How-to increase the size of a volume (drive or partition) in Windows Vista.
This guide shows you how to make a volume (drive or partition) larger in Windows Vista by extending it with unallocated space. The unallocated space can be on the same hard drive as the volume you want to extend or it can be on another drive, although I don’t recommend using separate drives.
- Let’s say you have a 100GB hard drive but your C: drive is only 50GB. You can take the other 50GB and add it to the C: drive making it 100GB instead of 50GB.
- Let’s say you have an 80GB hard drive with the C: drive taking up all 80GB. You can purchase another hard drive that’s 100GB for instance and extend your C: drive to use the new 100GB hard drive making the C: drive a total of 180GB. I personally don’t recommend this though.
Unallocated Space Only
You can’t extend a volume with the space of another volume that’s been formatted. You need to delete the volume (which will delete any data in it) and use the unallocated space of the deleted volume to extend the volume.
For example: Many computers come with a 100GB hard drive, but the C: drive is only 50GB and the E: drive has the other 50GB. You’ll need to delete the E: drive and use it’s unallocated space to extend the C: drive.
Warning: Most OEM computers (Dell, HP, so on…) come with a hidden or extra partition that has a backup installation image saved on it instead of sending you CDs or DVDs (it saves them money). If you delete this partition and you need to reinstall or fix Windows Vista, you’ll have to purchase disks from your computer’s manufacturer.
Delete a Volume
If you need to delete a volume, right-click the volume you want to delete in the Disk Management section of Computer Management (see steps below on how to open Computer Management) and then click Delete Volume. All data that is in that volume will be gone once it’s been deleted.
Extend a Volume
- Right-click Computer in the Start Menu and then select Manage.
- Click Disk Management under Storage on the left of the Computer Management window.
- Right-click the volume you want to extend and then select Extend Volume.
- Click Next on the welcome screen.
- If you have more than one volume that has unallocated space they’ll show up on the left side of the Extend Volume wizard under Available. Click the volume(s) you want to use to extend the volume with and then click Add to send it to the right side under Selected. If you only have one volume of unallocated space it’ll show up on the right side for you.
Note: You can extend a volume using unallocated space on a separate disk (example: the C: drive’s total space consists of space from two hard drives), but I don’t advise doing that. If one disk crashes, the whole volume goes down with it.
- If you don’t want to use all of the unallocated space from the volume you picked, change how much space you want to use in MB next to Select the amount of space in MB.
Note: 1024MB = 1GB.
- Click Next.
- Confirm your settings and then click Finished.
The volume that was extended now includes the unallocated space.
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