Friday, July 18, 2008

Shrinking a Partition in Windows Vista/2008 I : Read before you Act

Back to the memories when managing disk partition on Windows OSes was not that easy game. Tasks related with partition had to be done with 3rd party partition tool as, Partition Magic – probably, one of the most used programs of its kind and others had to be booted externally via bootable CDs of Microsoft’s OSes - Hiren's Boot CD.

You can either re-format, manage partitions or extend, reduce/shrink size of the partition using such tools. But unlike, the previous versions of Windows, Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 now contain the in-built method for shrinking and extending disk space, thus easing the creation of another new partition. 

Lying in the Disk Management (Computer Management), Shrink feature makes all possibilities that you can go with your hard disk space. Do at your own risk!

Shrinking a partition in Windows Server 2008 is alike to the process in Windows Vista. Screenshots of Windows Vista illustrated here apply equally to Server Manager in Windows Server 2008, except few which you may be familiar with if you’re using Server Edition. The rest of the procedure is the same.

Note: Besides shrinking a volume or partition, in Vista and Windows Server 2008 you can also Extend a partition or volume without the need to reboot or use 3rd-Party tools.

  • Ensure you have Administrative credentials, In Windows Vista, go to Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Administrative Tools, or on the My Computer context menu. Select Computer Management. In Vista, if you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  • In Windows Server 2008 you need to go to Server Manager, found in the Administrative Tools folder or on the My Computer context menu.
  1. Next, scroll down till you get to the Storage section, and in it go to the Disk Management console.
  1. Select the disk you want to shrink, for example Drive C, as in our case.

Note: Shrinking any volume is fine as long as you make sure you leave enough space on the partition you are shrinking. For example, having a 40 GB system partition might seem too much at the beginning, but after a while you might find it to be less than optimal. You see, many applications such as Microsoft Office take tons of free space. So do Service Packs, hotfixes and other files. For a server running Windows Server 2008 this calculation might be different than on a workstation running Windows Vista, but in any case, make a mental note of this BEFORE shrinking your partitions.

Ready to Shrink/Extend the Vista partition, go directly to the complete visual guide to Disk Management- partitioning Windows Vista.

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