP           NTFS   Partition   1812 MB  Healthy

    DISKPART> list partition

      Partition ###  Type              Size     Offset
      -------------  ----------------  -------  -------
    * Partition 1    Primary            178 GB    32 KB
      Partition 2    Primary           6747 MB   178 GB
      Partition 3    Primary           1812 MB   185 GB

    DISKPART> list disk

      Disk ###  Status      Size     Free     Dyn  Gpt
      --------  ----------  -------  -------  ---  ---
    * Disk 0    Online       186 GB   504 KB

    DISKPART> shrink querymax

    The maximum number of reclaimable bytes is:   46 GB

    DISKPART> shrink desired=2048 minimum=1024

    The specified shrink size is too large.

    DISKPART>



    *********************************************

    So yeah........I was able to reclaim space from the HP_RECOVERY DRIVE to maky my existing XP partition but its obviously not big enough, and doesnt solve the original problem in any way shape or form.


    Sunday, October 14, 2007 2:07 PM
  • this worked for me:

    download jkdefrag
    http://www.kessels.com/JkDefrag/

    run it in safe mode with
    jkdefrag.exe -a 5 c:

    this will put all the file at the beginning of the partition (causing some fragmentation)

    then shrink the partition
    then defrag the drive

    the safe mode is to avoid having to much unmovable files.
    (you should also consider disabling the page file)

    the problem is that vista resizes the partition without moving the data, so only the largest chunk of free space at the end of the volume is shrinkable.

    also, I've still not found an official(tm) way to move the beginning of the partition, only the end could be shrunk/extended
    • Proposed as answer by Vullnet Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:48 AM
    Monday, November 26, 2007 7:14 PM
  • The following method actually works. I was in exactly the same situation as you, where I had loads of free space on my partition but any partition shrinking tools wouldn't let me shrink it by more than 78MB.

    What the problem is, is that NTFS stores system files such as the MFT and other metadata on the hard drive that cannot be moved while the operating system is running. These system files are locked by the file system and are *never* moved by normal disk defragmenters. The problem is that there are some of these NTFS system files left towards the end of your hard drive, meaning that they are in the way of you shrinking your partition.

    You don't need to disable hibernation, system restore or your page file for this method to work as the software that I used will defrag them all.

    So, the process that I used which actually worked for me was to use JKdefrag like Lorenzo Boccaccia did, with the command line switches
    jkdefrag.exe -a 5 c:
    This moves all data (except NTFS system files) to the start of the hard drive so that you have as much free space at the end of the hard drive as possible.
    Then, get hold of a copy of Raxco PerfectDisk 2008. This is a defragmenting program that I have found is better than any others as it actually defragments *all* NTFS system files, including those irritating ones that were stuck at the end of your hard drive. Install it, then go onto the AutoPilot tab when you have started the program, and click the button on the Ribbon to make a "One-time" scheduled defragmentation.
    Fill in all of the steps as you desire, including choosing which hard drives/partitions you want to perform the operations on. When you get to the defragmentation selection, choose "Defragment files" and "Offline Defrag of system files", and then in the next section "Consolidate free space". Tick all of the boxes in the next section. Then choose a time and date in the next step for when you want the scheduled defrag to run (it doesn't actually matter as in the next section you can choose to run it immediately anyway).
    Next, click the "Run Now" button to start the defrag - PerfectDisk will want to reboot your PC and it will defrag your locked NTFS system files during start-up. Once this has finished, PerfectDisk should defrag the rest of your normal files as well... mine didn't, I had to make it do it manually using Consolidate Free Space.

    This moved all files to the start of the drive including NTFS system files so that shrinking the partition using diskpart.exe was successful.

    Hope this helps for everyone who has had the same problem as me!
    • Proposed as answer by aarohini Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:38 PM
    Thursday, May 01, 2008 7:11 AM
  • I have observed that as well.  Vista is not using a couple hundred gigs, but it won't release more than 15-20 gigs.

    I believe that is because, when you open Windows, it allocates some space way out there to the right, beyond a vast expanse of free space ... probably so routine operations won't be hampered in finding free space when they need it.  This means whenever Windows is running, though it may see bunches of free space, it is not at the 'end' of the allocated space.

    I hthink you need to boot outside of Windows (google for cute partition magic...) so that 'distant' space is not allocated, and use a non-MS partitioning facility (e.g., cute, ro something like it) to reduce the Vista partition by the amount you'd like.

    Best regards,
    S
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 11:45 PM
  • Alright guys....here's a free way to move that annoying HP OS_Tools partition out of the way so you can free up more of your C: drive for a new partition!
    1) Use the VISTA disk management to free up as much space as the utility can see.
    2) Use a trial version of a REAL disk management utility to create another partition.  I used DiskDirector from Acronis.  This tool was able to move the other partition WELL out of the way but the trial version only allows you to create a 7.8 Mb partition.
    3) Since the blocking files were moved successfully by the REAL management tool, the VISTA disk management utility will now be able to see more free space on the CBig Smilerive.
    I was able to shrink my C: drive by an additional 50 Gb!

     

    Thursday, July 03, 2008 8:21 PM
  • thank you all. i got a 300 GB partition and i only could shrink it 1st time 50gb and when i reinstalled windows i could it free up to 100 gigs and now i still have a 150 gb C: partition and 80 gb of free space that i want to move to another partition.
    Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:34 PM
  • SO i HAVE TO REINSTALL WINDOWS IN ORDER FOR THIS TO WORK???!?!?!?!?
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:06 PM
  • i did so:
    1. make all posible partitions
    2. make backup of all my files
    3. format C:\ (root drive)
    4.reinstall windows
    5. make new partitions and don't touch the old one!
    6.be happy Big Smile
    Tuesday, November 11, 2008 9:10 PM
  •  jeepsterdave wrote:
    Alright guys....here's a free way to move that annoying HP OS_Tools partition out of the way so you can free up more of your C: drive for a new partition!
    1) Use the VISTA disk management to free up as much space as the utility can see.
    2) Use a trial version of a REAL disk management utility to create another partition.  I used DiskDirector from Acronis.  This tool was able to move the other partition WELL out of the way but the trial version only allows you to create a 7.8 Mb partition.
    3) Since the blocking files were moved successfully by the REAL management tool, the VISTA disk management utility will now be able to see more free space on the CBig Smilerive.
    I was able to shrink my C: drive by an additional 50 Gb!

     

     

     THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!

    I Did this on my machine, Im Running Vista 64 Home Premium,

    and it worked perfectly. At first I couldnt build a Partition over 9MB, after doing this I had almost all my free drive space to use.

    I will note however, upon first re-booting after DiskDirector finished its Partition (which took 4 hours) a screen popped up stating that a windows file could not be located therefore windows cannot boot, Please insert your windows disc, reboot and choose repair my computer.

    I was VERY scared I wiped out my drive completely, but after the repair with the windows install disc, everything was fine.

    Monday, November 17, 2008 4:46 PM
  • Hey guys:

    I did a lot of things to solve this problem but everything was unsuccessful. The last try was using a trial version of Diskdirector from Acronis but Vista hasn't allowed me to install it. It was shown the message.
    "The installer was interrupted before Acronis Disk Director Suite could be removed. You need restart the installer to try again." I also tried to use the diskpart to create another partion but I can only shrink 8Gb and the capacity of my hard drive is 320Gb. By the way I have a Toshiba Satellite L305-S5907. I hope to get some help here.
    <!--[endif]-->
    Friday, November 21, 2008 5:50 PM
  • Try the Easeus Partition Manager 3.0 Home Edition.   It is freeware and easy to use.   It repartitioned my 1 Tb HDD to 250 Gb when Windows would only reduce it to 450Gb.    Because it can take time to create these partitions, ensure your power settings are set to run indefinitely.    If the power fails during the repartitioning, you will need to reinstall the OS all your apps and data.
    Wednesday, January 28, 2009 2:05 AM
  • Thanks Lorenzo, this helped a lot.  I was able to go from a silly 25mb to 81gb (on a 320gb drive with 220gb free space).
    Saturday, February 21, 2009 11:04 PM
  • Hi,

    I have just shrink my partition without any problem :). There is a feature in Vista called Volume Shadow Copy. By default it allocates "unlimited" disk space for it and due to that you cannot use the shrink feature under the disk management console. Page file is also consuming some disk space (about 1.5x your physical RAM).

    You can free up space as follows, without any other program than the Vista built in tools:

    1. Run cmd.exe with elevated privileges
    2. Run vssadmin list shadowstorage in the command prompt and you will be surprised how much disk space is used by it.
    3. Decrease the VSS disk consumption to 1 GB (or depends on your selection but not less than 300 MB) with this command: vssadmin Resize ShadowStorage /For=C: /On=C: /MaxSize=1GB

    This will resize your VSS storage to 1 GB on C drive for the C drive.

    I was not using any 3rd party tool for that and worked for me.

    I hope it helps.

    Regards,
    Janos
    A train station is where a train stops. On my desk I have a workstation :)
    • Proposed as answer by János Berke Thursday, February 26, 2009 8:51 PM
    Thursday, February 26, 2009 8:46 PM
  • there is one other way if you have the cables.

    just hook up the hard drive you wanna partition to another computer and partiton it like that but you will need eSATA cables to do that
    Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:30 PM
  • Lorenzo Boccaccia`s method worked for me,
    after 5 hours of waiting it worthed trying, i have shrinked 35GB pf 100GB free space on my PC,
    Thank you Lorenzo
    Saturday, June 27, 2009 9:50 AM

  • Geez, this thread is old.  Mar 08, 2007.  Still no MS solution?


    These MS docs offer some insight:

    How NTFS reserves space for its Master File Table (MFT)

    Files Excluded by the Disk Defragmenter Tool     Note:  NTFS Master File table Mirror (MFTMirr)  usually located in the middle of a volume

    RAPID PUBLISHING


    Friday, July 17, 2009 6:29 AM
  • this worked for me:

    download jkdefrag
    http://www.kessels.com/JkDefrag/

    run it in safe mode with
    jkdefrag.exe -a 5 c:

    this will put all the file at the beginning of the partition (causing some fragmentation)

    then shrink the partition
    then defrag the drive

    the safe mode is to avoid having to much unmovable files.
    (you should also consider disabling the page file)

    the problem is that vista resizes the partition without moving the data, so only the largest chunk of free space at the end of the volume is shrinkable.

    also, I've still not found an official(tm) way to move the beginning of the partition, only the end could be shrunk/extended

    Looks like since this posting, jkdefrag has changed to mydefrag so not sure if the switches still work the same... trying it anyways....

    .NET Newbie
    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:52 PM
  • im about ready to just say forget it and wipe off vista complete and just install CentOS.... MS really frustrates me alot most times :| was really trying for a dual boot just in case...

    .NET Newbie
    Wednesday, July 29, 2009 5:53 PM
  • Dont throw in the towel lol. The lorenzo fix works. I didnt even run the defrags in safe mode. I ran the first defragmenter only then went to my 150 gig partiition, and low and behold it let me shrink it 7gb more of the 150 gig i could not shrink with onboard tools. Then i ran the second defragmentor to run on reboot  as explained here. Went to shrink my drive again and low and behold i could shrink my operating system drive right down to 78 gig. Perfect for me.

    easiest fix i seen yet that works. Download two defragmenters, run one then the other. then shrink away. ITs just so stupid that you cant to this onboard, and have to run around looking for a darn fix.

    Please not easus partition master does not work on 64bit, not the free version anyway. you have to use the paid for version, but well worth it for 30 bucks if you want to repartition etc all the time.
    • Proposed as answer by Phillip Wade Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:13 PM
    Friday, August 14, 2009 3:47 AM
  • Hi all
    All i did on vista x64 was to turn of System Restore and the then freed up nearly 200gig of space

    After i did that i was able to shrink and create a new partititon
    • Proposed as answer by Phillip Wade Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:16 PM
    Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:14 PM
  • the Raxco PerfectDisk is indeed the solution to the problem. In its latest version it has become even more snazzy. download it and install it for a free trial and then run the defrag in the smart placement mode with boot time defrag checked and it squeezes in all the stubborn locked system and page files towards the end of the drive during reboot and releases space like never before. I got 71 GB from my c drive of 144 GB freed for separate allocation. great software and thanks to Ultrafez00 for suggesting it.
    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 7:43 PM
  • And just to add what I noticed (Vista, HP laptop, 110GB hard as one partition + OEM few - my task was to halve the partition, leave original for Vista, and use the new one for Win7, I had lot of space after cleaning)...

    - run the jk or now MyDefrag (great tool btw)

    - it does all that is possible w/o restarting, boot defrag - it doesn't do that - so all sys files locked will remain,

    - then some boot-time defragmenter (Raxco seems fine - but not perfect, mixed results)

    - it moves some of the system files - but some will still remain

    - in my case I  had a pagefile sticking out there somewhere around the 'middle of my disc'

    - so, I had to remove the pagefile (control panel , advanced, virtual memory - remove from that disc, or all to zero - then restart to take effect),

    - still some sys files kept being written 'out' - and always somewhere towards the middle of the disc - some algorithm it has (system?)

    - so, then do the shrink to as much as you can - 

    - that changes the algorithm for where sys files are written so it now that being the end of the disc it pushes them towards the front,

    - so one more (or a couple if needed like that) boot defrag to get rid of those sys locked files (some $extend, $logs etc.),

    - then do another shrink

    ...and voila - I ended up shrinking to the max of my free space - which was the idea

    of course leave some extra space for further defrags on that disc - but that's now strategy...

    Basically - 

    - MyDefrag turns to be able to move more files than any other defrag - all except the locked pagefile.sys and similar - that has to go to the boot,

    - Raxco or any other - to move those during boot,

    - mix the two with occasional 'shrink' - and you should be good!

    hope it helps

     

    Wednesday, June 02, 2010 2:05 PM
  • 100% agree with NSGaga, I tried very hard to move the system files with MyDefrag and PerfectDisk but it didn't work - in Disk Management I could only shrink about half of the space available. So I tried the iterative system:

    - shrink as much as possible

    - boot defrag (PerfectDisk in my case)

    - shrink again (at this point more space becomes magically available)

    And after three rounds I got where I wanted.

    P.S. for full disclosure I also had removed pagefile, system restore file etc. etc. but this didn't seem to make any difference earlier on.

    EDIT on 11/10/2010: Correction: I just went through installing Windows 7 on another computer; I turns out I needed to disable pagefile, system restore and hybernation in order to shrink the "Windows" drive. Once I had disabled those functions I defragged with with PerfectDisk, re-booted, shrank to the maximum allowed and restarted the defrag-reboot-shrink process till when I got to the size I wanted.

    Sunday, June 06, 2010 1:51 PM
  • Yes, Vista's disk management never allow to shrink partition to more than one half.But now, it has some software to help you and you need pay a little coins, and some of them are free editions. Friends have such problems could Google Partition Assistant
    Friday, September 10, 2010 2:07 AM
  • I encountered same issue before and just searched a 3rd party software to solve it! I forgot the exact details, but using a free Partition management(it seems Aomei partition assistant home edition) helps a lot! You can have a try. I am sure there would be no problem....
    Monday, April 18, 2011 8:33 AM
  • For anyone searching for an alternative way, I have experimented and found a cool way to manually "DEFRAG" files (YES, I CAN KNOW WHICH FILE IS BLOCKING THE SHRINK PROCESS - actually, windows know, I just retrieve the info) and shrink your drive, even without rebooting your PC and not being in safe mode!

    As we all know the windows 7 core files are at the beginning of the partition so we never need to mess with them - so we don't touch them.

    However temporary files in the windows dir might require you administrator access or permission changes to modify/move them and or place them back (explained later).

    So. Fire up disk management and click shrink... Wait for the query to complete, after that it probably shows not the amount of space you want.. so..

    Go and open "View event logs" (From start menu is all right).
    Then go to:
    [Windows Logs -> Application Logs]
    Look for the a log with source named "defrag". For each query there will be 2 defrag logs created, one that says that the query completed, and one that has this general information:

    "A volume shrink analysis was initiated on volume Windows7x64 (C:). This event log entry details information about the last unmovable file that could limit the maximum number of reclaimable bytes.

    A volume shrink analysis was initiated on volume Windows7x64 (C:). This event log entry details information about the last unmovable file that could limit the maximum number of reclaimable bytes.

    A volume shrink analysis was initiated on volume Windows7x64 (C:). This event log entry details information about the last unmovable file that could limit the maximum number of reclaimable bytes.

    A volume shrink analysis was initiated on volume Windows7x64 (C:). This event log entry details information about the last unmovable file that could limit the maximum number of reclaimable bytes.

    "

    Click Details, smillar info to this shows up (XML View):

    - <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
    - <System>
    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-Defrag" />
    <EventID
    Qualifiers
    ="16384">259</EventID>
    <Level>4</Level>
    <Task>0</Task>
    <Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2012-05-29T23:12:09.000000000Z" />
    <EventRecordID>46296</EventRecordID>
    <Channel>Application</Channel>
    <Computer>COMPUTER</Computer>
    <Security />
    </System>
    - <EventData>
    <Data>Windows7x64 (C:)</Data>
    <Data>\\?\Volume{4bec020f-0974-11e1-b2b6-806e6f6e6963}</Data>
    <Data>\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\History.IE5\MSHist012012053020120531\index.dat::$DATA</Data>
    <Data>0x6e1084c</Data>
    <Data>0x608986d</Data>
    <Data>----D</Data>
    <Data><analysis></Data>
    <Binary>00000000C7000000AF00000000000000223679625372B2B9637B71360E00000000000000</Binary>
    </EventData>

    </Event>

    The line:

    <Data>\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\History.IE5\MSHist012012053020120531\index.dat::$DATA</Data>

    Says that the file (on C:, ... -> <Data>Windows7x64 (C:)</Data> ) C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History\History.IE5\MSHist012012053020120531\index.dat

    is blocking the shrink utility. In my case I can close internet explorer and delete the " C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\History" folder.

    But in case of an important file this is what we do:

    1) right click the file
    2) select COPY
    3) copy the file temporarily to your desktop or something
    4) Delete the original file
    5) Right click the temporary backup file on you desktop or something and select "CUT"
    6) Paste the file in it's old directory and voila, you are ready to go!
    7)Repeat process from "click shrink... Wait for the query to complete" until you reclaim enough space!

    *)Note: Some files cannot be deleted/moved, try using safe mode instead, but before launching safe mode, ensure that the application which is using the file is closed so you can stay in normal mode.

    Have fun shrinking your drives fellas!




    • Proposed as answer by grasmanek94 Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:20 PM
    • Edited by grasmanek94 Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:25 PM
    Tuesday, May 29, 2012 11:19 PM
  • I had a hard time too! I eventually succeed by using PerfectDrive too.

    This software (trial version OK) can "compact" NTFS metafiles at boot time, placing the $Bitmap at the middle of the drive space and allow partition shriking.

    Of course you have to get rid of other space consuming files and do a "prepare for shrink" with the very same software.

    Now I just have to trust Norton Ghost helpdesk poeple for cloning my HD to the SSD, swap the disks and reset all usefull Windows options!

    Hope it can help

    Regards


    • Edited by legray Tuesday, October 01, 2013 5:38 PM
    Tuesday, October 01, 2013 5:34 PM