Just another weblog

Vista’s “Shrink Volume” feature

Posted by onlydarksets on November 17, 2008

The wireless stopped working reliably on my laptop, so I needed to reinstall Vista.  Instead of doing it all at once, though, I decided to resize the partition and install Vista to a new partition, which would allow me to access the old install.  This way, I can still access the programs, settings, and data from the old install until I am sure I have everything.

I tried using Vista’s “Shrink Volume” feature, but it only let me free up about 40% of the actual free space on the disk.  Turns out that “Shrink Volume” isn’t really all that intelligent.  It takes the last available sector reported by the disk as the limit of the free space it can create.  So, if you have 70GB out of 120GB free, but there is a certain type of data written to the sector at the 90GB mark, you can only free up 30GB, not the full 70GB (image worth a thousand words).

There is a workaround (see here to disable hibernation), but this is something that Vista should handle invisibly.

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