I have a new server with 540 GB disk on one partition. I decided to shrink the volume down so I could have a couple of partitions for various reasons. I could only shrink the volume by 50%. I went back in later thinking maybe I could shrink it again, but I can't. Running Windows Server Standard 2008 x64 SP2. Used disk management for resize.

Why is that, is there any way around it? Do I need a 3rd party utility and if so are there any good free/cheap/trials that I could use to do what I need and then clean it off afterwards?


This a missing feature of the windows tool. NTFS stores some management information at the middle of a partition. Of you would resize beyond 50% this information would be lost as the windows tool cannot move it.

Use a third party tool as most can resize beyond 50%.

  • I had read this on a blog by the way, seems kind of odd if other tools can do it? Can you recommend a free or trial disk partition mananger that would run on x64 Server 2008 – Breadtruck Aug 14 '09 at 8:27

Except for the page file, there is one more "file" that causes problem. NTFS keeps a secondary copy of Master File Table (MFT) at the middle of the space for redundancy reasons. This is the main (most critical) structure of NTFS, and this is why Windows built-in tools refuse to move it to some other place. I recall that non-MS tools could do it, but I've personally never had a need to try them.

  • So doe this mean that after I shrink it 50% that the copy of the MTF is at the end of the partition instead of the middle? – Breadtruck Aug 15 '09 at 23:07
  • Probably, but this is hardly a problem. – kubanczyk Aug 16 '09 at 19:53

3rd party utilities:


*Any similarity to commercially named software is purely co-incidental .. NOT!


If the volume you are shrink already has data on it, you can only shrink the volume to where the last bit of data is on the disk. Think of the disk as being a straight line. (X = data, - = blank space.


You'd only be able to shrink the volume down and remove the bit on the right hand side. The blank space in the middle has to stay as part of the volume. Now if you defrag the volume, you can then shrink it again and recover more space.

  • I tried your answer and it didn't work. I moved off the pagefile knowing that generally isn't moved when doing a defrag, but I think OliverS might be right based on a blog entry I found. – Breadtruck Aug 14 '09 at 8:24
  • I should also note that windows defrag utilities don't always defragment the free space. So after defrag, you may have a lot of contiguous files, but they may still be spread out all over the disk. Though, I'm sure OliverS is on to something there. – Michael Kohne Aug 15 '09 at 15:06

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