Simple ways to extend volume in Windows 7 (32 & 64 bit)

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. Recently, the popularity is exceed by Windows 10.

Windows 7

Besides Operating System, hard drive is another indispensable component to a computer. Actually, hard drive is just a storage device that store all kinds of your electronic files, Operating System is a tool to organize these files. A better OS make it easier to manage and organize disk partitions as well as the files in them.

To manage disk partitions, Windows 7 inherited the same Disk Management tool from Windows Vista. With the built-in management utility, you can do basic operations to create, delete, format partition and change drive letter, which is the same with previous versions. In Windows 7, you can do advanced operations to extend volume and shrink volume. However, due to the limitations, you still need 3rd-party software in most cases. In this article, I’ll show you how to extend partition in Windows 7 with Disk Management and free partition software.

Disk Management

Extend volume in Windows 7 Disk Management

As I said above, it is limited to extend Windows 7 partition with built-in Disk Management, I’ll show you why and what to do in this paragraph. The system C drive is more likely to run out of space, so here I introduce how to extend C drive as example.

Note: this is just an example to show you how Extend Volume functionality works, do NOT do like this until you understand and sure it is right for you.

Part 1

To extend a volume, there must be Unallocated or free space, but some people do no know about this. If you extend C drive in Windows 7 Disk Management with such space, it is impossible.

Press Windows and R key, type diskmgmt.msc to open Disk Management, right click C drive, Extend Volume is grayed out as you see:

Extend volume grayed

Part 2

Extend C drive by shrinking D?

Shrink Volume can decrease partition size and release free space, let’s see whether it works in this way.

Right click D and select Shrink Volume:

Shrink volume

Enter the amount of space to shrink from D, here I input 10240 MB (10GB).

Enter amount

Howerver, Extend Volume is still disabled when right clicking C drive:

Extend volume disabled

Part 3

From Microsoft explanation, to expand a partition with Extend Volume, there must be adjacent Unallocated space which should be on the right side, too. As you see, the 10GB Unallocated space is behind D rather than C after shrinking D, so Extend Volume doesn’t work. Then what to do?

If you insist on extending volume in Windows 7 Disk Management, the only option is deleting D to get Unallocated space.

Remember to back up or transfer all files in D to other partition or storage device.

1. Right click D and select Delete Volume:

Delete volume

2. Right click C drive and select Extend Volume again:

Extend volume C

3. Click Next in Extend Volume Wizard window:

Extend Volume Wizard

4. Select available disk and space, click Next to continue.

Select disk space

5. Click Finish to confirm the partition extending.

Confirm extending

C drive is extended in a while:

C drive extended

Nondestructively extend Windows 7 volumes

It is not a good idea to extend C drive or other volumes in such destructive way. You’ll completely lose data if you forget to back up or transfer data, in addition, all installed programs and Windows services in volume D stop working after deleting. Why not accomplish in a better way without deleting volume?

As the most popular free partition manager, NIUBI Partition Editor free edition can extend disk partition by taking free space from other volumes, keep everything same and intact. It is able to resize, move, copy, defrag, check, convert, create, delete, format, hide, set Active partition and much more. Download to use (100% safe and clean)

Video guide to resize and extend volume in Windows 7

Watch the video and you’ll know how easy and fast it is to resize partition and extend C drive in Windows 7 (both 32 and 64 bit).


More about this free partition manager

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