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Windows 7 - Cannot shrink partition to desired size.

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Windows 7 - Cannot shrink partition to desired size.

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Hi there,

I have just received a DELL Vostro 3500 with Windows 7, Professional, 64.

The 320 GB HD came with 3 partitions: one about 500 MB, other about 10 GB and the C: taken about 300 GB. I wanted to create a dual boot (Windows 7 / Linux) and one partition for share data.

When I used the Windows 7 built in disk manager, it allows me to reduce C: size from ~300 GB to about 154 GB but not to the desired one. I was planning to keep 60~70 for Windows, 30~40 for Linux and the rest (D:) for share data.

So far, I've been told by Dell support that the only way to do that is reinstalling the whole system.

Any other idea, please?




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  • Reinstalling is the best method, but not the only method.

    Windows can only shrink the drive so much.  If you want to shrink it more than Windows Disk Management can do, you have two options:

    1)  Reinstall with the desired partition sizes.

    However, if you reinstall this way, you cannot use the Recovery Partition - you must use an actual Windows DVD.  These do not ship with systems by default, so if you didn't purchase one when you ordered your computer, then you will need to call Dell and order/purchase them.

    2)  Use a third-party partitioning utility to shrink C: even further. 

    However, there is no risk-free utility for doing this, so shrinking this way could affect/break Windows.

    You could also just live with the partitions as they are ... splitting the ~140GB you can shrink C: between Linux and share data - not as large as you wanted, but would prevent you from having to reinstall.  Since dual-booting will destroy your ability to use the Recovery Partition, you might as well delete and use the Recovery Partition too.