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?


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


The article reveals that the disk management utility in Windows 7 calls the OS' defragment tool. If you have the Disk Defragmenter GUI open, you can follow the progress of defragmenting.

You can also cancel the defrag process, which will cause the volume shrink to fail gracefully, with a message saying the shrink operation was cancelled.

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    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
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    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
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    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). – aaaronic Jan 8 '14 at 4:39
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    Please also note that at least for me the progress shown by the Disk Defragmenter is hardly linear: It seemed stuck at 52% for half an hour with a jump to 100% after this hiatus. Anyway, it worked. – Tom Pohl May 23 '18 at 13:54

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