Partition resizing: merge, shrink, extend partitions

In most operating systems, users can divide a hard disk into multiple partitions: make one physical hard disk into several smaller logical drives. On Microsoft Windows, commonly, users are used to store the OS and applications on one hard disk partition and user data on another hard disk partition. To prevent the data partition from being affected, we need to create hard disk partitions. While to better manage data and files, we need to resize the partitions.

There are, of course, deeper meanings for resizing partition. Such as, merge partitions, shrink partition and extend partition, etc. while in most cases, extending partition would be commonly used in resize partition.

“How do I extend the volume of my C drive in Windows 7, while the drive I want to merge into C drive is not adjacent to C drive?” “I have three partitions on my Windows 7. There is unallocated space. But when I click on C disk to extend it, the option to extend is grayed out. What can I do?” People may have suffered problems as above. So, what can we do?

When resizing partitions in Windows 7, we must be aware of something. For instance, we can only shrink or expand NTFS partitions using Windows 7 tools; When we shrink a partition, unmovable files or shadow copy storage area are not relocated; The partition can’t be shrunk if there’s enough bad clusters on the disk, etc.

Extend partition with Windows Disk Management

In Windows Disk Management, we all know that we can only add free unallocated disk space to adjacent partition to extend other partitions. To add the unallocated space to C drive, first, right click “Computer”, select “manage”, then select “disk management”, and right click C drive. Then, select “Extend Volume” in the drop-down menu and we’ll succeed in adding the unallocated space to C drive. Actually, this process is easy to speak but it is not simple to operate. Because we can extend partition when its right side has the unallocated space. That is to say, if there are no unallocated space in the right adjacent to C drive, disk management can’t extend C drive’s volume.

Best way of adding unallocated space to my C drive

In Windows Disk Management, if the two partitions are adjacent, we’ll have to delete in the right side to get adjacent unallocated space, but that’s risky of losing data. Many people may prepare a external disk hard to store data and files. Yes, that’s a good way, but a stupid way as well. Because there are some invisible files and data in some partitions. If we lose them during copying data and files, it may cause some application can’t be run normally.

besides disk management, many third-party software have shown. They make up the shortage of disk management; we can be easier and safer to add the unallocated space to any drive with such software. AOMEI Partition Assistant is one of the third-party software that can operate disk and partition in computer for safe.

In AOMEI Partition Assistant, it has many functions to add unallocated space to C drive. select which function depending on what situation the computer encounters.

  •  Merge partition: if computer have the unallocated space, we can use this function to merge any partition with the unallocated partition without restarting computer.
  • Allocate free space. If computer doesn’t have the unallocated space, but other drives have much free space, we can we use this function to allocate free space from any other drive to C drive.
  • Extend partition wizard: we can use this wizard to extend C drive to other drive’s free space.
  • Resize partition: we can use this function to extend and shrink any partition’s space. the principle is similar with what mentioned above.

It is very simple to operate AOMEI Partition Assistant; we just take “Merge Partition” as an example to show how to add unallocated space to C drive.

Step 1: We can download, install, and launch this software,  In this example, there is an unallocated space behind D: partition but it is not-adjacent to C:. Right click the partition (here is C:) where you want to merge unallocated space and select “Merge Partitions” in the drop-down menu.

merge-unallocated-spaceThe interface of AOMEI Partition Assistant

 Step2.In the pop-up window, tick the check box of the unallocated space, and then click “OK” to continue.

merge-unallocated-space-to-cSelect partition and the unallocated space to merge

Step3.You can preview changes. To save the changes, please click “Apply” on the toolbar.

apply-clickclick “Apply”

After finishing the steps above, you will see your C drive become more big. It will improve the speed of computer running.