Windows 7 Extend System Partition

Updated on: November 16, 2019

This article introduces how to extend system partition in Windows 7 32/64 bit, shrink drive D or E to extend system volume without reinstalling OS or programs.

Different with data volumes, system partition is very likely running out of space, because Windows Updates and many other types of files are generated every day. In this situation, nobody likes to start from scratch to reinstall Operating System and all programs. You can extend system partition with free space in other data volume or with other disk.

How to extend system drive via Disk Management

Better than Windows XP, Windows 7 built-in Disk Management utility added Shrink Volume and Extend Volume functions, which can be used to resize partition without losing data. However, it cannot extend system partition by shrinking D or other volume. The only way to extend system drive with Disk Management is by deleting the right contiguous partition.

Extend Volume disabled

As the screen shot shows, Disk Management cannot extend system partition C: or the data drive E: after shrinking D.

When you decreasing drive D with Shrink Volume, Unallocated space is made on the right side of D, but to increase C drive space with Extend Volume, Unallocated space must be on the left side of D.

The only way to enable Extend Volume for C drive is by deleting the right adjacent drive D, but if you installed programs in it, don't do this.

If D is a Logical drive, you still cannot extend system partition C by deleting D.

If you can delete the right contiguous partition D, follow the steps to extend system volume in Windows 7 Disk Management:

  1. Back up or transfer all files in drive D to other place.
  2. Press Windows and R together on the keyboard, type diskmgmt.msc and press Enter to open Disk Management.
  3. Right click drive D: and select Delete Volume.
  4. Right click system drive C: and select Extend Volume.
  5. Click Next till Finish in the pop-up Extend Volume Wizard windows.

How to extend system partition with data volume

The best way to extend system partition in Windows 7 is running professional partition software. Different with read-only program, disk partition software will modify the parameters of related disk, partition and files, so there is data loss risk.

Better than other software, NIUBI Partition Editor provides powerful technologies to protect system and data:

In most of computers, there is other data volume on the same disk with system partition, you can shrink the data volume. Then free unused space will be converted to Unallocated, this kind of space can be combined to other volume. Better than Windows Disk Management, NIUBI Partition Editor can shrink a volume and make Unallocated space on either side. It is also able to merge Unallocated space to other partition, no matter it is NTFS or FAT32, Primary or Logical partition, contiguous or not.

Download NIUBI Partition Editor, you'll see the main window with disk partition structure and other information. In my test computer, there are drive C, D, E and a system reserved partition in Disk 0.

NIUBI Partition Editor

How to extend system partition C in Windows 7 by shrinking D:

  1. Right click drive D: and select "Resize/Move Volume", drag left border towards right in the pop-up window or enter an amount in Unallocated space before.
  2. Right click drive C: and select "Resize/Move Volume" again, drag right border towards right to combine Unallocated space.
  3. Click Apply on top left to execute. (All operations before this step only work in virtual mode.)

Watch the video how to extend OS partition C in Windows 7 32/64 bit:

Video guide

How to extend system volume with other disk

If there is not enough free space in all other data volumes, no software can extend system partition with free space in other separated hard disk. In that case, you can copy the disk to a larger one with NIUBI, and then expand system partition (and other volume) with additional disk space. Follow the steps in the video:

Video guide

How to extend system reserved partition

If you want to expand the system reserved partition for Windows 7 computer, it is similar, follow the steps in the video:

Video guide

In Summary

To extend system partition on Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit), the built-in Disk Management utility only works by deleting the right contiguous partition D, in addition, D must be Primary partition. There are no such limitations with third party partition software, however, because of potential data loss risk, you'd better back up first and use reliable partitioning software.

As the safest and fastest tool, NIUBI Partition Editor provides several ways to help you increase size of system partition without losing data. Besides shrinking and extending partition, it helps you move, merge, convert, defrag, hide, wipe, scan, format partition and much more.