When you are running out of space on the boot partition (usually C drive), this post will guide you how to extend C drive in Windows 7 without any software just by Disk Management tool. Be aware: you may need to delete the next partition of C drive, it could be your D drive. Mostly the C drive will be the system and boot partition, extending the boot partitions was not that easy in earlier Operating Systems, but Windows 7 and later Operating Systems such as Windows 8.1 and 10 added the support in extending the system or boot partition without any third party tools with built-in disk management.
Important point again: To extend the C drive, your hard drive should have free space. This free space should be next to the C drive. If you have C, D, then some free space, this method is not applicable. Even it will be tough with the other third-party tools if you do not have free space next to C drive. In that case, you need to move the partitions and extend the C drive – which is too complicated and we are not going to discuss that here. So basic requirement, make some free space next to C drive on the same hard drive. If you need to delete the other partitions to extend the C drive, then you must do that if extending the C drive is so important. In some cases, you can mount the folder from other drives and extend to C drive without deleting or formatting other partitions. I have mentioned that too. But some of the programs may face the issue in reading the extended partition which is connected to mounted folder.
It’s recommended to take backup of C drive and your Operating System before continue following steps, but it never fails.
Two Ways Extend C drive in Windows 7/8.1 and Windows 10
1) Extending to unallocated space
2) Mounting in to empty NTFS folders in different partitions.
None of the methods require to convert the disk to ‘dynamic disks’, so do it with the basic disk type.
Few Issues and Important Considerations
1) If you have two partitions C and D, D partitions should be deleted to create unallocated space next to C drive.
Make sure to take backup of your data on D before deleting it.
2) If you have 80GB hard disk and the whole space allocated as C drive then this extending feature will not work. It requires empty space next on same physical hard disk. In this case, we can use empty NTFS folder from different physical disk.
Let’s Do it
1) Let me extend C partition in below example. ‘Extend Volume’ option is disabled in disk management when I tried without deleting the D drive. Take a full backup and delete the D volume. ( Right-click on volume and select delete volume)
Now, right click on C drive and select Extend volume.
Add the available unallocated space in the next screen. You can adjust the space to merge with C drive. Here I selected the entire unallocated space.
After successfully merged the free space, here is the extended partition.
Note: Once you allocated the entire physical hard disk to C drive and no more partitions available next to it then ‘Extent Volume’ will be disabled. You can’t extend C drive to other physical disks.
Follow NTFS folder method to extend c drive to other physical disk partitions.
Please note that the screenshots on this guide were taken on Windows 7. But it is applicable for Windows 10 and 8.1 in extending the C drive without software.
2) Let’s assume, again my C drive is full and no partitions available on the same disk. So, I’m going to use NTFS folder method to extend it to another basic disk.
Now, right click on C drive and select ‘Change Drive Letter and Paths’ option. Press Add and browse for the empty folder created in a different partition. I created empty ‘C_drive’ folder on D drive physical disk. You can’t see the changes immediately. If you go to D drive and look for the empty NTFS folder which used to mount C, it appears as below.
Now C partition space = C drive + Free Space on D
I’m sure these two methods will be helpful to extend C drive in Windows 7/8.1 and Windows 10 without software by using the built-in disk management tool when you are running out of space.
Good thing is, it doesn’t require to convert to dynamic disk. Still if you don’t want to delete the next partition, then use empty NFTS folder to mount.