If you’ve ever had to resize a partition, or make new partitions, then I completely understand what you most likely went through. Good partition management software for Windows is hard to come by, well the free partition managers anyways. Almost everyone has heard of Partition Magic, but there is a hefty price tag that comes with it.
In this short tutorial, I’m going to increase the size of the C: drive on my Windows Vista PC.
Important Note: Please backup your data before attempting to make changes to the partitions on your computer. There is always the potential for lost data – so take the time to ensure you have a good backup. If you need some help getting that started, check out this post on Backing up Your Windows Data the Simple Way – with Cobian Backup.
As you can see in the image below, My C: drive is about 40 GB, with only 5 GB of free space available. My D: drive is a second partition on the same physical drive as my C: drive. Under that you’ll notice I have 10 GB of Unallocated space. This is space that was never assigned to anything. I’m going to expand my C: drive to include this space – for a grand total of 50 GB.
The real trick in resizing the first partition on a multi-partition drive is in allocating the space in precisely the right location. In this example, all of the unallocated free space is at the end of the D: drive, which means I’ll have to move it to the beginning of the D: drive, so that I can eventually add it to C: drive. First, I’ll select the D: drive and click on the Resize/Move button. A new window opens up and lets you enter the new settings that you would like to use.
To move the unallocated space from the end to the beginning, simply copy the size from the Space After box and paste it into the Space Before box. The former will automatically reset to zero.
Now you can click Ok. It’s probably best to note that no changes have actually been made at this time. All that has been done is simply a list of changes has been added to a queue. Changes only take complete effect after a reboot.
Now, we still haven’t allocated any space to C: yet, we’ve only re-arranged D: drive. This time, select the C: drive and click the Resize/Move button. Once again we are presented with the change window.
As you can see, the unallocated space is now at the end of the C: drive. This time, drag the little arrow on the right-hand side of the yellow bar all the way to the right. This will stretch the D: partition to the end, and leave you with no unallocated space after.
This essentially completes all of the configuration required to resize the partition. Click Ok. You should be back at the main window again. If you are ready to complete the change, click the Apply button on the lower left-hand side of the window. Like any good piece of software, EaseUs Partition Manager will prompt you several times to make sure you want to continue.
Before you click Yes to both of these, please make sure that you have backed up your important data. Resizing a partition can be dangerous and there is always a risk of failure. If you have confirmed that you have a recent backup, click Yes and get ready to kill some time.
The operation as described above took almost four hours to complete. I wasn’t expecting it to take that long, so it actually seemed much longer as I watched the clock waiting for the work to finish. Here is a screenshot of what you can expect after the reboot.
After the four hour waiting period, Windows booted back up as normal and the new sizing was in effect.
Just to recap, EASEUS is a freeware partition manager for Windows. Most versions of Windows are supported, however 64-bit Vista is not. Don’t forget to get your copy from their download site.