Built-in feature like partition magic came with windows vista and continued in windows 7 also. This article explains how you can use built in partition magic in windows 7. This feature called shrink volume in windows 7. It makes life easy without installing third party software to split your disks without formatting or loosing data.
Before Windows Vista, you had to install third party software such as partition magic to make partition from exiting one without losing data. Windows 7 built-in Shrink Volume helps to do the same without installing partition magic. That’s why I called it partition magic windows 7.
Shrink volume option in windows 7 can be found in Disk management under Computer management. Shrink volume will work with NTFS formatted or raw disks (without any file systems) disks only. The option will be disabled in FAT32 drivers as shown below.
In this example, let me split the Disk 1 (10GB) to each 5GB two partitions. 10GB NTFS partition is already created on Disk 1 and having data on it. Without shrink volume or partition magic it’s not possible to split this disk without losing data or destroying partition and re create. Follow the steps to split a partition in windows 7.
1) Right click on the partition you want to split. Select shrink volume option.
2) Wait for some time. It calculates the maximum space you can shrink on this partition, it depends on the data.
Next pop up screen shows as below.
No -1 shows the current size of partition
No-2 shows the maximum size you can get from existing partition for your new partition. This depends on the existing data and windows allocate some working space for your existing partition. So, in this example I can take 7115MB disk space for my new partition. But I’m not, because I want to split it equally 5GB.
No-3 is your input for new partition size.
No -4 is the disk size for existing partition after shrink. So,
Total size after shrink = Total size before shrink – Size you enter to shrink
New partition size will be what you enter in space to shrink field.
I entered 5120MB ( 5GB) in the field, so it returns as below.
3) When you are ok with the options, press Shrink button and let it complete.
4) Now, you can see one more unallocated disk space of 5GB available on same Disk 1. It means shirk is success.
5) If you want, you can create more partitions on unallocated space before you create partition and format, otherwise don’t worry, you can do it later also with this shrink partition magic in windows 7. I created 5GB full partition and formatted with NTFS.
6) That’s it. We have created two 5GB partitions out of single 10GB partition without losing data or re creating disk. Anyhow, it’s always advisable to backup your data on the partition before you try shrink in windows 7. Depends on available space on partition E and F, you can create more partition out of it by shrink volume option.
One simple question now, how we can do this is opposite way. I mean, how we can merge two partitions as one in windows 7 without any third party software? Yes, it’s possible but with conditions and lost. In the same above example, if you want to join or merge partition E and partition F as one 10GB partition, you have to be ready to lose partition F.
Keep visiting sysprobs.com, I will be updating a post about merging or joining two partitions as one in windows 7.