Grow Your Windows Vista Boot Partition  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

It's come to this: You fire up Vista's Computer window and see that your boot partition—the hard drive section on which Vista resides—is running out of space. You spend a few hours getting rid of as much fluff as you can, but a week or so later, the free space is disappearing once more and Vista warns you (with a red bar under the drive name) that you have a problem. What to do?

If your hard drive has only one partition—meaning that your entire hard drive really is filled up—there's nothing you can do but buy a new drive and transfer files over to it. Of course, you could just reinstall Vista on the new drive and start all over, but that's a huge job. If you have more than one partition on your boot drive, though, you might be able to salvage the situation. And just for fun, let's say you don't have third-party partition management software available and want to avoid spending money if you can. While Vista doesn't have comprehensive partition management capabilities, it will give you some help.


Modifying the boot partition can render Vista unbootable, although if you follow the instructions here it shouldn't. Still, it's a very good idea to ghost your system in case something goes wrong.

To work with your drives in Vista, open the Disk Management console tool. The easy-to-remember way is to click Start, right-click Computer, and choose Manage, yielding the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). The slightly more direct way is to type diskmgmt.msc in the Search field at the bottom of the Start menu; this time you get only the Disk Management console tool. We'll work with this one here.The full Microsoft Management Console, with the Disk Management section selected.

The Disk Management console tool on its own—opening this saves some screen real estate.

In both these screenshots, the current Vista boot partition—ATA160-Partition2 (C:)—is selected; the diagonal lines highlighting the partition show the selection. As you can see, this 160GB drive (known as Disk 1 to the system) has three partitions, respectively 65.06GB, 68.08GB, and 19.53GB in size. But 68.08GB is proving a bit too cramped for the boot drive, mainly because Vista, like all Windows versions, expands as you use it and add to it; adding some space would be useful. (full Story)

This entry was posted on Jan 29, 2009 at 11:21 PM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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