By Lucas / Last Updated November 18, 2022

Diskpart: there is not enough usable free space on specified disk

“I planned to extend my system drive because it is sort of small for me. In Diskpart, I typed the following orders: list volume > select volume 1 (where 1 is my boot drive) > extend. And then I get the following prompts implying that I failed to extend volume. The message is: There is not enough usable free space on the specified disk(s) to extend the volume. Why would that happen because I do have unallocated space on the disk? What should I do to settle down this issue?”

Not Enough Usable Free Space

Did you come across similar problems? That “not enough free space” message is likely to show up when you shrink volume or create a new simple volume in Windows 11/10/8/7. In Disk Management, you may get this almost the same prompting: There is not enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation. Chances are that the message appears also in Windows Server 2008 or Server 2012.

Not Enough Space Available

Well, what caused that “not enough space” issue and how could you resolve it?

What accounts for Diskpart not enough usable free space issue?

Certainly, there are factors that prevent the volume from being extended, shrunk, or created. The following possible reasons may relieve your confusion:

Free space is not adjacent to the selected volume which you want to extend.

Selected volume does not be formatted with an NTFS file system.

Selected volume locates on a dynamic disk. For Dynamic Volumes, the unallocated space can be any empty area on any Dynamic disk in the system.

Windows does not detect usable free space. If Windows doesn’t scan the hard drive correctly, it is likely to give such errors.

Receiving the error in Windows Server 2003. In Server 2003, only data volumes can be extended. That is to say, you cannot extend the system or boot drive with Windows tools.

An awkward situation would be it prompts not enough usable free space to extend volume but there is. That could be explained by the design limitation of the Windows partition manager. In a nutshell, you need to find solutions to let Windows complete those operations.

How to solve “there is not enough space on the disk” in Windows 11/10/8/7?

To solve the “Diskpart extend not enough usable free space” issue and similar issues, you need different cures for different causes. Check out the solutions below to see if it helps.

Solution 1. Rescan hard drive for Windows

If the error is caused by the hard drive status not being analyzed correctly, you can rescan the hard drive in Windows.

1. Press the Windows key and R key to open Run. Type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter to open Disk Management.

2. Click Action at the top console and then click on Rescan Disks. It will rescan hard disks immediately.

Rescan disk

▶ Tips: The method solves “there is not enough space available on the disk(s) to complete this operation” trouble on Windows Server 2012, Server 2008, and Server 2003 as well.

If rescan disk does not help in extending or creating volume on Dynamic disks, an accepted way is to convert it back to a Basic disk, and then convert Basic to Dynamic after you complete the operation.

Please note that Disk Management only supports converting an empty Dynamic disk to Basic, so you need to delete all volumes beforehand. To convert dynamic disk to basic without data loss, it is suggested to turn to professional tools.

Solution 2. Convert file system on selected drive to NTFS

If extend the partition with a non-NTFS file system formatted, like FAT32, by using Diskpart, probably you’ll get such prompting: Virtual Disk Service error: The volume cannot be extended because the file system does not support it.

In that case, changing the file system to NTFS is workable. With Diskpart, you can achieve the goal with the commands below. Please note that all data on the selected drive will be formatted. Backup files before reformatting if necessary.

• list volume
• select volume n (where n is the number of partition you want to convert)
• format fs=ntfs

Format NTFS

You’ll find it prompts formatting successfully. After that, try volume extending again. However, format partition will cause data loss. If you have some crucial data on the drive, it'll be inconvenient to format the drive.

Thus, we suggest you try AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional which is a powerful partition manager that can do you a big favor. It can convert the file system between NTFS and FAT32 without formatting drive. The user-friendly interface and easy-to-use wizards will walk you through the steps smoothly even if you’re a beginner.

Download Pro DemoWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant. Select All Tools and then NTFS to FAT32 Converter.

NTFS to FAT32 Converter

Step 2. You’ll get into the following window. Choose the FAT32 to NTFS option here. Click Next to continue.

FAT32 to NTFS

Step 3. Choose the FAT32 partition from the given list. If you have more than 1 FAT32 formatted partition, distinguish them with a drive letter and partition size. Click Next to enter this confirming page. Click Proceed to start converting.

Proceed

Solution 3. Extend volume with the Diskpart alternative

You can also move unallocated space from one location to another on the same disk with AOMEI Partition Assistant. Once they become contiguous, extending will be much easier. In addition, you can merge unallocated space to the existing partition directly, without the necessity of moving the partition around. Learn detailed steps in the following parts to fix the “Diskpart: there is not enough usable space for this operation” problem.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the partition you want to extend and select Merge Partitions.

Merge partition

Step 2. In the pop-up window, tick the unallocated space and click OK. You can choose more than 1 unallocated space simultaneously.

Tick partitions

Step 3. View the virtual result. Click Apply to execute pending operations.

Apply

Then reboot to complete the operation.

Note: You can also use "Allocate Free Space" to directly share available space from one partition to another.

To sum up

If "Diskpart: there is not enough usable free space" happens, you can follow the solutions of this guide to solve the problem. AOMEI Partition Assistant has also a Server edition, which helps you solve “Diskpart: there is not enough usable free space” on Windows Server 2022/2019/2016/2012(R2)/2008(R2).