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Is there any chance that my Windows will fail to load after resizing its partition?

I remember ~4 years ago i wanted to install Ubuntu as second system on my laptop and i used live-USB with GParted to split my hard drive. Unfortunately after this my Windows 7 failed to load (i do not remember the error text or probably it did infinite restart trying to load). On the other hand i did similar resize several times and i lost my Windows only once and do not know the reason why.

Now i need to instal 2nd OS again but i afriad i will have to reinstall windows after it.

  • I did this some years ago and it went well. I can't remember exactly, but shrinking the partition went well and booting the new linux OS worked too. I had some difficulties with my Windows partition if I remember correctly. There were some bootable repair tools that fixed this for me and no data was ever lost. – Chris Oct 5 '14 at 15:09
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    If you're worried about "safety", then make a backup first. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Oct 5 '14 at 19:38
  • @Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 i worry about Windows won't start after resizing its partition. I know i won't lose my data. – Kirill Oct 5 '14 at 21:57
  • If you aren't worried about data then I'd just backup your drivers (with Double Driver) and your product keys (Produkey or Key Finder Thing) and have a bootable USB stick with Windows on it. That way, if it all goes wrong, you can quickly reinstall Windows. – Richard Sep 12 '16 at 17:19
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You can resize the Windows partition, and it will still boot. Windows will give an error at start-up the first time saying the disk size doesn't match it's records, it will run checkdisk and update it's records, and then work fine. I've done this many times.

You cannot move the Windows partition though or it won't boot. It's worth pointing out that if you shrink from the left side of the Windows partition what you are actually doing is shrinking, and then moving; ONLY shrink from the right side of the partition. You also should not expand the partition on the left side as again you're actually moving it to the left, and then expanding off the end; ONLY expand from the right side of the paritition.

I would also point out that partitioning is never a 100% safe activity. You are altering the partition table, if that fails (slim chance) your entire disk is at risk for data loss. It's always a good idea to have a backup of your entire drive before engaging in any form of partitioning, not that most people actually do it.

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Windows can shrink its partitions, too, so why not go with that?

Simply open Disk Management, right-click on the partition you want to resize and fire away. Safety guaranteed.

If you find the space you can gain to be too small, you could defragment the partition (even if it's on a SSD). Don't expect too much, though, there are many immovable elements on a partition.

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    This rarely works in my experience, even after defragmenting the SSD with lots of free space. GParted is much faster and safe enough if you follow proper procedures. – Christopher Markieta Oct 21 '15 at 15:37
  • @ChristopherMarkieta It may appear more capable, but a reverse-engineered NTFS driver will only get you so far. Using Windows is simply the only safe option. – Daniel B Oct 21 '15 at 17:47
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    Yeah, definitely can't expect anything from the built-in Disk Management, even after defragmenting. Booting live Linux and using Gparted or similar is basically the only way to get results, because Windows can't move the files itself while booted for whatever reason. – Alexander O'Mara Apr 5 '16 at 21:19
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You should have no issues with Gnome Partition Editor and resizing Windows partitions. I have used in countless times with no issues.

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Resizing the boot partition with an external editor (for example GParted) doesn't appear to work for non-NT versions of Windows. Booting will cause an unspecified error on my ancient Windows 98SE virtual machine.

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I just used GParted to reduce my Windows a further ~100GB more then Windows Partition Manager would. I carefully watched the process, and it moved over 30GBs in the process.

It worked without a hitch: it's a very smart program. I now trust it. It ended up leaving Windows with less than 1% usable space! Which is great because i could get into Windows 10 and remove over 30% of the stuff, which makes it run better. But be careful.

This fact points out that GParted awesomely moved all the files in the NTFS folder to a tight nit space, and ... I saw it smartly checking for boot loading ability, and checkdisk as well for Windows. Brilliant.

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