Shrink and Resize simple volumes

As most standard Windows installations format the entire disk with one partition or volume (excluding the hidden 100MB system partition), creating additional partitions without installing a new hard disk requires you to resize or better to shrink your existing volume. In certain computer setups, one would be better off with two or more partitions rather than having one large volume (sometimes referred to as the boot drive or the c: local disk). A typical case might be when creating a partition that hosts backups. Usually, backups are large files that take plenty of hard disk space and may halt your system because after so many jobs no free space may be left available for the system to operate. Also, it is by far more simpler to resize an existing volume rather than backing up all data, deleting and re-creating two or more partitions when your system is already installed.

To shrink a volume using Disk Management, perform the following procedure:

  1. Open the Disk Management console by typing disk management in the Search text box from the start menu, and click the Create and format hard disk partitions link
  2. From the Disk Management console, right-click the volume you want to shrink and click Shrink volume – the system checks and discovers the maximum available shrink size.
  3. From the Shrink dialog box specify the amount which you want to shrink the volume or leave the displayed value to shrink to the maximum amount
  4. The shrink process proceeds without further prompting and at the end you should be able to see a new unallocated space. Then, prepare this newly created space as a new volume.
  5. To revert back before you prepare the new volume you can right-click the shrinked volume and click Extend Volume and follow the Welcome to the Extend Volume Wizard

 For the command line freaks, I suggest the Diskpart tool :)

  1. From an elevated command prompt, enter Diskpart
  2. Enter list volume to decide which volume you want to shrink
  3. Select the volume, for ex: select volume 3
  4. Enter shrink querymax to get the maximum allowable shrink amount
  5. Enter shrink desired=n  where n is the size in megabytes by which you want to shrink the volume,  for ex: shrink desired=400

To revert back before you prepare the newly created volume you must ensure that the right disk and volume are selected using select disk  and select volume  commands. Verify the free space available from the list disk command
and enter extend size=n disk=nd, where n is the free space to add to your volume while nd is the selected hard disk,

for ex: extend size=401 disk=0

If you are reverting back immediately after a shrink operation then the correct disk and volume are still selected, however, I suggest that you verify all selections before proceeding with the extend and shrink commands.