How to extend system C drive in Windows 7?
Windows 7 has been released for a long time and many users encountered the Low Disk Space problem – system C drive is running out of space and becomes full. It is easy to understand: many kinds of files write into C drive continuously every day, such as Windows Updates, programs of Games, Projects, Word processor, etc. Together with other files such as temporary, cache, logs, C drive will be filled up sooner or later.
This is the reason why many people want to resize partition and extend C drive on Windows 7. Nobody likes to reinstall Operating System and all programs.
However, there are some questions if you search by Google or in the technical forums such as:
- Is it safe to extend C drive, will it cause data loss?
- Which is the right tool that accomplish this task easier?
- How to increase C drive space step by step?
In this article, I’ll show you how to decrease data volume to extend C drive in Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit) without losing data.
Can Disk Management extend C drive?
All Windows have native Disk Management utility to do some basic operations such as create, delete and format volume. Windows 7 enhanced the ability with Shrink Volume and Extend volume functionalities to change size of allocated partitions. However, whether it can extend C drive depends on your disk partition configuration.
Shrink Volume can only decrease a drive and produce Unallocated space on the right side. Extend Volume only works when there is adjacent Unallocated space on the right side. What does it mean?
If you want to extend C drive by shrinking the adjacent drive (D), it is impossible. Unallocated space shrank from D is not adjacent to drive C. When you right click C drive in Disk Management, Extend Volume is grayed out.
However, if you install all programs in drive C, you may consider delete drive D, and then the disk space of D will be changed to Unallocated space, so Extend Volume is enabled for C drive.
Note: do NOT delete D to get adjacent Unallocated space if you install programs in it, otherwise, the programs will be deleted. The shortcuts will be invalid even if you move all files in D to other place. In this situation, the best idea is running professional disk partitioning software.
Extend C drive with partition software
Comparing with Windows 7 Disk Management utility, professional partition software such as NIUBI Partition Editor has many advantages, for example:
- Both NTFS and FAT32 partitions are supported.
- Unallocated space can be generated on either side when shrinking a drive, so C drive can be extended by shrinking D without restriction.
- NIUBI can move partitions, so you can shrink any nonadjacent drives to extend C drive if there is not plenty of free space in D drive.
- Much easier, you just need to drag and drop on the disk map to shrink and extend partition.
How to extend C drive on Windows 7 with NIUBI
If there is enough free unused space in drive D, you can simply shrink it to expand C drive. If there is not, you just need one more step to move partition. Firstly, I’ll show you how to shrink D and extend C.
Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you’ll see all connected disks with graphical configuration, as well as detailed parameters of each partition on the right. You’ll see all available operations to selected disk or partition on the left. Unavailable operations are hidden automatically.
There are 4 partitions plus a system reserved partition in my Windows 7 laptop. C drive is 30GB and D is 50GB, here we go.
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 produced on the left side of drive D. (If you drag right border leftwards, Unallocated space will be generated on the right side.)
Step 2: Right click C drive and click “Resize/Move Volume” again. In the pop-up window, drag the right border rightwards to combine the Unallocated space.
C drive is extended to 50GB.
Tips: unlike Disk Management that change partition immediately, NIUBI Partition Editor works in virtual mode to avoid mistake. As you see on the bottom left, the operations are listed as pending. You can click Undo on top left to cancel the unwanted operations, or click Apply to execute. The pending operations will can be done in Windows without interruption.
How to move partition and extend C drive
As I said above, you get shrink any nonadjacent drive and get unused space to extend C drive, however, you should know that no partitioning software can extend partition by taking free space from another disk.
Watch the video:
Take care of your data
There is potential system and data damage risk when you resizing and extending partition drives. Some unreliable partition software is called as “data killer” by the people who have data loss experience. No matter you run the Windows 7 computer at home or workplace, there are important files such as family photos, works documents and projected. So you’d better make a backup and use safe partitioning software.
Better than other partition tools, NIUBI Partition Editor provides unique 1 Second Rollback technology to protect system and data. If any software error or hardware issue occur during this operation, it can roll back the computer to original status automatically and rapidly. If it happens, nothing will be changed. Furthermore, thanks to its unique file-moving algorithm, NIUBI is 30% to 300% faster. It is helpful especially when partition resizing requires computer reboot.
Windows 7 Disk Management built-in Extend Volume can only help you extend data drives. To most of the computers, programs are installed in drive D, so this functionality cannot help you shrink or delete D to increase C drive. To extend C drive on Windows 7, third party partitioning software is better choice. Because of its data protection ability, fast resizing algorithm and other advantages, NIUBI Partition Editor is the best tool to accomplish this task.