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Windows 10 Disk Management Can't Work? Try Partition Wizard Now!

  • Contents:

    About Windows 10 Disk Management

    As you know, Windows 10 is the latest operating system released by Microsoft which is popular with many users all over the world. Compared to Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, it gets some improvements, such as the return of Start Menu, turbo-powered multitasking, a personal assistant named Cortana, Microsoft edge browser, Xbox and DirectX 12 and a virtual desktop system. Therefore, many of you choose to make a upgrade to Windows 10. However, no matter which OS you have installed, it seems that Windows built-in Disk Management has some limitations. Here let's look at what Windows 10 Disk Management can do.

    In Windows 10, the snap-in Windows 10 disk utility is also the same with Windows 7 and Windows 8 Disk Management, and it is suitable to make some basic disk and partition management for some personal users. Here are some features of Disk Management Windows 10:

    • Repartition/partition hard drive.
    • Create partition or create simple volume, spanned volume, stripped volume, mirroed volume.
    • Delete/format partition
    • Extend or shrink partition.
    • Change drive letter or parths.
    • Mark partition as active.
    • Convert basic disk to dynamic disk.
    • Convert an empty disk betweent MBR and GPT.
    • Add mirror.
    • View partition.
    • Read more to learn Disk Management of Windows 10.

    How to Open Disk Management in Windows 10

    In the above content, I have mentioned the basic features of Disk Management tool in Windows 10. When there is a need, you probably choose to use this free tool to do disk and partition operations, but it is possible that you don't know how to use Disk Management in Windows 10. Here are three usual ways to help you to open this disk manager.

    from-quick From Quick Access Menu

    Right click "Start Menu" in the bottom-left corner to open Quick Access Menu, and then select "Disk Management".

    start menu

    vis-run-window Via "Run" Window

    Press "Win +R" keys to open "Run" Window. Then input "diskmgmt.msc" in the text box and tap "OK".

    run window

    from-this-pc From This PC

    Right click "This PC" to select "Manage", and then click "Disk Management" in "Storage" tab.

    After entering the main interface of Disk Management Windows 10, now you can start to do some operations on partition and disk. In this post, I will give you detailed introduction to Windows 10 disk partition management in five aspects, and then you can know Windows 10 snap-in drive manager well.

    Manage Hard Drive Windows 10 with Disk Management

    hard drive 1 Windows 10 Extend Partition

    After upgrading to Windows 10 for a period of time, it is most likely that there are more and more data saved on your hard drive. More seriously, your hard drive is almost full. Windows 10 will prompt you a low disk space warning saying "You are running very low on disk space on Local Disk (C:). Click here to see if you can free space on this drive".

    In this case, how to solve low disk space issue? You may consider using Windows 10 disk partition tool – Disk Management to change parititon size. "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume" are two basic features to repartition a hard drive in Windows 10. However, during the process of expanding a partition, Windows 10 Disk Management not working happens, especially Extend Volume greyed out.

    windows 10 disk management not working

    In fact, this situation often happens and you also can search many forums about this topic. Here is a real example:

    "So my C: Drive has been acting up lately, with barely enough space to stay alive. I tried to take some space off the D: Drive, which has 240 GB of unused space, and add it to the C: Drive using Disk Management. But when I shrink the D: Drive and Right Click on C: Drive the Extend Volume button is Greyed Out! I think this is happening because the Free Space is not adjacent to the C: Drive. Any Solutions or Tips?"
    --from tenforums

    Do you know why you fail to extend Windows 10 partition? In fact, the reason is very simple, and here let's look at three limsitations of Disk Management.

    tips Tips:
    1. When extending a primary partition, there must be unallcoated space immediately following the target primary partition.
    2. When expanding a logical partition, there must be a free space right adjacent to the logical partition.
    3. The target drive should be in NTFS or RAW file system, otherwise, "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume" features become greyed out.

    From the above picture, you know C drive is not allowed to be extended becasue there is no unallocated space following it. In addition, it is possible that you fail to shrink a volume. From the following picture, you will find both "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume" features are also greyed out. That is because the partition is in FAT32 file system.

    extend shrink greyed out

    Solution: Use MiniTool Partition Wizard

    When failling to extend/shrink a partition with Windows 10 partition manager, you need to look for a professional program to replace Disk Management in Windows 10 for a good user experience in managing a hard drive. Here I want to recommend a piece of third-party disk management software – MiniTool Partition Wizard. It has six editions for personal users, Server users and more advanced IT administrators. If you are a personal user, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition is OK. As a best free partition manager, it is compatiable with many operating systems, including Windows Vista/XP/7/8/8.1/10. This free disk manager can manage hard drive in Windows 10 as well as partition. If you can't extend partition successfully, download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition for a good experience.

    Minitool Partition Wizard provides you two features to help to change partition size in Windows 10 by "Extend Partition" or "Move/Resize Partition" feature.

    Case 1: when there is no unallcoated space or the unallcoated space is not contiguous

    Step : Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition, then do to the main interface. Click the target partition (take C as an example), and select "Extend Partition" in the action pane.

    Step 2: Next please take some free disk space from other partitions on the same disk. By moving the handle, you can decide how much free space you want to take.

    Step 3: Click "Apply" button to save all changes.

    extend windows 10 partition

    Case 2: when there is unallocated space adjacent to the target partition with FAT32 file system

    If you want to extend a FAT32 partition, Windows 10 Disk Management not working issue still appears. In this case, MiniTool Partition Wizard also can be used to extend Windows 10 partition.

    Step 1: Run this professional Windows 10 hard drive manager to its main interface. Then right click the FAT32 partition to select "Move/Resize" feature to resize Windows 10 partition.

    resize windows 10 partition

    Step 2: Then move the black arrow to occupy the unallocated space. Click "OK" to continue.


    Step 3: Then you will go back to the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard. At last, click "Apply" to execute this operation.

    hard drive 2 Convert Disk Style between MBR and GPT in Windows 10

    In addiiton to resizing partition size in Windows 10 with Disk Management tool, perhaps you want to use this free utility to do the disk type conversion between MBR and GPT. If you want to create more than 4 primary partitions, or use a 3TB hard drive, it is necessary to convert MBR disk to GPT disk. Besides, if you want to install a second OS Windows XP, but GPT disk is not suitable, so you need to convert GPT disk to MBR disk. However, Windows Disk Management requires you to delete all volumes and then do the conversions. Otherwise, "Convert to MBR Disk" or "Convert to GPT Disk" feature is not available.

    convert mbr gpt

    In a word, Disk Management in Windows 10 only converts an empty disk to MBR/GPT. To avoid data loss, you should adopt a professional Windows 10 hard drive partition manager. MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition provides powerful features for disk type conversion.

    attentions Attention:
    MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition can help to convert data disk between MBR and GPT for free. But if you want to convert OS disk from MBR to GPT, Free Edition doesn't support this function and you need to purchase its Professional Edition or a more advanced edition. Learn more

    Step 1: Here take data disk as an example. Run MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Ediiton. Then in the main interface, select "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk" after right clicking on the target disk.

    convert gpt

    Step 2: Hit "Apply" button to execute this conversion.

    If you need to convert GPT disk to MBR disk, please check this post to learn much information.

    attention Attention:
    MiniTool Partition Wizard can’t convert the hard drive within Windows operating system to GPT from MBR.

    hard drive 3 Convert File System between NTFS and FAT32

    As you know, NTFS and FAT32 are two common file systems on a hard drive. The former supports a file larger than 4GB. And the latter can be used in many early operating systems, such as Windows 95/98, and Windows 2000/2003. Moreover, some game consoles and USB flash drives supports FAT32 by default. In some cases, you need to do the conversion bewteen NTFS and FAT32. Some of you probably use Windows 10 Disk Management to format the partition to NTFS or FAT32 file system. Nevertheless, there are two limitations with disk utility of Windows 10.

    • Formatting will lead to all data on the target drive lost.
    • Disk Management doesn’t allow formatting the partition larger than 32GB to FAT32.


    Compared to Disk Management in Windows 10, MiniTool Partition Wizard enables you to change your partition to NTFS/FAT32 without formatting. Its "Convert FAT to NTFS" feature or "Convert NTFS to FAT" funtion will be useful for you. During the process of conversion, the situation of data loss won't appear.

    attentions Note:
    "Convert NTFS to FAT" is a paid feature. If you want to do this work, its Professional Edition is worth recomending. If you need to convert FAT to NTFS, you can try its Free Edition.

    convert ntfs fat32

    hard drive 4 Create Many Partitions

    In Windows 10, Disk Management allows you to create a new partition with its "New Simple Volume" feature on the unallocated space or free space. If there are four primary partitions, which has met the requirements of maximum partition number, but you still want to create a new partition in Windows 10. In this case, you may choose to convert this disk to GPT and then make a new partition. However, this free disk utility will cause data loss, just as the above content mentioned. And Disk Management only supports creating NTFS and FAT partition.

    In addition, there is another way that is to use MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition. This free tool allows making a conversion from MBR disk to GPT disk for creating partition on data disk, not system disk. Moreover, you also are able to change a primary partition to logical, and then start to make a new partition.

    Step 1:There are already four primary partitions and unallocated space on the target disk. In the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard, select a primary partition which is next to the unallcoated space, then click "Set Partition as Logical" in the action pane.

    set partition logical

    Step 2: And then right click the unallcoated space to select "Create" feature. In the pop-up window, you are able to create a new Windows 10 partition in FAT, FAT32, NTFS, Ext2/3/4 and Linux Swap file system.

    create partition

    Step 3: Click "Apply" button in the top left corner.

    hard drive 5 Delete Windows 10 Partition

    Sometimes you want to remove a system partition in Windows 10 for some free disk space when there are two operating systems on the hard drive. While opening Disk Management, right click the system partition, you will find "Delete Volume" funtion isn't usable. How to remove partition? MiniTool Partition Wizard has a feature called "Delete" which can be used to delete all protective Windows 10 partition, including system partition, recovery partition, system reserved partition, and the partition contains page file or crash dump files. Refer to this post Solved – Cannot Delete The Active System Partition for much information.


    Windows 10 Disk Management VS. MiniTool Partition Wizard

    In part 2, I have introduced you some disk or partition operations in five aspects. Here let's look at a table about the comparison between Disk Management and Partition Wizard, and then you will learn much about Windows 10 disk manager.


    From the table, you know Disk Management only can be used to do some basic disk or partition management, but MiniTool Partition Wizard supports basic management as well as some advanced disk or partition operations, such as OS migration, disk/partition copy, partition recovery and more.

    Bottom Line

    In this post, I introduce you the main features of Windows 10 Disk Management, five aspects in managing disk or partition and the comparsion between Disk Management and Partition Wizard. You will get that to use the professional Windows 10 partition manager is a good choice for disk and partition management, which won't cause data loss. If you have any suggstion about this post, please leave a comment below.