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Windows 7: Unallocated space on a different disk than C drive

31 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
Unallocated space on a different disk than C drive

I have read several forums and postings on this subject but so far I have not had any luck in getting an answer to my issue. I have an HP laptop with a 500 GB HD that came with Vista. I partioned the disk to create a data disk so that we could store pictures on it. So the computer showed a C drive (OS, 220 GB) and E drive (recovery 12 GB) and a D drive (data 232 GB). About six months ago I loaded Windows 7 on it with no problems and the computer still showed the same info. I was set up Windows backup and using the D drive as the back up location and as you can imagine as the C drive grew it started to run out of room to do the backup.

So I bought and installed a Seagate 2 TB external HD. I moved the data files (pictures mostly) from the D drive to the Seagate, which is now showing as the H drive. I opened the Back Up utility and selected the H drive as the new back up location and performed a back up. Per instructions found several places online I used the Windows command "Delete Volume" from the drop down menu under Computer Management/Storage/Disk Management to free up the old D drive space. Everything seemed to work fine and I now have 232 GB of unallocated space.

My problem is that the D drive was assigned a new disk number. So on the Disk Management view I have Disk 0 on the top row, with the C and E drive listed. On the second row I show Disk 1, no drive letter, with unallocated space (there is a third row with Disk 3, H drive). I guess that means that I have one physical internal hard drive but it reads it as two disks? I am trying to move the unallocated space into the C drive. I realize that I need to somehow move the unallocated space next to the C drive in order to get it to expand into it. As of now, the "Extend Volume" option is greyed out in both the C and the E drive options.

The whole purpose of this exercise was to simply remove the data/back up files from the D drive and move them to the new external drive and reclaim this space for my C drive, which is using 197 GB of the 220 GB that is allocated to it. I can't for the life of me figure out how to do this. I tried to use the Administrative Command prompt. The Disk 0 and Disk 1 show up in the Disk List, but under the Volume List the unallocated space does not appear, since it has no volume. Should I assign it a volume letter by using the New Simple Volume Wizard command in Computer Management? And if so, do I need to format the space? Or is it more complicated than this?

Any help appreciated. Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Jan 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

Hello Tarheel72, welcome to Seven Forums!

Before we make any specific recommendations will you please post a snip/screen-shot of the entire disk management drive map with a full description as to which drive/partition is which, so we can see what you have going on as there may be a fairly simple way to resolve the situation.

In the Windows start menu right click computer and click manage, in the left pane of the "Computer Management" window that opens click disk management and post a snip of that.

How to Upload and Post a Screenshot and File in Seven Forums
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Here is the screen shot you requested. thanks

Attached Thumbnails
Unallocated space on a different disk than C drive-screenshot.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Jan 2011   #4
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate

It does in fact seem you have 3 separate Hard Disk Drives, you can create (a) partition(s) to use as you like; have a look at this tutorial at the link below and be sure to post back with any further questions you may have and to keep us informed.

How to Create a New Partition or Volume in Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

I will look at the link but I do not have three seperate physical hard drives. I have one internal and one external. The internal drive, when it was partitioned to create the data drive assigned it a new disk number. It is called Disk 1 but it is just one physical hard drive. How did that happen?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

OK I looked at the tutorial but all it seems to do is to have me recreate what I had. I assign a drive letter and format the space. So I am back to having a D drive again and the space is still not allocated to the C drive.

Here is a screenshot of my Admin Command Prompt. You will notice that under the Volume section it has labeled the H drive, the external Seagate HD, as "Expansion D" which I assume is short for Expansion Drive, which is how it is listed on the Computer Management screen. It is a plug and play drive. All I did was plug it into a USB port and the laptop recognized it. I copied the picture file over to it from the existing D data drive on the laptop. Then I did a backup using the Windows backup utility to image the laptop, making no special instructions. It backed up data files and whatever it normally defaults to backing up. I did that in case something went wrong while I was trying to convert the D drive to unallocated space. Then I followed the tutorial to delete the D data drive and get it to unallocated space. That is where I am at this stage.

Attached Images
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #7
Microsoft MVP


If you know for sure you don't have 2 HD's then your Disk Mgmt is way wrong. I would use free Partition Wizard bootable CD to get a correct reading as it consistently provides the true picture when Disk Mgmt displays incorrectly. Free Download Magic Partition Manager Software - Partition Wizard Online

The fact that it claims there are two HD's of the same exact size looks like a RAID0 that has been broken. But then I don't know how your Windows 7 and factory Recovery Partition would have survived the broken RAID.

If you're not completely sure, try rightclicking on DISK1 in Disk Mgmt first to see if you can create a Partition to format NTFS Primary, assign a letter. Partition or Volume - Create New

Otherwise post back a camera snap of PW CD drive map and full listings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Well after checking more it looks like the laptop has two 250 GB hard drives installed. To be honest I never heard of that until I started checking around. I noticed that in the properties box the drives were identical except one listed a location of "0" and the other a location of "4". I checked the paperwork and the specs and nothing was mentioned except 500 GB hard drive. But I finally found a review on CNET and it had a comment about twin 250 GB drives to get up to the 500 GB advertised. So there is my answer. I guess I will have to reformat the drive and give it a D volume and go back to using it for data. Seems like a waste to me.

Other than pictures what else can I put on there? This is my wife's computer and it is not used for business. Can I move programs from C to D and use them? I have two hard drives in my desktop, both the one that came with it and one from an older desk top that I use as a slave. I still use programs on the slave so I assume I can do this, but I am concerned about keys that might be in the registry or something that refer to a C drive location that might not work it I move a program to D. Of course I am referring to programs we have installed. Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2011   #9
Microsoft MVP


What I would do is store my Windows 7 backup image and file backups on D along with other file storage to free up space on C:
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup
Backup User and System Files

Here is how you can also move some or all of your active User folders (Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc) to the second HD to free up even more C space: User Folders - Change Default Location

This keeps your image more compact so that if Windows 7 ever becomes irreparable you can simply reimage C with OS/Programs from the stored image on D using Repair CD or DVD Repair console, while your files are ready and current in their own separate HD "vault."
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Unallocated space on a different disk than C drive

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