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How to Shrink a Hard Drive Volume in Windows 8

This guide has been written to help you successfully shrink a hard drive volume in Windows 8. It is not a particularly difficult task, but it is just a case of knowing where things are and how to do them. There are different methods that can be used to go about shrinking a hard drive volume, but this will talk you through the easiest way to do it.

Before commencing with the guide, please read through it in its entirety before beginning. Although it is unlikely to go wrong due to the simplicity of it, you must make sure you understand what you are doing before carrying it out. Your hard drive stores all of your data and as such is very valuable.

Windows has not changed its core design in a long time. However, Windows 8 brought about the biggest user interface change in a very long time. Although the classic desktop still exists, the main screen is now a collection of panels that users scroll through. It is very much an interface suitable for tablets. One difference from Windows 7 to 8, for example, is how programs are searched for. Although it is a minor one, the way that you go about shrinking your hard drive volume in the latest version of Microsoft’s operating system is slightly different.

So, how do you shrink a hard drive volume in Windows 8? First, make sure that you are logged in to an administrator account. This is necessary so that you have the permissions to perform certain actions. Secondly, ensure that you haven’t disabled the Disk Defragmenter program in Windows. You need to set it to manual, otherwise you will be given an error each time you try to carry out an action when using the Disk Management tool.

Disk Management is the tool that we are going to use to shrink your hard drive volume. To access this you should move your cursor to the bottom right of the screen and select Search. In the search box that comes up you should write Disk Partition. The result “Create and format hard disk partitions” appears under Settings, so select that. A new window called Disk Management then opens up. You will be presented with a list of all the drives on the system. You should then right click on the partition you wish to shrink and select Shrink Volume. Then, input how many MB of the available shrink space you want to shrink the volume by. When done, click the Shrink button to process.

Bear in mind that there could be a limit on by how much you can shrink the partition by. This happens because the hard drive may have marked some files as being unmovable. If this is the case then the Disk Management tool will be unable to move them. It will depend on where these unmovable files are on how much shrink space you have, since only the free space to the right is available. This is not something that can be worked around in Disk Management, so to get round it you will have to turn to a third party program. Something like EaseUS Partition Master would be suitable. Regardless of where the unmovable files are located, this program will let you shrink a partition to any size. Other programs are available, but this one will do the job nicely.

When everything is done you will have a new unallocated partition. Some space is reserved for the Windows file system, so don’t worry if it displays less than what you inputted originally. Click the newly created partition and it will display the allocated space in the bottom pane.


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