How can I change the size of a hard disk partition without formatting in Windows 7/8?

In some situations, the user needs to change the disk size, by changing the ratio of disk space between hard disk partitions, create a new section. This is required for the rational allocation of space on disks (partitions, volumes) of the computer, when you need to choose the appropriate sizes of disk partitions.

On new computers, usually, there is only one partition: local disk ‘C:’, taking up all the space. We do not take into account hidden system partitions, necessary for the normal operation of Windows, they don’t show up in Explorer, these partitions should not be touched when performing operations with computer disks.

Users independently create new logical disks - partitions on the PC hard disk in order to, to separate the system from the user data storage location. On one disk is the Windows operating system with programs, the other section stores the necessary information: files, documents, images, video, music, etc. In this case, when reinstalling the system, user data will be saved, because they are located on another disk (partition) of the computer.

If necessary, the user can change the size of the hard disk partitions: to separate some part of the space from one partition, and then attach the resulting free space to another partition, or create a new logical partition from the separated space. You can change the Windows disk partition: attach, or, on the contrary, separate some part of the disk space from the system partition, redistribute space between other hard disk partitions.

The Windows operating system has a built-in system tool: the Disk Management snap-in, designed to perform operations between partitions and disks of the computer. When using a system tool, in most cases, it will not be possible to redistribute disk space between partitions without losing data on one of the partitions.

The redistribution of space between disks occurs according to the following algorithm:

  1. First, the required size of disk space is separated from one partition, due to which you need to increase the space on another partition.
  2. The unallocated space is then attached to another partition, which needed to be enlarged.

If from free space, separated from another section, you need to create a new partition on your hard disk, then this unmarked area is not attached anywhere, a new logical disk (partition) is created in its place, volume).

You may also be interested in:

  • How to increase or decrease the size of the ‘C’ disk in Windows
  • How to split a disk in Windows 7

Using third-party programs to change disk partitions

To circumvent the limitations of the Windows operating system on working with hard disk partitions, it is necessary to use third-party software. Specialized programs for working with disk partitions can perform operations without data loss, to redistribute the space on the computer’s disk.

In this guide you will find instructions for working in the programs: AOMEI Partition Assistant, Acronis Disk Director, EASEUS Partition Master.

Third-party programs can be run directly from your computer, or use bootable media: Live CD, Live DVD, Live USB, Windows PE, on which the program is recorded. The boot disk is created in advance. Solutions can be used, downloaded from software manufacturers’ websites, or find a ready-made boot disk with programs on the Internet.

Working with the program, recorded on a bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD, passes as follows:

  1. Immediately after turning on the computer, before Windows starts, the user selects the desired disk in the Boot Menu (boot menu) to boot.
  2. The contents of the bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD are loaded into the RAM of the PC.
  3. The user starts the program to perform the necessary actions.

Before carrying out work on changing hard disk partitions, create a backup copy of the Windows operating system, or save important files to an external hard drive, flash drive, etc. No one will give a 100% guarantee, that everything will be successful. If you have backups, you will save the system or important data. All work on changing the size of the disk space you do at your own risk.

In this article we will look at the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard program, installed on the computer, other applications (Acronis Disk Director, EASEUS Partition Master) will be used from bootable media, without installing programs on a PC. With these applications, the user will be able to change the size of the Windows 7 disk, Windows 10 without data loss on partitions, changed.

Take care of uninterrupted power supply while performing operations to change partitions on the hard disk. It is better to connect the computer via an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), or have a completely infected laptop battery. In case of a power outage during the work on changing the disk space, there is a high probability of information loss, or problems with the boot or normal operation of Windows.

Resizing disk partitions in AOMEI Partition Assistant

The AOMEI Partition Assistant program has a free version: AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition, which supports the Russian interface language. Download the program from the link, and then install it on your computer.

All disks are displayed in the main window of the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard program, connected to the computer.

There are system partitions on the hard disk, marked with asterisks, which should not be touched while working with disk partitions.

There are two logical disks on the computer: system partition ‘C:’ and the section ‘D:vellisa’ (on your computer, the section may have a different letter, and there will be another volume label), designed to store user data.

The system disk is full, this is indicated by the red color. We will add some space there from another disk, at the same time, all the data on the ‘D’ disk:’ will be saved.

Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the section, from which you need to separate the transfer space to another partition of the hard disk.
  2. In the context menu, select ‘Resize Partition’.
  1. In the ‘Move and Resize Partition’ window, move the label to the required size of disk space.
  • In the field ‘Unoccupied space before:’ the size of the space is displayed, by which another disk can be enlarged.
  • The new partition size is specified in the ‘Partition Size’ field, the remaining unallocated space after separation from the disk.
  1. Click on the ‘OK’ button.

An unoccupied space appeared on the hard disk, which we can attach to another disk, in this case, to disk ‘C:’.

  1. Right-click on the ‘C:’ drive, in the context menu, select ‘Resize Partition’.
  2. In the ‘Moving and Changing a section’ window, drag the label all the way, until there is no unoccupied space left.
  1. Click on the ‘OK’ button.

Unallocated space is attached to a logical disk, the size of the partition has increased.

  1. To perform the operation, click on the ‘Apply’ button.
  1. In the ‘Deferred Operations’ window, do not change anything, click on the ‘Go’ button.
  1. In the next window we are warned, that the program will automatically create WinPE, and will enter it to perform operations to change disk partitions. If there is a RAID on the computer, uncheck the ‘Enter into Windows PE mode to perform operations’ option. Click on the ‘Yes’ button.
  1. The program creates Windows PE, and then it will automatically boot into the Windows Preinstallation environment to complete the scheduled operations.
  1. The computer will restart, after which the WinPE preinstallation environment will be loaded on the PC.
  2. In the window that appears, select the Russian language of the interface.
  3. The ‘AOMEI Partition Assistant Operation Progress’ window displays the execution of partition modification operations.

The process may take a long time, it depends on the size of the disk space being modified.

  1. After performing all operations, the program will inform you about, that an automatic restart of the computer is about to occur.
  2. The Windows operating system will boot normally.

Log in to Explorer and make sure, that the hard disk partition sizes have been changed, and the data is saved.

Creating partitions when installing Windows 10

When installing Windows 10 on a computer from a USB flash drive or disk, you can divide the disks into volumes. For those, who reinstalls the operating system should be considered, that this will delete data from the system partition. During Windows installation, after entering (or skipping entering) the activation key, select the ‘Custom installation’ option, after that, it will be possible to select a partition for installation, tools for configuring partitions are available.

In our case, disk C is partition 4. To make two partitions from one HDD, it is required using the ‘Delete’ section button, as a result, it is converted to ‘Unallocated Disk Space’ (item 4). Then choose an unoccupied place, click the ‘Create’ button, set the size of the future ‘Disk C’. After its creation, there will be free unoccupied space, which will need to be converted in the same way to the second partition of the disk.

After creating the second section, it is recommended to highlight it, click ‘Format’ (otherwise it may not appear in Explorer after installing Windows 10 and it will have to be formatted and assigned a letter via ‘Disk Management’). Then select the volume, which was created first, click the ‘Next’ button to continue installing the operating system on disk C.

Attaching the disk space to the system disk in Acronis Disk Director

We use the powerful Acronis Disk Director program, with which we need to attach the space from the disk ‘D:’ (or a disk with a different letter) to the system partition of the hard disk.

  1. Run the Acronis Disk Director 12 program from a bootable disk: a USB flash drive or CD/DVD.
  2. Click on the ‘D’ drive:’ right-click, in the context menu, select ‘Change Volume Size’.
  1. In the ‘Resize’ window, the Volume Label’ (D:)’ move the slider to the desired amount of disk space, which you want to attach to another disk.
  2. Click on the ‘OK’ button.
  1. On the top panel, click on the ‘Apply pending operations’ button.
  1. In the ‘Pending Operations’ window, read the information, and then click on the ‘Continue’ button.
  1. Operations are being recorded in the program window.

Unallocated space is separated from disk ‘D:’, now you need to attach it to the ‘C:’ disk.

  1. Select disk ‘C:’, in the context menu, click on ‘Change Volume size’.
  1. Move the slider, to take up all the available space after the volume.
  1. Click on the ‘OK’ button.
  1. In the Pending Operations window, click Continue.

After completing all the necessary actions, The Acronis Disk Director program window will display the computer’s disks with the changed partitions.

Perform a reboot, download the Windows operating system to your PC.

Volume partitioning

An equally popular option is the ability to split one volume into two, using the available free space. When splitting, you can also transfer some files and folders from one volume to another.

The border between volumes can be set in two ways: by defining it in the input fields or by dragging the circular separator with the mouse. Files are selected in a separate window after clicking the ‘Select’ button. This operation takes some time, to calculate the size of the selected files to correctly display the possible volume boundaries.

Reducing the disk partition in EaseUS Partition Master

The EaseUS Partition Master program has a free version of EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition, the application works in English. We will use the program, booting from WinPE disk.

Now we will do the reverse operation: we will separate ‘C’ from the disk:’ some part of the space, and then we will add this unmarked space to the disk ‘D:’.

  1. In the EaseUS Partition Master program window, right-click on the ‘C:’ disk.
  2. In the context menu, select ‘Resize/Move’ (Resize/Push apart).
  1. In the ‘Resize/Move’ window, move the marker in the direction of reducing the disk to the desired size. Click on ‘Advanced Setting’, to see or adjust the allocated space in numerical form.
  2. Click on the ‘OK’ button.
  1. In the main window of EaseUS Partition Master, click on the ‘Execute Operation’ button, located on the top panel.
  1. In the ‘Pending Operation’ window, click on the ‘Apply’ button.
  1. After the operation is completed, click on the ‘Finish’ button.

Now you need to add the unmarked space to the disk ‘D:’.

  1. Right-click on disk ‘D:’, in the context menu, click on ‘Resize/Move’.
  1. In the ‘Resize/Move’ window, move the slider to the end, taking up all the unmarked space.
  1. Click on the ‘OK’ button.
  2. In the main window of EaseUS Partition Master, click on the ‘Execute Operation’ button to start the operation.
  3. In the ‘Pending Operation’ window, click on the ‘Apply’ button.
  4. Wait until the disk space attachment operation is completed.
  5. Restart your computer, log in to Windows.

Access to disk management

The fastest way to launch the Disk Management tool is to press Win xDisk management

The Disk Management window is divided into two panels. The top panel displays a list of your volumes. The bottom panel shows a graphical representation of your disks and volumes, available on each disk. If you select a volume in the top panel, the bottom panel will move, to show the disk, containing this volume. And if you select a disk or volume on the bottom panel, the top panel will move, to display the corresponding volume there.

Note: technically speaking, volumes and partitions are slightly different. A section is a space, allocated on a disk separately from other space on this disk. Volume is a section, formatted in the file system. For the most part in this article we will talk about volumes, although we can mention partitions or unallocated space, where these terms are appropriate.