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I am trying to install Linux on a machine that is currently running windows 7 home edition. I want to keep windows 7 and install windows in a partition. So I went to Disk Management, right-clicked on the drive, and clicked Shrink Volume.... But the resulting analysis shows that I can only shrink the volume by 2.3GB. So I deleted 30GB of space on the drive and clicked Shrink Volume again, but still got the 2.3GB limit. There are over 200GB free on the hard drive. How can I get windows 7 to safely create a 60GB partition in which I can then install Linux?

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  1. Turn off virtual memory (to get rid of pagefile)

  2. Reboot

  3. Turn off hibernation (to get rid of hiberfil.sys)

  4. Defragment your disk (only if this is not SSD), this may take some time.

  5. Shrink your partition.

  6. Turn on virtual memory and hibernation

  7. Reboot

  • As far as I know, Windows will defragment the drive when it analyzes it for potential space (which is why it takes so long!). But I agree it should be done manually just in case. – Nathan C Nov 21 '14 at 20:18
  • @CodeMed oh, yes, there will be no hibernation and virtual memory, but you can turn them on. I'll edit my question and add that info. – Kamil Nov 21 '14 at 20:26
  • Defragmentation alone did not solve the problem. I also had to optimize the hard drive using a third party tool called Auslogics Disk Defrag. But +1 for the list. – CodeMed Nov 22 '14 at 5:35
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Defragment the partition (so files aren't split up), and consolidate the files (so they aren't spread across the partition). Don't shrink from inside Windows, do it from a Linux live-cd with Gparted. This will allow you much more room that from doing it inside Windows, but still not the entire 200GB because a few GB will be reserved.

  • No. Defragment and consilidate in Windows. Download Gparted Live, or another linux distro that uses a graphical live-cd with Gparted pre-installed and use it create the partition. Then boot up CentOS installation disc, and install. – traveller Nov 21 '14 at 20:16
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Chances are you have unmovable files near the end of the partition. Use the defragmenter tool to figure out where it is (most likely it's the page file). Typically you can remove the page file/hibernation file in order to do the shrink, then enable it again later.

  • If you look at the Analyze screen you should see a visual representation of the disk. Green means "unmovable". It should also generate a report of stuff that it couldn't move. – Nathan C Nov 21 '14 at 19:57
  • Ah...right. I forgot that the disk defrag tool was neutered (for lack of a better term) in Windows 7. You can use a 3rd party defrag tool for it. A tool like GParted Live as mentioned in another answer may be able to move these files outside of Windows. – Nathan C Nov 21 '14 at 20:17
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Try differend Partition tool.
I use EaseUS Partition Master master, and I dosen't get any eror.

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