If you have your hard drive partitioned and want to change the size of the partitions or the amount of partitions you have on your computer, you can. It is still going to wipe your data but if you backup your files to the main partition just while you are shrinking the other partition then you can move it all back after. You could also resort to formatting a hard drive.
How to shrink a partition?
In this tutorial I have 3 partitions on my hard drive. The first is C: drive, then D: drive, and finally E: drive. You can see this in the screen shot below. The first thing I am going to do is shrink E: drive. Now we must open the disk management tool in Windows Vista.
Easily Resize, Copy, Move hard disk partitions without losing data!
Yes they could be depending on what version of Windows you are using. Be warned that I strongly suggest you backup any data or files that your partition has on it.
If you leave files on there and decide to shrink the partition some versions will clearly not let you do this, while others will but we all know accidents can happen. Its always better to be safe than sorry.
If I shrink a partition will the files be lost or wiped clean?
If you use partition software then you can basically shrink a partition with the files on it.
How to open disk management to shrink a partition?
- Go to the start menu.
- Right click on my computer or computer for Windows Vista. See more ways to open computer management.
- Choose manage from the menu.
- Choose storage.
- Then click on computer management.
- Choose Disk Management in the left side menu. Then you see all your drives listed in the right side.
- Right click on Drive E: as shown in the screenshot below.
- Choose Shrink Volume from the menu.
- Now a box will appear. It will automatically choose the size to shrink the partition by.
- change the size of the shrink by changing the amount in the box that is highlighted blue.
- When you are happy with your size press Shrink.
Now see the screenshot below. My E: partition was 116mb and now it is 58.27mb. The data and files that was on there is gone. And now I have 58.17gb of free space. To use this free space we need to right click on that area and choose to create a new volume. We can also extend E: back out to 116mb by using the free space.
Shrink a Partition in Windows Seven
In Windows Seven you can decrease the size of the main partition without removing files first. You are restricted by the position files. It is probably a good idea to defrag your files to place them in an organized state, ready for the partition shrink. You can shrink the existing partition from the end of the volume to create new unallocated space. Then you can label the drive and start loading it up with files.
Notes on shrinking a partition
- You can experiment with any of your partitions but not C: drive. (except Windows seven)
- You cannot shrink C: drive unless you use another program like PartitionMagic.
- You can shrink any other partitions but you will still loose the files on it.