How to shrink or expand a partition in Windows Vista

This article explains how to shrink an existing drive partition (with data on it), using the built in tools provided with Windows Vista. In older times, if you wanted to resize an existing partition with data on it, you would have to use third party utilities such as Partition Magic, Symantec Ghost. Proprietary third party programs like these are expensive and usually take longer than our method. There are free disk imaging alternatives such as Gparted and DriveImage, but again those all are time consuming as well.

We are going to show how to resize an existing partition in Windows Vista with it’s built in disk utilities. You can both shrink and expand the partitions in the same way using the Disk Management snap in; of course in order to expand a partition you would need existing free disk space that is not being held by any other partition.
- To start Disk Management, simply right click on the My Computer icon and choose Manage. From the Computer Management console, choose Disk Management. If you do not have a My Computer icon on the desktop, click the Start Menu button, choose control panel, in the search box type partition. You would see a link that says "Create and Format Hard Disk Partitions", choose that

- You would be able to see the partition you want to shrink, just right click on it and choose "Shrink Volume". Enter the amount you want to decrease the partition by, let’s say 5 Gbytes (enter 50000 MB), once you confirm and click ok, Windows Vista would resize the partition.

- You can extend a partition the same way, just right click on the partition and choose "Extend Volume" instead, then enter the appropriate size you want to expand the volume by (choose a value less than or equal to in what shown in the "maximum available space" field).