Guide to extend volume in Windows 7
Windows 7 (codenamed Vienna, formerly Blackcomb) is most important personal computer operating system to Microsoft. It was released to manufacturing on July 22, 2009, and became generally available on October 22, 2009. Windows 7 was primarily intended to be an incremental upgrade to the operating system intending to address Windows Vista’s poor critical reception while maintaining hardware and software compatibility. In addition, optimized UI, improved performance and new features make it to be the most wonderful and popular Windows Operating System.
Windows 7 is much better than previous Windows Vista and XP, but the same with the old versions, low disk space issue still exists in Windows 7. Most of the Windows 7 users feedback that C drive is running out of space. The smaller C drive or longer running time, the higher probability. In this situation, you can extend Windows 7 volume without reinstalling operating system and programs.
To do this, either Windows native Disk Management or third party partitioning software can help you, but because of some limitations, Disk Management can only help you extend volume in very limited condition. In this article, I’ll show you how to extend disk volume on Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit) with both tools.
Extend volume in Windows 7 Disk Management
Windows 7 Disk Management inherited Extend Volume functionality from Windows Vista, which can be used to extend disk partition on the fly, however, as I said above it only works in limited conditions. The limitations include:
- Only NTFS partition is supported, FAT32 and other types of partitions cannot be extended.
- Extend Volume only works when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side.
- Free space deleted from Logical/Primary partition cannot be extended to Primary/Logical partition even if it is adjacent and on the right side.
When you shrinking the adjacent drive D with built-in Shrink Volume feature, Unallocated space is produced on the right side of D. But to expand C drive with Extend Volume, Unallocated space much be on the left side of D. So you cannot shrink D to extend volume C drive.
The only way to use Extend Volume is by deleting the adjacent drive to get Unallocated space, how to:
- Press and on keyboard to open Run, and then type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
- Right click D and select Delete Volume:
- Right click C drive and select Extend Volume
- Click Next in Extend Volume Wizard window:
- Select available disk and space, click Next to continue.
- Click Finish to confirm the partition extending.
C drive is extended in a while.
To most of Windows 7 laptop and desktop, program are installed in drive D, so it is NOT suggested to delete it. To extend data volumes, you may back up or transfer files and follow the steps above.
Extend Windows 7 volume without deleting
With professional disk partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor, you can extend volume in Windows 7 by shrinking other drives without deleting. Comparing with Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor has many advantages, for example:
- Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions are supported.
- Unallocated space can be generated on the left side when shrinking D.
- NIUBI can move partitions, so free space inside of any other drives in the same disk can be used to extend C drive.
Furthermore, you just need to click, drag and drop on the disk map to shrink and extend volume drive.Download NIUBI Partition Editor and you’ll see all disks and partitions in the main window. In my Windows 7 laptop, there are drive C, D, E and F. C drive is 30GB and D is 50GB.
Steps to extend volume on Windows 7 with NIUBI:
Step 1: right click the adjacent volume D and select Resize/Move Volume, Drag left border rightwards to shrink it in the pop-up window.
Click OK, 20GB Unallocated space is generated on the left side of drive D. (If you drag right border leftwards in Step 1, Unallocated space will be produced on the right side.)
Step 2: Right click C drive and click “Resize/Move Volume” again. Drag the right border rightwards to occupy the Unallocated space in the pop-up window.
Volume C drive is extended to 50GB, click Apply on top left to execute. (The operations you do will be listed as pending on bottom left, real disk partitions won’t be changed until you click Apply to confirm. If you did something wrong, simply click Undo to cancel.)
What to do if there is not plenty of free space inside of drive D? It doesn’t matter, you can shrink other drives and then move the Unallocated space to behind C drive. Watch the video below.
Video guide to extend volume in Windows 7
Windows 7 native Disk Management utility provides Extend Volume to increase partition size, but it is useless if you want to extend volume C. To extend volume in Windows 7, partitioning software is better choice. Better than other tools, NIUBI Partition Editor provides unique rollback technology to ensure system and data intact. Furthermore, because of its special file-moving algorithm, it is much faster.