Monday, October 15, 2012

Resize partition in Windows 7 without damaging data


Windows XP users may know that Windows XP built-in disk management tool can realize basic disk management operations like create partition, delete partition, and format partition. But when we encounter the situation of partition space shortage and need to resize partition, Windows XP built-in disk management tool will be helpless. If you want to operate forcibly, you have to delete a partition, and then create a partition according to your need. But data in the partition will be lost.

Therefore, Microsoft has released a new generation operating system – Windows 7. Windows 7 built-in disk management tool is specially added with two functions of extending volume and shrinking volume. Let me introduce these two functions.

Shrink partition: find the disk to be resized in the disk management tool, and then right click the partition to be shrunk and select "Shrink Volume" in shortcut menu. System will automatically compute the size of shrinking (if the compressible value is too small, we should firstly do defragmentation). Input a compressible value, and click shrink. After executing, there will be a piece of unallocated space behind the original partition.

Extend partition: find the disk to be resized in the disk management tool, and then right click the partition to be extended. Select "Extend Volume" in shortcut menu. So we can enter extending interface directly. However, there must be some unallocated space behind the partition to be extended. System will display the space you can use to extend. Input the value, and click finish. After executing, extending partition work is finished.

We can see the big problem from the above introduction that Windows 7 built-in disk management tool can only shrink partition forwards. Sometimes, the compressible space will be smaller than the unused space. And it can only extend partition backwards. These seemly useful functions are actually useless. But if we employ dynamic disk, it will not be that troublesome, because dynamic disk allows forming unconnected pieces of space as one volume. It is more convenient but the operation is difficult.

Common users usually employ basic disk but not dynamic disk. So how can we solve the problem? Through searching on the Google, I have found a magical partition magic named MiniTool Partition Wizard, which is able to resize partition without damaging data in Windows 7. It is easy to use and free. Unlike the defects of dynamic disk management of other partition management software, its dynamic disk management functions are comprehensive and powerful, and enable Windows users to do well in disk and partition management.

I hope Microsoft can provide us with higher level service and better disk management tool in the future. 

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