Shrinking the primary Windows partition

#1
I'm trying to shrink my primary Windows partition because I want to create a partition to install Linux Mint on.
Well, when I go into the Windows Disk Manager and try to shrink the partition, it doesn't let me shrink it more than 32MB. I need quite a bit more space than that.
After a little research, I figured it's probably because I have an immovable MFT file in my partition.
I was wondering if there was a way for me to get around that so I can free up more space to shrink with.
I've disabled System Restore, Hibernation, and the page file.
After defragging, I had 200MB of space available to shrink with. That's not much of a step up.
I also want to try to avoid third-party applications unless they're basically guaranteed to work. I've heard some horror stories about third-party partitioners completely ruining systems.
 


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whs

Extraordinary Member
#2
With Disk Management you cannot do it. And you are right, it is because the MFT blocks it. But with the bootable CD of Partition Wizard it can be done easily. The bootable CD link is on the left side of the webpage. You need that because it cannot be done withing your running OS.

I advise you to take an image of your system and burn the recovery CD before you manipulate the C partition. A small error can lead to a loss of your partition.
 


#3
Thanks for the reply.

I've heard about MiniTool Partition Wizard working wonders for some, but destroying others. One review said that it doesn't work properly with the Windows 7 system. Is this true? Or did he just have a bad experience?

Also, I'm just curious how MiniTool works before using it. When using the bootable CD, does it move the MFT when shrinking a partition? Or does it skip over it? Because if it skips over it, I feel like that would cause problems when trying to boot back into Windows.
 


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whs

Extraordinary Member
#4
I am sure some people had a bad experience with Partition Wizard - people do make mistakes. Even I once lost all partitions on the a disk. But that was because of a mistake I made. That is why I recommend to image the drive/partition before you manipulate it. But if you use it correctly, it is an excellent tool.

And yes, it does move the MFT, else it would be a disaster if you wrote over it.
 


#5
Ah, okay. Thank you so much for the response and clarification.
I'm making an image of my drive as I write this. As soon as it is done I will attempt to use the MiniTool wizard and see how it goes.
 


whs

Extraordinary Member
#6
Just another little word of warning. Before you create an additional partition with the space you are shrinking, make sure that you do not have more than 3 primary partitions (check in Disk Management). If you try to create an additional partition and there are already 4 primaries on the disk, you will end up with the dreaded dynamics - and those are difficult to fix.
 


#7
Ah, thank you for the heads up.
Lucky for me, I only had three primary partitions before-hand.
MiniTools worked wonders and did exactly what I needed, and now I'm dual-booting Win7 and Linux Mint.
Thanks again for your responses and help.
 


whs

Extraordinary Member
#8
You are very welcome. Any time.
 


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