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Windows 7: Shrink OS Volume


19 Sep 2011   #1
CBM

1.Windows 7 Ultimate x64; 2.Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Shrink OS Volume

I want to shrink the OS partition on my internal drive. I'm getting tired of my Acronis backups taking two hours to complete. The size of the drive is 1TB, formatted NTFS. The first partition on the C Drive is labeled OEM (39MB) and I have no idea what it contains. The second partition is labeled Recovery(11.96GB) (System, Active, Primary). The third partition is labeled OS (794.23GB)(Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, Primary). The fourth and final partition is my Acronis Secure Zone (125.29GB) (Primary). I don't back up either of my external drives, as both of them contain the same information so that if one of them takes a crap on me I have an exact duplicate on the other one.

I would like to reduce the OS partition to 150GB, allowing 50GB for the Shadow Copies. All my Windows Backups (full backup only, overwritten) go to one of my external drives. All my Acronis backups (full backup only, overwritten) go to each of the external drives and the Acronis Secure Zone. All my files (pictures, videos, music and copies of downloaded software) are stored on the external drives.

I attempted to shrink the OS partition (794.23GB). Once the drive was analyzed it showed:

Total size in shrink in MB: 813,292
Size of available shrink space in MB: 128,196
Total size after shrink in MB: 685,096

I don't understand why I cannot substantially shrink the OS volume beyond 128,196MB. I don't understand what type of immovable file(s) would prevent me from doing so but then again, I can't understand how to shave without cutting my face. I have defragged the OS partition using PerfectDisk 11 Professional, using defrag only (not SmartPlacement) and consolidated free space using the same application prior to attempting to shrink the OS partition and I'm still offered no more than a 128,196MB shrink.

Also, I've read somewhere that it could be advantageous to move the page file to a partition other than the OS partition. If that's true, I have no idea how to do it.

Thank you in advance for your time and any assistance provided and please excuse my ignorance.

I have provided two screen shots.

C.B.




Attached Thumbnails
Shrink OS Volume-computer-management.png  
Attached Images
 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Sep 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You'll likely need the Partition Wizard bootable CD to do your shrinking. I guess you have tried Windows Disk Management--it doesn't always allow you to shrink as much as you would like.

Get it here:

Free Download Magic Partition Manager Software - Partition Wizard Online
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Partition Wizard CD will do the job, never fails.

Do you know if that Recovery partition still works? Be sure to make the disks off of it if you want a path back to factory condition.

IŽd use PW CD to Explore the OEM and Recovery and post back a screenshot of the contents for analysis.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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19 Sep 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

DANGER - do not attempt to create an additional partition on Disk0. You have 4 primaries already and no possibility to create anything that would not get you into big trouble called "dynamics".


You have to first convert one of your current primaries to logical. The best tool for that is the bootable CD that ignatzagsonic has linked above. The controls for that are in the Partition tab > Modify.

The best candidate for conversion is your C partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #5
CBM

1.Windows 7 Ultimate x64; 2.Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hello whs,

I have downloaded the ISO mentioned by ignatzatsonic. However, I haven't as of yet burned it. I know absolutely nothing about logical versus primary, the purpose of either type or why one type is suitable for one thing and not another. I simply want to reduce the size of the partition my OS is located on and I realize that doing so would in effect create another partition. Perhaps I should eliminate the Acronis Secure Zone and return its space to the OS partition before moving on. I could also eliminate the Recovery partition since it probably contains all the bloatware supplied with the computer. I have the reinstallation DVDs for both computers in addition to the system repair discs I burned. I don't really care about losing any personal data because, as I mentioned before, it is stored on my external drives.

The screen shots I attached are from the desktop computer I am using at this time, a Dell Studio XPS 7100 I purchased a few months ago. I will also want to reduce the size of the OS partition on a Dell XPS 17 (Win 7 Ultimate x64) I purchased a few weeks ago. It contains two 500GB internal drives with the OS on C Drive and a separate D Drive. I use Paragon and the native Windows Backup and Restore on the laptop to create backups on the D Drive because, quite frankly, I've had trouble with each version of Acronis TIH I've purchased over the years. I will reduce the OS partition on the laptop after I've learned how to successfully do it on the desktop.

Let's face the facts; I'm stupid and I need time to research all this information. I'll return to this discussion after I know enough to understand what you guys are talking about and once I learn how to use Partition Wizard. It may take some time. I sincerely appreciate the assistance from all of you and I don't want to waste your time asking ignorant questions when your time could be better used helping others who also need assistance.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I am not sure how that Acronis Secure Zone came about. But if that is the 4th primary partition on Disk0, it is certainly a candidate for elimination. You can then shrink C and the unallocated spaces of the secure zone and the shrunk C space will be one blob into which you can make a simple logical partition (it is really an extended partition because it is the first logical, but I do not want to confuse you any further).

Here are some extra short definitions:

Primary - is required for active partitions - and only for those. In the NTFS file system, a maximum of 4 is allowed.

Active - is the partition that contains the bootmanager

Extended - is the first logical partition you create on a disk. It allows to create many more logical partitions under its umbrella.

Logical - that should be the normal case and suffices for everything from which you do not want to boot

Dynamic - is a partition that spans multiple physical drives. It can also happen if you create a new partition when you already have 4 primaries. Those are to be avoided like the plague because they create a lot of problems.

Simple - means nothing special. It is just to confuse us.

PS: I will only be back tomorrow because it is midnight in my neck of the woods.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

It's been quite a while since I used Acronis, but as I recall, the "Secure Zone" is optional---you don't have to use it. I do recall that I did not use it years ago when I did use Acronis.

In fact, I think this thread is the first mention of Secure Zone that I have heard on these forums. So, I think many users don't use it. I can't even recall its exact purpose. But you can certainly make Acronis images without it and store them directly on another drive.

That partition would definitely be a candidate for elimination as WHS says.

Partition Wizard has a pretty good interface and is quite intuitive. Users on this forum have very few problems with it.

Try to end up with no more than 3 partitions---many of us have only 1.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #8
CBM

1.Windows 7 Ultimate x64; 2.Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Partition Wizard CD will do the job, never fails.

Do you know if that Recovery partition still works? Be sure to make the disks off of it if you want a path back to factory condition.

IŽd use PW CD to Explore the OEM and Recovery and post back a screenshot of the contents for analysis.
Thank you for your reply, gregrocker. I've burned the ISO file to a DVD so I'll boot with it and see what I get. Do I use the PrintScreen key on my keyboard while examining the contents of Dell's recovery and ulility partitions and then paste it into Paint after I reboot or is that even possible? Does the Partition Wizard itself have the capability of capturing a screenshot and if so how do I retain the screenshot so as to save it and then paste it after I reboot?

I'll create an Acronis backup and a Windows Backup and Restore backup and save them to one of my external drives before attempting any drive changes with Partition Wizard. I assume a backup would restore the drive to its original configuration but I'm not sure.

C.B.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #9
CBM

1.Windows 7 Ultimate x64; 2.Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
It's been quite a while since I used Acronis, but as I recall, the "Secure Zone" is optional---you don't have to use it. I do recall that I did not use it years ago when I did use Acronis.

In fact, I think this thread is the first mention of Secure Zone that I have heard on these forums. So, I think many users don't use it. I can't even recall its exact purpose. But you can certainly make Acronis images without it and store them directly on another drive.

That partition would definitely be a candidate for elimination as WHS says.

Partition Wizard has a pretty good interface and is quite intuitive. Users on this forum have very few problems with it.

Try to end up with no more than 3 partitions---many of us have only 1.
Thank you for your assistance, ignatzatsonic. I created the ASZ myself but I removed it a few minutes ago and returned the unallocated space to my OS partition. I now have only three partitions on the drive. I'll leave the Recovery partition on the drive, regardless of what I attempt to do, since it's such a small amount of space on the 1TB drive. If I delete it I'm not so sure that I would be able to boot into Windows. I don't worry about losing the third party software that came with the computer as I can simply go to Dell's website, enter my service tag number and download it. I assume the Dell utility partition is the first one on the drive, with 39MB. I'll leave it as is.

I did come up with this while researching partitions:

http://en.community.dell.com/support.../19370891.aspx

And this:

http://www.goodells.net/dellutility/

And this:

http://jgkhome.name/PC_Info/BING_WIN7_Dell.htm
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Sep 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Post another screenshot of Disk Management as it is right now.

Depending on what it looks like, you may not need to use the Partition Wizard disc that you burned.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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