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Windows 7: How do I increase available shrink space on C?


01 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional
 
 
How do I increase available shrink space on C?

I just bought a new Alienware m18x computer, and it's partitioned into three sections, as seen in this screenshot. The thing is, I want to split it into 4 partitions: OS (150GB), Data (250GB), DATA2 (300GB), DATA3 (300GB), though if DATA2 and DATA3 were one partition, that would be fine.

However, when I go into Disk Management's "Shrink Volume..." option, it says I can only shrink it by 464GB (464394MB), even after a defrag. This would make OS about 500GB in size, which is much too big. What's odd to me is, since this is brand new computer and there's only 30- or 40-some GB of data on there, is that I can't shrink it down smaller.

Do I have to reformat to get these partitions that I want? I ask this because I can't seem to find a Windows serial key that came with the computer (only the disk) so I only want to do this if absolutely necessary. And if I don't have to reformat, how do I shrink the OS partition to ~150GB? Edit: I *did* manage to find the location of the product key, so I can reformat if necessary. Would still like to avoid this, though.

Note: I have seen this thread and searched Google a bit, but I haven't found any solutions to this particular predicament.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2012   #2
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

With the bootable CD of Partition Wizard you can do it. Here is some more info. Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD

Warning: Before you create new partitions on your disk, make sure you have only 3 or less primary partitions on that disk. You will see that only in Disk Management.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You'd best find that Product Key. It is normally found on a Certificate Of Authenticity sticker, which could be on the bottom of the case or possibly in a battery compartment. If you did not get that sticker and this is a new PC, something is definitely wrong.

I'd want to know if I had an OEM Windows license, or not.

You shouldn't have to reformat.

Do not , DO NOT, DO NOT accept any choice that offers you "dynamic partitions".

If you want at least 4 partitions, you may want to use an extended partition that contains logical partitions. I'd try to get by with 3 or fewer.

Windows Disk Management has limitations in shrinking ability. That's why Partition Wizard is the preferable tool.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Sep 2012   #4
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, draw a box around full map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition and what you wish to do. We'll give you the steps using PW CD to resize as much as you need.

Most tech enthusiasts will not run the bloated factory preinstall but instead Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #5

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
With the bootable CD of Partition Wizard you can do it. Here is some more info. Partition Wizard : Use the Bootable CD

Warning: Before you create new partitions on your disk, make sure you have only 3 or less primary partitions on that disk. You will see that only in Disk Management.
I'll look into this tool; I do have 3 partitions currently, though it does say you have to use a CD, and I can't even find CD-RWs anymore (the last store around here that had them closed up). But I'll definitely keep this link in my back pocket.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
You'd best find that Product Key. It is normally found on a Certificate Of Authenticity sticker, which could be on the bottom of the case or possibly in a battery compartment. If you did not get that sticker and this is a new PC, something is definitely wrong.

I'd want to know if I had an OEM Windows license, or not.

You shouldn't have to reformat.

Do not , DO NOT, DO NOT accept any choice that offers you "dynamic partitions".

If you want at least 4 partitions, you may want to use an extended partition that contains logical partitions. I'd try to get by with 3 or fewer.

Windows Disk Management has limitations in shrinking ability. That's why Partition Wizard is the preferable tool.
I did find a note saying where to find the key (I edited my first post to reflect that), I just haven't checked to see if the sticker is really there. Also, I do want 3 or 4 partitions for myself, but there is already that RECOVERY partition and the blank partition as seen in that screenshot I linked. What are dynamic partitions? Why are they bad?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, draw a box around full map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition and what you wish to do. We'll give you the steps using PW CD to resize as much as you need.

Most tech enthusiasts will not run the bloated factory preinstall but instead Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7.
I did post a screenshot (linked) in the OP of what you asked for there. I didn't know if I could post attachments so I just uploaded it to Imgur. I am a bit of a tech enthusiast myself and normally DO reformat upon purchase, but Alienware tends to not be filled with bloatware. (It has the Alienware default software for controlling keyboard lighting, etc., and a McAfee trial which I uninstalled.) Should I just reformat anyway? Would it make the process easier than using Partition Wizard?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #6
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

I would suggest you use the bootable version of Partition Wizard to shrink the right side of the C: partition, at this link below.


Partition Wizard Free Bootable CD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

With the PWizard boot disc you can make 4 primary partitions. I just did an experiment with PW making 4 partitions with no problems. I always make my partitions with PW before installing and set my OS partition active so windows does not create the system reserved partition.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

You now have 3 partitions: OEM, recovery, and C. I'd keep them all.

Shrink C with Partition Wizard. Then make an Extended partition from that generated space. Then make as many logical partitions as you care to inside that extended.

You should not have to reformat. But you can, if you have no interest in ever recovering to factory specs or using whatever tools may be lurking in the OEM or Recovery partitions.

Dynamic partitions are used to span drives--like if you wanted a D partition to be spread across 2 hard drives. Who needs that?? Normally, they are used in some corporate environments and then sparingly as I understand it. They are complicated to get rid of, so avoid them. But Windows will typically offer them to you if you try to make a 4th partition. Say NO to the offer if ever offered.

There is nothing wrong with 4 primaries. But a 5th would force you to extended.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #9
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post


Shrink C with Partition Wizard. Then make an Extended partition from that generated space. Then make as many logical partitions as you care to inside that extended.

Good idea, have a look at Method One of this tutorial linked below for some ideas.
Partition / Extended : Logical Drives
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2012   #10

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Thanks so much for the help so far guys, I'm further than I expected to get.

Having said that, after a few hours and a huge hassle with a BDROM drive, I've gotten to the point where I've set my OS partition to be 152GB. Now I'm left with 765.4GB of unallocated space, and that unallocated partition is unnamed. Should I be using PWizard's "Create+" to create usable/nameable partitions here, or should I go into Windows 7 to deal with this? (@Bare Foot Kid: I worked with that link a bit, but it never mentions the unallocated space I'm getting as a result here.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I increase available shrink space on C?




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