View Full Version : Can't shrink volume.

09-30-2009, 06:53 AM
Ok here's my partition.


and here's the partition i want to shrink


Forget bout infamous and uncharted partition cuz its an external HDD.

the one i want to shrink is the windows 7 ultimate, which has the most space of all. I want to shrink about 30 GB to install ubuntu on it but on the 2nd picture you'l understand why i'm asking this.


Paul Komski
10-01-2009, 01:08 AM
Try again after defragging or use a third party tool such as BiNG (in my sig) or try from another installation if you are multi-booting.

The Ubuntu install setup should also be able to do what you want but it is often easier to resize first and then point Ubuntu to just use the unallocated space.

10-01-2009, 03:11 AM
Tried after defragging but no good. If i use third party software will it be safe? Cuz since windows partition manager shows that it cant shrink anymore than that, i'm afraid there'll be file error or corruption that will happen since the partition is the windows partition.

Paul Komski
10-01-2009, 05:53 AM
Non-destructive resizing by any utility is never totally safe. Not so much because of the software involved but because any inadvertent interventions/power-offs etc are the sort of things that can mess everything up.

If I had a system partition like yours that I wanted to resize without fear of being destructive I would first back it up as an image file (with BiNG or similar) and then play around knowing that the partition could be restored from the image file to the state it is in now.

Part of your problem is that the partition contains some 90 GB of data which when compressed into an image file is still going to occupy about 50% of that space (about 10 DVDs worth). Even to another decent hard drive partition that ~45 gig of compressed data is likely to take an hour or so to create and to restore-from.

Touch wood, I have never actually had problems when resizing with BiNG, but that may be no consolation to you if it all should go awry. I have resized Vista partitons with BiNG when Vista wouldn't allow them to be downsized and I don't know why the native software is so pernickity about what it calls "immovable" elements. Such elements are generally structures like hibernation files, pagefiles and suchlike so you might be able to change the available options (of Win7's Disk Management) by removing or reducing the virtual memory, turning off hibernation and even turning off system restore to see (a) if the total used-up data on the drive can be reduced and (b) whether the immovable object can be resited or removed.

10-01-2009, 07:27 AM
What I generally do:

1. Make an image of the partition for insurance.
Normally use "Puppy Linux->Pudd" for the job, but recently used "Acronis True Image 11", and that did a good job [auto-included track0].

2. Copy the folder/file contents of the Windows partition [FAT32 in my case, which causes no problems; neither did NTFS so far as I could tell]...
It would be a good idea to use "SyncBack->[under WINE]->within Puppy" to confirm the ["destination"] copy is identical to the ["Source"] original.
Copy to a folder on a similar partition [FAT32 to FAT32; NTFS to NTFS, I'm taking no risks]...
In my case this is on an external USB HDD.

3. Delete the original contents of the Windows partition.
Generally use "X File Explorer" [Xfe] within some Puppy Linux.
Never have problems when working with FAT32...
When recently working with NTFS, certain files in the Windows partition would not delete.
Had to use "BartPE-CD->Windows-Explorer" to complete the deletion of the difficult files/folders.

4. Non-destructively SHRINK the EMPTY Windows partition.
Since there are no files or folders in there they cannot be corrupted by the shrink operation.
Nor can they cause a refusal; there are NO files/folders on the partition [that cannot be moved].
I use "Puppy->GParted" to do the shrink.

5. COPY the Windows folder/file contents back to the now reduced Windows partition.
Make sure you allow enough space for them. [I excluded my neighbors XP-SP3 restore point files because I didn't arrange enough room!]
(a) I had trouble recently when using "Puppy->Xfe" to do this; certain files [in the Windows folder] could not be written to the partition.
(b) BartPE succeeded where "Puppy->Xfe" failed; all the files finally APPEARED to have been written.
(c) As a check, I ran the FREE version of SyncBack->[under WINE]->within-Puppy, and it reported 55 pages of file/folder DIFFERENCES between the backup copy and the restored versions on the Windows partition.
SyncBack copied over the differences, so that only a single file remained that could not be restored.
It was an un-needed file, so I excluded it from the restore, and the operation was rated "Success" by SyncBack.

6. [B]Now for the problem.
Did that on a neighbors PC just recently, and after completion, the Windows partition would no longer boot!
Unless I use a universal NT/2000/XP boot floppy to BOOT TO the XP "WINDOWS" folder [you choose the drive and partition from a menu].
Restoring the image eliminates the problem.
Still searching for the cause.

7. I've had no problem when I did this on my own PC.
But then, my partitions are FAT32.

Paul Komski
10-01-2009, 08:05 AM
It is not a good practice to copy NTFS files to FAT partitions. There are file sizes and file attributes that are not supported in the change over. One can easily go from FAT to NTFS but not vice versa.

Please also bear in mind that Vista and Win7 don't use the normal partition geometry - particularly for the first Primary partition on a hard drive and that they use many additional sectors (in what is no longer a traditional/legacy track0) for the BCD and other boot functions.

It is best to allow Vista/Win7 to do all the basic partitioning. If resizing is required then use utilities that understand the NTFS file system.

It is not reassuring to see advice posted that reports such significant problems and on a system that involves neither Vista nor Win7.

10-01-2009, 09:33 AM
Ok thanks for the explaination.

So I guess BiNG can do more than just partitioning right?

One more thing, i want to ask about making an image file to backup the windows partition, how do i restore it back? Simply copy and paste?

Paul Komski
10-01-2009, 10:28 AM
BiNG is a small but very effective combined imaging, partitioning and boot manager utility. It can also edit files on FAT and NTFS partitions, edit a BCD on those modern systems that have one, manipulate the MBR in a number of ways and recover deleted partitions by rebuilding the partition tables.

It can run from floppy, CD or hard drive, sees most every USB and Firewire drives and doesn't break RAID arrays because it only goes by what the BIOS tells it about the hard drives installed in a system.


One more thing, i want to ask about making an image file to backup the windows partition, how do i restore it back? Simply copy and paste?Image files are created and restored in different ways. The ones made by BiNG are restored by booting to BiNG and doing the reverse of the method used to create the image file in the first place. One of the reasons I keep using this utility is that it does everything from outside of windows and works at the hard drive sector and not at the file system level for any imaging that it is involved with. Many programs can make images but a recurring problem is how to reinstate the images so made in a simple and straightforward manner.

Paul Komski
10-01-2009, 01:00 PM
Just thought I'd check because I haven't visited the website in some time but BiNG is explicitly stated to be compatible with Win7 (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/bootit-next-generation.htm).

The basics of straightforward image creation/restoration are to boot to the BiNG CD/Floppy and Cancel Setup (which is what you do if you wanted to install the utility as a boot manager) then go into Partition Work. Highlight the relevant partition and choose the Image button. After that there are options to create/restore. When creating an image you would need to choose a location (optical or hard drive) for the image file and follow the prompts. I always choose to verify but don't generally bother with byte for byte verification.

You would follow the same procedure to restore but choose Restore and then browse to where the image file had been saved and then select the original (or a new) partition or some unallocated space to restore-to. Follow the prompts again.

The utility is functional trialware and the download comes with a pdf manual.

10-01-2009, 01:39 PM
SO which one should i get? the one in the link you provided?

and whats the differences if i use the trial version and purchased one? I would buy it if its worth the money.

Paul Komski
10-01-2009, 01:57 PM
There's practically no difference. Download, use and when prompted (after a month or so maybe) you can apply for a licence if you so desire and apply the licence to the same installation.

10-01-2009, 02:51 PM
oo cool. Thanks for the help. Will try using BiNG after my test tomorrow and will let you know how it goes.

Thanks again Paul and Sylvander!