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I have about 4 partitions in my hard drive. There is also a partition with about 50gb free space but when I try to shrink it using the windows disk manager, it can only shrink about 15mb. And I don't know why. I should be able to shrink to about 49gb because I have 50gb free space on that partition.

Its a seagate 500gb external hard drive. Connected to the computer using usb cable.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's a good explanation of what is probably happening to you and how to get around it:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/working-around-windows-vistas-shrink-volume-inadequacy-problems/

Basically there are certain immovable files that Windows uses and you can only resize up to where they are written.

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Partition management in Windows isn't all that great and until recently you couldn't do the shrinks so I am guessing you are in Vista or 7. Either way I would look in to burning a GParted disk and doing the edit there.

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You may need to defrag that partition before you shrink it. If you haven't defrag-ed it, then the data may be spread out over the drive, preventing you from shrinking the partition as much as you would like.

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tried scanning for fragments but the partition that is fragmented isn't the one that I'm trying to shrink. The partition that I'm trying to shrink is below 10% fragmentation. –  soul Jul 11 '10 at 7:49
    
Why a down vote? –  Xavierjazz Jul 11 '10 at 14:31

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