Microsoft Support: How to re-partition without destroying the data?

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 970639 - View products that this article applies to.
  We received a call: The system is installed on my machine. But there's only one partition. I don't want to reinstall the system to re-partition. Is it possible to create another partition?

This might be a problem that troubles many users. Generally, some third party software can provide such features. However, now Windows Vista/Windows 7 enables you to make some certain degree of adjustments towards current partition sizes.

Lets check the How-to:

Collapse this imageExpand this image
2634138
Preparation

An essential requirement of this operation is that your file system must be NTFS. FAT32 file system doesn't work.

Right click the drive -> Property -> on the General tab -> File System will display your file system.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
Check the file system


If it is FAT32 system, it can be converted to NTFS.(Alert: Converting to NTFS will bring some trouble. For example, if there are two systems installed on the computer, and one of them is an earlier system like Windows 98 or Windows ME, then the older system will not be able to recognize NTFS's drive letter.)
  1. Start -> In Start Search, type cmd, -> and right click cmd in the result list at the top - >Click Run as administrator.
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    UAC
    If you see a message saying Windows needs your permission to continue, don't be surprised. Just click continue to confirm.
  2. Type the following command, and press Enter to run it (x represents your drive letter, and it should be replaced with you specific drive letter).
    convert x: /fs:ntfs
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Converting file system

  3. Wait for a few minutes, and don't close the window until you see the confirm message.

Collapse this imageExpand this image
2634141
Begin Operation

Cut a part of the current partition to be a new one

  1. Begin -> Right click Computer -> Manage.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Open management console

  2. Locate Disk Management under Store on the left, and click to select Disk Management.
  3. Right click the partition you want to cut, and choose Shrink Volume.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Shrink Volume
  4. Tune a size on the right of Enter the amount of space to shrink. The value is the maximum value allowed by default, then press Shrink. (No matter how much free space is left, the space released won't be over half the size of the current partition).

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Entering the amount of space to shrink

  5. You will see part of the space has been released. Then you can create a new partition in this space.
     
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Releasing some of the space

  6. Right click the blank space -> New Simple Volume.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Creating a partition in the blank space

Add the undistributed space to the current partition

Here's another tip for you - if there's unassigned space following immediately after a drive letter in the Disk Manager, then this space can be merged into that drive letter:
  1. Right click the partition you want to extend (this partition must have unassigned space following immediately after it), and press Extend Volume.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Extending Volume

  2. Then tune a size for Select the amount of space. The value is the maximum value allowed by default.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    Selecting the size to extend


What if I come across with other issues during usage?

Relax, we have a post specially created for this article in Microsoft Community Forum,in oder for convenient discussion. If there's any problem, you can reply in the post.

If this cannot resolve your issue, you can browse the Forum for good solutions.

We look forward for you precious opinions and suggestions!

Collapse this imageExpand this image
Look forward for you precious opinions
After you have used Microsoft Support and Help, if it is convenient for you, maybe you can spend a few seconds to grade this article in the feedback table at the bottom of this webpage, so that we can improve our work. If you have any good suggestions or thoughts, you can also fill them in the "additional comments". (For your problems to be resolved sooner, technical problems can be raised in the according posts of the Microsoft Community for discussion)

Properties

Article ID: 970639 - Last Review: May 26, 2014 - Revision: 2.2
Applies to
  • Windows Vista Ultimate
  • Windows Vista Home Premium
  • Windows Vista Home Basic
  • Windows Vista Enterprise
  • Windows Vista Business
  • Windows Vista Business 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Premium 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Home Basic 64-bit Edition
  • Windows Vista Enterprise 64-bit Edition
  • Windows 7 Enterprise
  • Windows 7 Home Basic
  • Windows 7 Home Premium
  • Windows 7 Professional
  • Windows 7 Ultimate

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com