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Okay I have 3 partition, both on the same hard drive, one is OS, the other 2 are for data. I want to combine the 2 data partition into one, How can I do that?

If I go to Disk management, when I right click the volume the "Extend Volume ... " option is grey out (both of them) I can only shrink or delete the volume.

Help ! Thanks!

Note: running in Windows 7

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I'd add that you only want free programs into your question, then. Last time I went looking for apps that let you "merge" partitions like you want, Partition Magic was the only tool that let you do it, paid or otherwise. – J. Polfer Aug 26 '09 at 19:55
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Move all of the files from one of your data partitions to the other. In disk management, delete the now-empty partition. You should then be able to grow the remaining partition to fill the empty space.

If that doesn't work, move all the data files off the system (onto an external USB drive, for instance), delete BOTH data partitions, and create a new partition that fills the now-empty space.

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okay well the problem is that both partition are kind full, and have a large number of files, it takes hrs to transfer to an external USB and copy it back. Prefer if there is any other options. – Jonathan Aug 26 '09 at 20:00
Well, you don't really have any other options. I believe that there is no free tool that will combine live filesystems and leave the contents intact. I'm not even sure Partition Magic (a non-free tool) can do that. Combining two filesystems without losing any data along the way is pretty difficult to get exactly right. Even if there were a free solution, you'd need to back everything up first, because any bug could destroy all your data. – Michael Kohne Aug 26 '09 at 20:52
It's better for it to take hours to save your data onto a USB Drive and have a backup than try something which will merge but has a high probability of destroying both partitions. When I mess around on my computer I save all my files to an external USB drive, yes it take a long time but in the end if what I tried doesn't work I still have my data. – Hondalex Aug 26 '09 at 21:10
thanks looks like I got no other option – Jonathan Aug 26 '09 at 21:24
Partition Magic can do that, my friend. I've done it. – J. Polfer Aug 27 '09 at 19:26

You could try using a (rather slick) tool called Partition Magic to solve that problem, although I'm not sure if that will work with Windows 7 or your partitions, esp. if Windows7 uses a different filesystem format.

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well its a paid program and for one thing, Windows 7 uses the same file system NTFS. I'm looking for a way to solve this without using those paid programs. – Jonathan Aug 26 '09 at 19:52

How to Resize Partitions in Windows 7

delete (backup first!) the 2 'data' partitions, then use Extend Volume ... on drive C: and set it to the maximum availabe size.

note: backup your system before messing with partitions!

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