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What's probably happening is that some files are in the way that Windows either won't or can't move.

I have my friend's laptop with a C Drive that is 310 GB and only 70 GB is utilized with the rest remaining free. I tried to shrink the volume through Windows' disk management feature, but it doesn't allow me to shrink beyond about 5 GB. Please advise what can be done in this case.

In this excerpt from Answercast #53, I look at a case where Windows partition management is unable to resize partitions.

What can be done to resize a partition?

In short, not a lot with Windows.

There is one thing you can try: Try defragging that drive. In fact, defrag it a couple of times.

What's probably happening is that there are some files in the way that Windows either won't or can't move. That will prevent a volume from shrinking past the point of those files.

Disk partition management

Now, to be honest, Windows disk management, while I really appreciate the things that they've added to it in Windows 7... Windows disk management isn't the most robust or most complete set of tools.

The other approach that I would take (that probably will work for you) is to go out and look for EaseUS disk management utilities. They have a free partition manager that should, actually, do pretty much what you want.

They have a fairly robust tool. It's been around for quite awhile and has a fairly good reputation. That should be able to resize the partitions pretty much any way you want.

Be sure to back up!

About the only real advice I have for you before you use that tool is, of course, to make sure that you are completely backed up.

Disk partitioning is one of those things where, if it goes wrong, it can go horribly wrong and really cause a lot of data loss. So make sure you're completely backed up before you give it a try.

But run out and try EaseUS partition manager and see if that doesn't let you resize the partitions the way you want.

End of Answercast #53. Back to - Audio Segment

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Well then, head on out to and start by searching the thousands of questions that are already answered out there. If you can't find what you're looking for, then head on out to to ask your question. I might even answer here on a future Answercast.

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If you take away only one lesson from anything I ever say, please, please, please let be about backing up. Nothing can save you from almost any disaster than a proper and recent backup.

Please do realize that all my answers are based on my own personal experience and should be used entirely at your own risk. I don't know you, your abilities or the specifics of your machine and those kinds of pesky details can really make a huge difference.

The Ask Leo! AnswerCast is a production of Ask Leo! and is copyright 2012. Thanks for listening, I'm Leo Notenboom and I'll be back soon with another Ask Leo! Answercast.

Article C5822 - September 17, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

September 18, 2012 11:28 AM

The best tool I have found for that kind of operation is the bootable CD of Partition Wizard ( ). It is the last entry on the webpage. Burn this to CD and load with the CD from the optical drive.

September 18, 2012 12:27 PM

I prefer to use gparted
in Linux from a bootable USB flash drive. It too, is an established product.

September 19, 2012 3:22 AM

I too would endorse Partition Wizard, especially its free bootable disk (image).

But note that NTFS grabs unmovable space for its directory in the middle of a partition, setting a limit on how much the size can be reduced. But there are ways ...

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