Hoping to avoid a reinstall, partition resizing question

By SNGX1275
Mar 4, 2011
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  1. I know the approach I want to take on this is not a good one, but I'd still like to attempt it if there is any possible way.

    I installed Windows 7 a long time ago, to a 30 gig partition. I then had a D partition where I installed a large percentage of my programs. After that, I had an E partition (C D E all on same drive) that held other stuff. Now I'm at the point (well have been for a year or more) where I continually have less than 2 gigs of free space. Now with Win 7 SP1 I can't get it to install - code 80070570 - so I tried to install from the standalone SP1 install and it complains that I don't have 8 gigs of free space.

    So here's the deal - I want to, by any means, try and get that 30 gig partition bigger. I've got plenty of space on the drive, but I think the real issue is that I have 3 partitions so it isn't a simple grow shrink issue.

    I do know the risks in resizing partitions.

    So maybe with 3rd party tools I could shrink E, expand D, then shrink D and expand C?

    Would there be a simpler way of doing this if I said I had a blank drive with ample space to use as a temp drive?
  2. mike1959

    mike1959 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,022   +51

    You should be able to expand the partition with Windows 7 on, as long as you have moved enough files off of the other partitions to be able to reduce them. There is some danger it won't work as you expect, but I have moved partitions around with no problems I can remember.
    The programs I have used with good results are;
    *I used partitionwizard today to divide up an Iomega USB 320GB into 100,100,97GB. It took about 1minute to do the work. Then I re-labled the partitions to X/Y/Z. and backed up my C: (71GB) to the Z partition. (This took 40 mins).
    No problems at all.
  3. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,689   +395

    I can shrink volumes in Disk Management, but I can't extend them. I think I did try, a few months ago, to shrink the last partition, then expand earlier partitions from there, but that didn't work. So Disk Management's shrink expand isn't robust enough.

    I may try partitionwizard though, pending more thought. If I didn't have D with Programs installed I think doing something like Easus partiton cloner or whatever its called to make C cloned to a big hd, then shrinking it down would work. But I need D still intact.
  4. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 899   +15

    I would strongly recommend EASEUS Partition Management. Not only it's free, but it works much better than windows built-in diskmgmt.msc

    I have used it not only to resize my C: and D: drive, but also resize my 'corrupted' EISA recovery partition which diskmgmt.msc fail to even format it.
  5. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,423   +77

    Concur that easus partition manager is fine. Two warnings -

    First you would always be wise to take full backups of ALL the partitions before you start, unless you only plan to shorten the second partition and enlarge the first. In that case, only partitions 1 and 2 need to be securely backed up. I should point out the best (well really the only practical) backup for the OS partition is a restorable image.

    Second, be aware that even the afore-mentioned change to just two partitions actually takes a long, long time, because what actually happens is (1) partition 2 is shortened, (2) partition 2 is moved to the end of the space available, (3) partition 1 is lengthened. operation 2 takes most of the time.

    PS just noticed you have a blank drive available. In that case, it could be quicker and safer to do -
    (1) Copy partition 2 to blank drive (2) delete partition 2 (3) enlarge parition 1 (but be sure to leave enough free space to replace partition 2 at a smaller size) (4) create a new partition 2 in the free space left over (5) copy the data back to partition 2 from the spare drive.

    Note if you do this without booting windows (i.e. with easueus as a bootable CD drive), you are far less likely to run into the peculiarity that windows might give different drive letters to your existing partitions 2,3,4, which could make your PC very unfriendly until you performed the necessary re-labelling in drive management.
  6. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    You can use EASEUS Partition Master 7.0.1 Free or Gparted to manipulate/create the partitions.

    Both are free.

    In both cases it is advisable to

    a) Backup essential data/files
    b) Do a defrag before resizing the partitions.

    Please note that Gparted did have some issues in resizing. I am not sure that the bug/problem has been resolved.
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    I'll second all of ravisunny2's good advice

    > I've grown to prefer EASUS partition master freeware for all my Windows (re-)partitioning needs
    > Clone the disk before you start all that moving and re-sizing to be cautious

    Also, when there's several move/resize steps involved i'll usually only do 2 or 3 steps at a time (before i "Apply" them). I don't know if it really makes a difference - but makes me feel more comfortable that way :)
  8. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Topic Starter Posts: 10,689   +395

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I went with EASEUS Partition Manager and just shrunk down my D drive by 10 gigs and gave that to my C. I was making it more complex than needed, mostly because I had no idea partition tools were this powerful now. The last time I did any serious partition resizing was with Partition Magic probably 8-10 years ago.

    Now that I have more space I was able to install SP1. That took up 1.4 gigs itself, and before the reboot it had used over 7 gigs. No wonder it didn't want to install through Windows Update when I only had ~2.2 gigs free.
  9. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    I too.:)

    Less chance of telling the sw to do something crazy.
  10. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    Powerful software can make shocking mistakes, like destroying a partition.:)

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