Unable to shrink C:-partition further in Windows 7


  • After some success in shrinking my 320GB C:-partition by about 160GB I can't reduce
    further now. I get a report of defrag that a file $MFTMirr is responsible for that.
    Does that mean that I can't shrink by further 60GB as my partition is only used
    about 80GB ?

    Does perhaps the diskpart utility help with its shrink option ? I would start it from
    command prompt of the recovery DVD.
    Saturday, February 27, 2010 6:07 PM


All replies

  • GParted Boot Disk - Resizing Or Creating a New Partition in Windows 7 

    If Windows won't allow the changes you can use a Gparted boot disk to change the partitions. If you have 80GB don't reduce it lower then 90 - 95GB. If you will be changing the main Windows partition, or a partition with important info, backup anything important - it's not common, but things can go wrong. Altering the partitions can be risky, be careful and know what you are doing - there is no Windows safety option when using this - if you tell it to format the Windows partition it will do so and delete the entire Windows installation. Depending on what you are doing it can take from a few minutes to a couple hours.

    If after altering the partitions Windows 7 data/files are still there but Windows won't boot the following may help:

    Try Repairing The Windows 7 Installation 
    1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD and restart your computer 
    2. Boot from the DVD. 
    3. Choose your language and click Next. 
    4. Click Repair Your Computer and then select the operating system you want to repair. 
    5. Click on the Startup Repair link from list of recovery tools in System Recovery Options. 
    If that doesn't fix it: 
    1. Insert the Windows 7 DVD and restart your computer 
    2. Boot from the DVD. If prompted, press any key to start Windows from the installation disc. 
    3. Choose your language and click Next. 
    4. Click Repair Your Computer and then select the operating system you want to repair. 
    5. Select Command Prompt and try the following commands (a single command might work, or you may need to use multiple commands depending on the exact problem): 
    bootrec /fixMBR 
    bootrec /fixBoot 
    bootrec /rebuildBCD 
    Note: there is a space before the / 

    Saturday, February 27, 2010 11:08 PM
  • Hi,


    Some system files which cannot be moved may locate on the disk sectors that you want to shrink.


    Based on the current situation, I would like to suggest you shrink the disk in WinRE to check if these system files can be moved.


    Shrink disk in WinRE


    Please launch Command Prompt in System Recovery Options.



    CD %windir%\system32


    list volume


    Note: After running the "list volume" command, it will show all partition. Please notice the volume number of drive C


    select volume <volume number>


    Note: Please replace the "<volume number>" to the volume number of drive C. For example, if the volume number of drive C is 2, we need run the command "select volume 2"


    shrink desired=<N>


    Note: Please replace the "<N>" to the disk space you would like to shrink. After run the command, it will shrink <N> MB space on drive C. (1GB=1024MB)




    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Tuesday, March 02, 2010 2:34 AM
  • Hi,

    I tried the diskpart command and used the option "shrink querymax" before trying the "desired" option.
    Here I got the same answer as the Windows 7 disk management told me : no shrinking possible.

    Now, how can I transfer my running system to a smaller SSD ( 128GB ) if Ican't shrink further ?

    By the way, the Windows 7 Repair DVD Restore seems to not allow the restoration from a large disk
    to a small disk. Can I somehow fool the restoration by modifying a XML-file in the System Image Backup ?
    Which XML-file ?  
    Thursday, March 04, 2010 9:19 AM
  • Hi Wktecht,


    You’d better to backup all the important files to avoid data loss, reformat, resize the hard disk and reinstall Windows 7.




    Arthur Li - MSFT
    Friday, March 05, 2010 2:53 AM
  • Yesterday I created a system backup (<50GB on a 250GB hard drive), replaced the hard drive with a new one (750GB) and performed a system restore. Result: a partition 250GB on my 750GB hard drive. So far so good, but I want to resize it to 100GB, since I want to have one 100GB system disk and a 650GB data disk.

    When I try to resize, it says I can shrink it by 3MB!That's clearly not enough. Could defragmenting be an option?

    @Arthur_Li: I find your answer very peculiar. When your kitchen is dirty, are you going to clean it or rip it out and install a new one? Re-installing, configuring and tweaking will cost me about 3 days, with all this software, plugins, codecs, etcetera these days. The restore/resize function is there to make this unnecessary.

    Monday, January 31, 2011 1:34 PM
  • You Could try to run cmd.exe as administrator (start>allprograms>accessories>RIGHTKLICK commandprompt and run as administrator)

    in the command line > cd C:\Windows\System32 (if not already there..)

    then enter this command > defrag C:\ /X /U    (option /x will consolidate freespace, /u will print progress)

    as obviously Windows isn't capable to consolidate all the free space as intended,
    this gave me at least 10Gigs free space of my 100Gigs free space.
    if you really want to resolve the problem, you'll have to reinstall whole windows.

    another, but very risky option (just if you really know what you are doing - it may cause unusability of your windows installation and complete loss of all data)
    is to back up your files including SW keys & licences.
    boot the computer with an linux live-system like ubuntu from USB stick.
    You may create very easy a live system boot stick with the free tool unetbootin
    ( ). it will take you about 10mins to create the stick

    Boot Ubuntu from USB Stick on Computer,
    copynig is not allowed due to legal windows restrictions,
    so you have to cut the whole content from C:\ and paste to an external drive.

    Resize C:\ with gparted (included in most live systems, if not install it in linux  from commandline: sudo apt-get install gparted)
    Format C:\ with gparted to NTFS file format
    cut & paste all files back to C:\

    Reboot system.
    If boot fails, follow the procedure as described in the answer from no name which starts with
    "GParted Boot Disk - Resizing Or Creating a New Partition in Windows 7 
    If Windows won..."

    g., mike

    • Edited by MikeSudoRM Wednesday, April 11, 2012 6:09 PM
    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:42 PM
  • OK! I coincidentally had faced the similar partition resizing problem a couple of days ago. My partition C was nearly full. Therefore, in order to increase its space, I tried to delete a useless partition and want to extend the free space to my partition C. But, that finally failed. So, I searched a lot and knew that a third-party partition tool could help me resize a partition in several simple steps.

    So, by following some suggestions on some threads, I tried three partition tools:

    IM-Magic Partition Resizer Free (free, fast and risk-free)

    Active Partition Manager (a paid one)

    GParted(limited features)

    After testing them all by myself, I found that only the first one finally resized my partition C with fast speed and also backed up all my partition data well. And then, the second one needed to be paid for its features. The third one was too simply and offered limited features in partition managing.

    I hope my experiences can also help others.

    Thank you for reading my experiences.

    Friday, December 06, 2013 1:56 AM