Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Okay, maybe this is me worrying about nothing, but...

I have a 500 Gb. external drive where I want to create a second partition. I plug it into my Windows 7 box, use Disk Manager and pick the "Shrink Volume" option. It says that the maximum amount to shrink is around 150 Gb. I hit "OK" and it starts working... and it's been going on for about half an hour.

The light of the external HD is constantly working. Disk Manager is greyed out and has the "does not respond" message on the top bar; basically, it's behaving as a non-responding application.

Is this normal for a drive of this size, or did the application hang? How long would it typically take for a drive like this to resize its partition?

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

Okay, found the answer. Let's leave it here for future reference:


The article reveals that the disk management utilty in windows 7 calls the OS' defragment tool. If you have the defrag tool GUI open, you can follow the progress of shrinking.

share|improve this answer
That's a very interesting link (+1 for finding it!), but for future reference can you summarise the article here? After all, that link may break in future and/or the page may disappear. –  Karan Nov 9 '12 at 0:12
Thanks for editing. I'll just add that, despite the above, the progress indicator isn't very responsive (it got stuck at 25% forever), and that, in total, the resizing took about 3 hours (500 Gb. 3.5' drive, USB connection). –  PaulJ Nov 9 '12 at 15:15
It is also worth noting, that even though the link says you need to open Disk Defragmenter before running the volume shrink, it is actually still quite possible to see the progress of a running volume shrink by opening Disk Defragmenter while the process is already running (you can directly run dfrgui.exe using win+r, as a shortcut). –  ahaarnos Jan 8 at 4:39
add comment

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.