My hard disk has two drives, C-390gb & D-74gb, both primary partitions with NTFS file system. I want to increase the size of my D drive and allocate the minimum required space to C: to run Windows. I have Windows7 Ultimate 64-bit.

I wanted to know how safe it is to do this. Very recently I lost the complete data on C: which included the all s/w installers, documents, personal data, etc., and I had to reinstall Windows. Now I want to save all my data on D: and hence want to increase the size.

When I right click D: in disk management, there is no option to extend it. Also, there is an option of formatting. Does that mean that D: is not formatted?

I can't afford to take any major risks, since I do not have a Windows installation cd. Also, I don't have any external drive for backup.

Any help is highly appreciated.

  • Do you have a spare USB lying around, one where you could burn a gparted OS onto it? Or any Linux Distro really? – Zain Patel Jun 1 '13 at 9:15
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    Answering your question's title: repartitioning is as safe as reliable your backup is. Always make backups of your files. It's also a good idea to backup MBR, bootsectors and partition table before performing partition operations. – gronostaj Jun 1 '13 at 11:48
  • thanx gronostaj & ChickenP for answering. no, i do not have any spare USB. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 14:32

I dont know if your approach is necessarily the best for what it is you seem to be trying to do here.

Having two partitions on 1 disk isnt really a great protection against losing your files in the future, what about disk damage? How did you lose your files on it first time round?

Anyway - to help you with your question - it sounds like you want to do this on the fly without reformatting. Id say this is another bad idea but anyway...

Why this whole thing is a bad idea:

-What are you defining as the minimum required space to run windows?

-You already have programs installed in program files, are you planning on keeping these on the c drive?

That would assume then that you never plan to install any programs in the future which will eat up your fixed and limited space. (Whats the point in keeping program files folder safe anyway? - the programs wouldnt all work if you ever reinstall windows - you would have to reinstall the programs - think registry entries etc - so this says to you you cant define a minimum space unless you never want to install any programs in the future)

-What about your Users directory? Is it moving drive? This can have horrible hangovers if done on the fly

-You may be considering moving the current program files folder - this could be a bad idea and also have hang over effects later on

This crazy fella has carried out what you seem to want to - would be a good idea to read his experiences and opinions.

For resizing your partitions on the fly I would look into getting a bootable disc with gparted or something on it.

Why dont you invest in another physical disc and reisntall windows afresh using this other disc for your personal data and leaving a full hard drive for windows and however much space it will need - dont confine your options too much - it will cause pain one day. You would of course also be advised to back up this other physical disc :)

In saying that your whole sitution could probably have been avoided if you backed up your files anyway :p

Update: To check if the d: drive is formatted go to "Computer" and double click on it - windows will alert you if it needs formatted.

  • hello Steve, thanx for the whole lot of information. actually frankly speaking i'm only a few months old at using a pc. so i'm not very computer n tech-savvy. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 14:41
  • ending bluetooth driver installation midway gave error 0xc000000f.tried everything to repair,but ultimately had to reinstall windows.hence lost all data on C: even all installers.just meant to allocate more space to D: to keep all installers & personal stuff rather than user directory.as C: seems has more chances of damage.had not planned to move any C: folders.rather only using C: for installations.searching on net,i could only make out that repartition & formatting can be risky.also wanted to know how to check if D: is formatted? did not know how necessary it is to back-up,until now. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 15:59
  • You could have saved your files using an ubuntu live cd - or a number of different methods. You should also look into some free online storage with either google drive, sky drive or drop box - back up your important stuff there for free. To check if the d: drive is formatted go to "Computer" and double click on it - windows will alert you if it needs formatted. – steve Jun 1 '13 at 16:44
  • double clicking on computer is not bringing up any alert for formatting. but in disk management, right click on D: gives the option of formatting. what could that mean? the only data i've right now is the installed windows. nothing else. thanx for the online storage suggestion. its going to be very helpful. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 16:59
  • You can still format a drive that has data on it....Im sure if you try and create a file on the d drive you'll find it works – steve Jun 1 '13 at 17:37

You can use a tool like Clonezilla to clone your partitions on another drive, and then do all your partitioning jobs.This way, if you will have any problem, you can always restore from the cloned images.

All the cloning and partitioning jobs are better done from a Live system rather than from one installed on the target hard drive. Your best option in my opinion is Parted Magic, it has all the tools you need to perform these tasks. You can burn it to a CD or install it on a USB pendrive, to do so you can use a tool like unetbootin.

  • Sekhemty, thanx for the help. you have nicely suggested everything. but right now i have no external drives and extra hard drive for some reason. so i dont know how i will manage this. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 16:05
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    If you are willing to repartition your disk and be 100% sure to prevent any data loss, you HAVE to make a backup first. There is no way around this. Usually, when I have done some repartitioning from a Parted Magic liveUSB, nothing went wrong, but nobody can guarantee a 100% success rate at every try. Without a backup, you are always risking; albeit this risk usually is minimal, it is here nonetheless. – Sekhemty Jun 1 '13 at 16:14
  • is backup through windows sufficient or did you mean external backup? i dont even have windows installation cd, just in case. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 16:23
  • I mean to backup your files, at least the ones that you don't want absolutely to lose, on another physical drive. Moving them inside different folders or partitions on the same hard drive can't be a guarantee that they will be safe in case of problems. I'm sorry, but if you need to be 100% sure to prevent any data loss, as I said previously, you can't make it without a proper backup. – Sekhemty Jun 1 '13 at 16:30
  • since i have to start from scratch, right now i only have windows installed on the system and as such no other programs or data. – sahibaa Jun 1 '13 at 16:46

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