When to extend partition into non-contiguous space?
Almost every disk is partitioned with C:, D:, E: drives maybe even more volumes in Windows 7/8/10 and in its previous versions. However, one of the most common problems in partition management is the volume is out of space, and mostly the volume is the system drive C: /. If there is free space on the same disk and it is separated by other data partitions, you will need to extend to non-contiguous space to enlarge system drive (as shown below). If there is no free space on the disk, you can replace this small drive with a larger disk, and the likely consequence is you will find a large amount of unallocated space at the end after cloning. And now, you will face the same situation as above to extend partition into non-adjacent space. But, how do you achieve the goal? Find the answer in the following part.
How to extend volume into non-contiguous unallocated space?
Backup everything important since you will make changes to partitions. If you right click on C drive, you will find that the Extend Volume is grayed out. If you insist on using Windows built-in tool Disk Management to extend non adjacent partition or free space, you have to delete the in-between partitions. That would be D: / with 488 GB capacity here. You can extend D: / to the unallocated space first and make it unallocated space by deleting it later. The Extend Volume will be usable by then. But deleting partition means you will lose contents inside of it. In most instances, this is not a wise choice.
If the partition you want to extend to non-adjacent space is data partition instead of system partition and boot partition, you can convert it to dynamic partition and then select extend volume option. Note that a FAT partition cannot be extended and some Windows operating systems like Windows 7 Home Premium and Windows XP Free Edition don’t support dynamic disk, either.
Alternatively, you can try the easiest way to merge non-adjacent partitions and unallocated space using handy and reliable partition manager AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. This software is free for Windows 10/8.1/8/7 and Windows XP/Vista. There is no need to delete partitions or to convert partition to dynamic one. Just within a few clicks, the task would be done. The installer package is small since there is no ad-ware bundled, so free download it and have a try.
Extend to non-adjacent unallocated space using Free AOMEI Partition Assistant
Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Right-click the partition you want to extend and click Merge Partitions.
Step 2. Check the target partition as well as the unallocated space box here and click OK.
Step 3. Now the target partition C: / drive is enlarged from 51.87 GB to 608.32 GB. Click Apply and Proceed to execute the operation.
As you can see, only four steps needed, you are able to extend partition into non-contiguous space using AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard, whether it is system drive or not. Actually, this free partition manager is capable of many other things. For example, you can reformat partition to FAT32 with it, or shrink C: drive to enlarge other partitions. Some other features like transfer OS to new hard drive, create bootable media, and copy disk/partition are also available.