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I just bought a new computer with a 2TB hard drive that has only a single partition. I would like to divide this into at least 4 partitions, but when I try to shrink the current partition, it says the total size is 1888171 MB and that the size of available shrink space is only 939075 MB. The used disk space is at 40gb right now - why can't shrink it to somewhere around that?

I read here: that this is because of unmovable system files. I doubt this is the only problem though.

I would like to get this partition down to 500GB. How can I do this?

edit: So I've learned that 4 partitions is the max allowed on MBR. I realize this makes it sound silly that I said I wanted "at least 4". Time to learn how to use GPT :/

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marked as duplicate by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 windows Apr 29 '15 at 14:45

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Commercial software such as Partition Magic could probably do it. There might be free alternatives or other ways to accomplish it but I'm not sure anymore, sorry. – Mark Allen Oct 6 '12 at 23:05
Try EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition. – Karan Oct 7 '12 at 21:02
@MarkAllen see the comment by Karan he mentioned a good free software for this which do it very easily. – avirk Oct 9 '12 at 2:18
@avirk Thanks! Good to know. – Mark Allen Oct 9 '12 at 3:18
up vote 3 down vote accepted

GParted should be able to change the size of the partitions as you want, it can be downloaded from GParted Live CD

BTW, you can have only 4 primary partitions, but if you create one extended partition you can have more logical partitions.

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WARNING: Re-sizing partitions can also delete your partition (since you are trying to re-size your root partition, this can happen only if you try to re-size externally (without booting into OS)).

Usually Disk management inside Windows won't allow re-sizing the partition because of unmovable system files. But if you try to defrag your partition, you can shrink it beyond the previously limited size, but of course to some extent. But, third party tools can let you re-size the partitions beyond that too. So, you might want to try one of them. I'd recommend Acronis Disk Director / MiniTool Partition Wizard if you are trying to re-size from inside the Windows, else, GParted Live CD is always the best option.

Make sure that you defrag the drive before trying anything. Also, though GPT scheme allows to create more than 4 primary partitions (128), it also requires that you have to switch from BIOS to UEFI booting. So, if you are going to setup multi-OS system, then you must choose the OSs that support EFI boot.

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I had the same problem, 500GB harddisk and the shrinking process didn't shrink less than 230GB.. I did the below steps and I was able to shrink to exactly the space allocated by the windows files itself.

Do the following...

  1. Remove C:\hiberfil.sys file (by disabling Hibernation, e.g with powercfg /h off).
  2. Remove C:\pagefile.sys file (by disabling page file for drive C).
  3. Defragment your C volume.
  4. Restart the computer.
  5. Open disk management and see the magic. ;)

Do not forget to reenable a pagefile after shrinking the volume.

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Deactivating system restore, and deleting temporary files should be mentioned too in your list. Then it is complete, I would say. – JasoonS Jun 19 at 14:55

I would recommend following the procedures given in the article you cite to temporarily eliminate most of the problematic system files, and then use the Perfect Disk program mentioned there to do a boot-time defrag with free-space consolidation. I have done exactly that in the past, and it worked very well. As others have noted, you can have far more than 4 partitions if you make an extended partition and create logical partitions inside it.

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I figured the same problem and finally came to the conclusion: deactive system restore by going into control panel.. system protection and then reduce the hard disk to your desired requirement. once that is done active system restore again.

in case this still doesnot work delete windows & internet temporary files and you will be able to succeed.

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Apparently you didn't face the same problem, because OP's comes from the NTFS metadata backup always stored at the center of the partition, not from any Windows or user files. – SilverbackNet Jan 22 '15 at 2:50

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