Honey…I can’t shrink my disk volume!

Well, I’ve been touting running Windows 2008 as a desktop for months. However, my latest work laptop came installed with Vista Business and I need to use it right out of the gate. Also, it’s an hp and laptops are notorious for being “driver challenge” with a new OS.

Anyway, I finally completed the book and have a need to run Windows Server 2008 x64 and Hyper-V, so I decided to use Vistas built in disk shrink function since HP built the entire drive as c:.

Well, I cleared some junk of my laptop and had about 45GB free. I tried to shrink it and came up with bubkiss…nothing…nada. All I got was a lowly 300MB. Even with the HP recovery partition vaporized, not enough for W2kOcho.

After some searching and testing, I found the solution. You not only need to defrag the drive; you need to defrag the system files. What happens is that a simple defrag does not impact the MFT, or Master File Table records, on the drive. In my case, they were sitting on the last few sectors of the disk so a shrink was impossible.

Since Vista does not have built in defrag of systems files, I downloaded a trial of Perfectdisk 2008 from Raxco software (www.raxco.com). This worked flawlessly except I had to run error-checking (chkdsk.exe) and fix any errors prior to it working. After running both, I was able to shrink my volume by up to 45GB.

Other hints:
-Turn of Volume Shadow Copies/Previous Versions
-Temporarily stop page file usage and delete pagefile.sys

Good Luck!


About Michael Bender

Just a geek trying to "share the wealth" with the rest of the world... Michael is a teacher at heart. Coming from a career teaching at a community college and work for 19 years as a system engineer, his passion is for helping people learn the skills necessary to ‘level-up’ their careers, and helping businesses achieve their customer goals. Sharing everything is how he guides his career as everyone wins when you share what you know. Currently, he is a Cloud Ops Advocate at Microsoft. This team focuses on engaging and advocating for Operations-focused communities to the engineering teams in Windows Azure. You’ll find Michael and his #AzOps team at conferences, online, and building great content at docs.com. Michael specializes in Windows Server, Virtualization, PowerShell and Windows Azure. As part of his goal of sharing his knowledge, he has a number of courses published on Pluralsight.com covering PowerShell and Windows Server. He is passionate about the IT Operations community. For the last 8 years, he has led up a global user group called The Krewe.he is the current president and a founding member of The Krewe, a worldwide networking group for IT Pros and Developers. This group provides a global network for the sharing of ideas and solutions for many in the Operations community. For more information, check out The Krewe on Facebook or Twitter.
View all posts by Michael Bender →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.