Shrinking a partition by using the GUI

Shrinking a partition by using the GUI

  1. First, like in most administrative tasks, you must be logged on as an Administrator.
  2. In Windows Vista, go to Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools, or on the My Computer context menu. Select Computer Management. In Vista, if you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  3. In Windows Server 2008 you need to go to Server Manager, found in the Administrative Tools folder or on the My Computer context menu.
  4. Next, scroll down till you get to the Storage section, and in it go to the Disk Management console.
  5. Select the disk you want to shrink, for example Drive C.
  6. Note: Shrinking any volume is fine as long as you make sure you leave enough space on the partition you are shrinking. For example, having a 40 GB system partition might seem too much at the beginning, but after a while you might find it to be less than optimal. You see, many applications such as Microsoft Office take tons of free space. So do Service Packs, hotfixes and other files. For a server running Windows Server 2008 this calculation might be different than on a workstation running Windows Vista, but in any case, make a mental note of this BEFORE shrinking your partitions.
  7. Right-click the disk and select Shrink Volume.
  8. Shrink Partition in Vista 1
    In Windows Server 2008 it looks like this:
    Shrink Partition in 2008 1
  9. Click Shrink to use the maximum allowable amount of space.
  10. Shrink Partition in Vista 2
  11. Windows Vista will do some calculations and tell you how much space can be freed. You can manually enter the amount of space you want to free by changing the "Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB" values. However note that you cannot enter a higher value than the value calculated by Vista.
  12. Shrink Partition in Vista 3
  13. After the shrinking process has ended you will see some unallocated space being available on the disk you've worked on.
  14. Shrinking a partition by using the command line

  15. Shrinking a partition or volume can be done via the CLI, or command line interface. This works in both Vista and Windows Server 2008. In order to do that perform the following steps:
  16. Click Start and type CMD, then press Enter.
  17. In the command prompt type
  18. Select the right disk drive and partition to work on. Typically this should be disk 0 and partition 1, but YMMV.
  19. When the right disk and partitions were selected, perform the SHRINK command. If you don't specify the size to shrink by, then the command will shrink the partition by the maximum allowed size.
And with that final step, we have completed our task

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