What I am trying to accomplish is to shrink my C drive by 50 GB and make that 50 GB into a new partition to install windows 8 on.

In Disk Management it shows I have Disk 0 with 4 partitions :

  • SYSTEM (199 MB)
  • C (909 GB)
  • Recovery (D) (21 GB)
  • HP_TOOLS (102 MB).

(Unfortunately I cant include the picture because I dont have 10 rep on this site).

And the issue I have is that when I right click on C to shrink the partition it says that the shrink space available is only 297 MB, when at the top of the screen it indicates that C has 472 GB of free space. Why is it not allowing me to shrink more than 297 MB?

  • You’re already at the 4 partition limit the MBR scheme imposes. Please use diskpart and provide the output of list disk as well as list partition after executing select disk 0.
    – Daniel B
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:29
  • Well, the OP can always make extended partitions instead of primary partitions. You're limited to 4 primary partitions, but you can have many logical partitions inside an extended partition
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:01
  • And who knows, maybe HP chose to put their Recovery and TOOLS drive on an extended partition, so the OP can still make more primary partitions :P
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:02

2 Answers 2


The reason why Windows won’t let you shrink the volume is because there are immovable system files at the very end of the volume. The immovable file is actually the MFT, or Master File Table for the volume. In other words, because it's a system partition.

I suggest to use this program AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, it's free and simple to use. It will do all you want in a restart.So, setup it in the normal windows interface, open it and do what you have to do, then restart and follow the instructions on the screen.

  • ok but is using 3rd party software going to cause any problems in the future for the disk? is there a specific reason windows will not allow you to shrink it but a 3rd party program can? what is the 3rd party program doing that windows doesnt let you do?
    – ez4nick
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:06
  • No if you don't make faults it will not. I used this tool many times with neat results. When restarting a special interface will appear which's independent of Windows. Using this interface, the immovable system files will be movable since Windows in not using them or keeping them ready for use. Apr 22, 2014 at 21:12
  • A partition is a contiguous block of space on the hard drive. To create a 50GB partition at the very end of the hard drive means you need a 50GB block of contiguous free space at the end, but you only have 900MB. That's why. It's free space fragmentation.
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:55
  • And the MFT is not necessarily at the end of the partition. It's always been near the beginning for me. I've always been able to shrink my drives down to nearly the same size as all my files put together
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2014 at 21:59
  • Whoops, I meant 200MB not 900MB
    – Alex
    Apr 22, 2014 at 22:05

You can use a defragmenting tool to defragment the drive you're trying to shrink to make the free space contiguous.


The advantage of using this instead of partitioning tools is that this consolidates your free space block, so you can shrink a lot more, and it also defrags your files, which increases read speeds. You can defrag, shrink, and then partition without having to restart your computer.

The downside is that this isn't the best choice for an SSD because this is a bit heavier on the wear and tear side for SSDs with the large amounts of writing to be done. In that case, you may be much better off with the aforementioned partitioning tools. This process may also be fairly time consuming depending on how often you defrag your HDDs

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