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Fix - Disk Already Contains Maximum Number of Partitions Error

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    Disk Already Contains Maximum Number of Partitions

    As you know, a partition is an important part of a hard drive, which can be used to store many files, including pictures, videos, documents, music files and so on. You may partition your hard disk to some drives for different kinds of files in order to distinguish them easily. However, sometimes when you create a new volume with Windows built-in tool Disk Management, there is a failure for this operation. Windows will give you a warning message "You cannot create a new volume in this unallocated space because the disk already contains the maximum number of partitions", just like the following screenshot shows.

    disk already contains the maximum number of partitions

    When such an error occurs, it is likely that you feel very upset and don't know what to do to fix it. But it is necessary to create a new partition for different data storage. So is there any suggestion for this warning? Don't worry. This post will provide you four solutions for this issue, so please keep reading.

    Reason to Maximum Number of Partitions Error

    Before giving solutions to such an issue, you had better know why Windows warns you there are already maximum number of partitions when making a partition creation. Generally speaking, this error occurs due to the maximum number of partitions in MBR disk. Let's look at the following analysis.

    Usually when connecting a hard drive firstly to the computer, many of you choose to initialize this disk to MBR disk for data storage. However, sometimes partitions on MBR disk are not enough for data storage. Then you choose to create a new simple volume from unallocated space with Disk Management, but fails. Why?

    In fact, MBR disk is a kind of disk type in computer, which is widely used. In the number of partition, MBR disk has four slots, and each one can be used to create a primary partition, or one extended partition that can be divided in any number of sub-partitions which are often called "logical drives". In one word, on a MBR disk, you can create at most four primary partitions, or three primary partitions plus one extended partition. It is allowed to create a lot of logical partitions in extended partition.

    If your hard drive is in MBR format, and the number of partitions has reached the limit of three primary partitions plus one extended partition, you will meet create partition maximum number problem.

    note There is one point you should note:
    If there are four primary partitions and an unallocated space, you won’t meet maximum partition number problem, but Windows will suggest you "the operation will convert the selected disk(s) to dynamic disk(s)".


    If Windows cannot create partition from unallocated space issue happens, is there any way to solve it? Of course, the answer is "Yes".

    How to Fix Disk Contains Maximum Number of Partitions Issue

    When it comes to the solution about maximum number of partitions error, perhaps many of you search such a problem in Google. Then you will find that many results which are related to this error, among those searching results, some forums and articles are very useful.

    There is an actual example you can learn about some details about the error :

    "Hello everyone! I already have four partitions, including Recovery 9GB, OS(C)155GB and partition E plus a logical partition F. I wanted to create a new partition on my hard drive, for which I shrunk my C drive and allocated 30GB to it. Now when I am trying to convert this 30 GB unallocated space to a new partitioned volume, then after finishing the wizard a message prompts ‘you cannot create a new volume in this unallocated space because the disk already contains maximum number of partitions'. Is there any suggestion to solve this problem? Please help me with this. Thanks in advance."
    -- from tomshardware

    In this forum, there are many answers provided by many users. After learning about so much information about maximum partition number issue, you know it occurs when there are three primary partitions plus one extended partition, so here I summarize four solutions for this case as follows. You can try them one by one according to your needs.

    convert mbr Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk

    When it comes to maximum number of partitions problem, many of you consider changing the disk style from MBR to GPT. Why is it necessary to change disk to GPT type? Let’s look at the following content.

    tip Tips:
    • In Windows, the number of partitions on GPT disk can reach up to 128. If you use such a hard drive, you can create so many partitions without meeting "cannot create a new simple in this unallocated space" error warning.
    • All partitions on GPT disk are primary partitions by default. So if you want to create more than four primary partitions, GPT type is suggested.
    • In Windows XP 32-bit, data disk doesn't support GPT type. Moreover, in Windows XP including 32 bit and 64 bit, Windows Vista 32-bit and Windows 7 32-bit, the disk with operating system can't be GPT type.
    • UEFI motherboard supports MBR and GPT disks, so if you want to use GPT, you must ensure your motherboard is UEFI.

    How to do this work? There are two ways for it by using Disk Management or MiniTool Partition Wizard.

    run disk Run Disk Management

    When mentioning the conversion between MBR and GPT disk, some of you probably choose to use Disk Management. However, when right clicking the target disk, you will find "Convert to GPT" feature is greyed out. You must delete all volumes, and then convert to GPT from MBR. This way will cause data loss, so it is not recommended.

    run disk Use MiniTool Partition Wizard

    In order to avoid data loss and completely solve the maximum partition number issue, it is necessary to choose a professional and reliable disk and partition management tool to convert the disk to GPT. When searching such a tool online, there will be many kinds of partition managers for choice. Among them, MiniTool Partition Wizard is an excellent partition magic. It is available in all operating systems, including Windows Vista/XP/7/8/8.1/10 PCs and Windows Server 2000/2003/2008/2012. This partition magic is designed to has five editions, which are Free Edition, Professional Edition, Server Edition, Enterprise Edition and Technician Edition. Each edition has different features, and you can click here to learn about the edition comparison. So please choose a corresponding edition to manage your partition. Here I recommend you to use its Free Edition if you are non-server users. As a free partition manager, it is designed to create partition, delete partition, resize partition, copy partition, rebuild MBR, migrate OS to SSD/HD, set partition logical/primary, do conversion between MBR and GPT and so on.

    Before you do, please download MiniTool Partition Wizard first of all, and then install it to your computer in a few seconds.

    This operation is applied on a non-system disk. If the disk contains system partition, Partition Wizard doesn’t allow converting this disk to GPT style because it may cause your system to be unbootable.

    Step 1: Right click the target hard drive and select "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk" function. Also you can select this feature from "Operations" menu after selecting a disk.

    convert mbr disk to gpt disk

    Step 2: Then you preview this disk will become GPT disk and all partitions are primary partitions. Next right click the unallocated space to create a new partition which is primary by default, just like the following picture shows.

    create primary partition

    Step 3: Then you will go back to the main interface. Here you can see five primary partitions on the target disk. Click "Apply" to make all operations effective.

    gpt partition

    convert primary Convert Primary Partition to Logical

    When there are three primary partitions plus one extended partition, but the unallocated space is not next to the logical partition, MiniTool Partition Wizard also doesn’t allow you to create a new partition with unallocated space, it will tell you an error "PartitionWizard cannot create a partition at here. There are no free MBR slots on the disk", which is similar to Windows error message "disk already contains maximum number of partitions" due to the rule of maximum partition number.

    no free slots

    In order to solve create partition maximum number problem and make full use of unallocated space, please convert an existing primary partition to logical partition and try again for a new partition creation.

    The primary partition you want to set as logical must be adjacent to the logical partition, because extended partition must be included together.

    How do you convert a primary partition to logical for a new extended partition successfully? Don’t worry. You also can ask MiniTool Partition Wizard for help with its powerful functions. If you don’t know the detailed operation, please do as the following step-by-step guidance shows.

    Step 1: Double click MiniTool Partition Wizard and then run it by clicking "Launch Application" option which only exists in Free Edition.

    launch application

    Step 2: Then you will go to its clear and simple main interface. After selecting the primary partition O which is next to the logical drive M and unallocated space, you can see there are many features in the left pane, here please select "Set Partition as Logical" feature from "Operations" drop-down menu. Or right click the target partition O to select this function to convert to logical.

    set partition logical

    Step 3: Then you can preview this partition O is in logical status. Next right click the unallocated space to select "Create" function. Or select the unallocated space to click "Create Partition" from "Operations" menu.

    create partition

    Step 5: Then during the process of partition creation, you can specify the partition setting.

    partition setting

    • Partition label: it is designed to add a label to the newly created drive in order to recognize it quickly.
    • File system: MiniTool Partition Wizard allows you to set partition in FAT, FAT32, NTFS, Ext2, Ext3, Ext4, Linux Swap file system, or just let it in "unformatted" status.
    • Drive letter: you can allocate a letter from D to Z for this new partition. Here the letters that have been used won’t be listed.
    • Cluster size: it is recommended to set cluster size as “default”. If you have special needs, you can set it as 1kb, 2kb, 4kb, 8kb, 16kb, 32kb or 64kb.
    • Size and Location: it is allowed to drag the black triangles to resize the newly created partition size or input the specific value to textboxes.

    After finishing all settings, then click "OK".

    Step 5: At last, click "Apply" to execute all changes. Here you can preview partition P will be created.


    Just do as the above steps show, you can easily solve Windows cannot create new simple volume from unallocated space error warning and create a partition successfully.

    For more cases about setting partition to logical, please refer to this article No Free MBR Slots.

    shrink logical Shrink Logical Partition to Create a New Partition

    In addition, there is another solution. From the following screenshot, you can clearly see the partition layout: primary partition, logical partition, primary partition, unallocated space and primary partition. Now if you right click the unallocated space to select "New Simple Volume" feature, maximum number problem emerges at the end of creating partition.

    maximum number of partitions

    In this case, you can use Disk Management to shrink the logical partition to allocate some free space for new volume creation.

    1. Right click the logical partition M and then select "Shrink Volume" for free space. During the process, it is allowed to decide how much free space by setting the value of "Enter the amount of space to shrink in MB". Then click "OK" to perform this operation.

    shrink volume

    2. Then you can right click the free space to select "New Simple Volume" for a new partition.

    create new volume

    3. If you want to create more partitions, you can repeat step 1 and step 2. Like that, many logical partitions will be created.

    tip Tip: However, if you shrink the extended partition for new partition creation, the unallocated space is still not used. If you create a partition with this unallocated space, Windows still tells you your disk meets the maximum partition number. So in my opinion, this solution is not the best one. Just try MiniTool Partition Wizard to convert to GPT disk or convert primary partition to logical to create more partitions.

    convert basic disk Convert Basic Disk to Dynamic Disk

    Besides, there is another way, that is to convert the basic disk to dynamic disk which could contain a lot of simple volumes and the conversion can be done with Disk Management.

    attention Attention:
    All Microsoft Windows Home Version operating systems don’t support dynamic disks, including Windows Vista Home Basic Edition, Vista Home Premium Edition, Windows 7 Home Basic Edition, Windows 7 Home Premium Edition and so on. Also dynamic disks can’t be used in Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows NT. If you install such an operating system, it is not allowed to convert to dynamic disk, so please ensure you don’t use OS Home Version.

    Useful articles:
    Detailed steps are as follows:
    1. Right click the basic disk, choose "Convert to Dynamic Disk" from the shortcut menu, and do conversion according to wizards.

    convert to dynamic disk

    2. After your disk is converted to dynamic disk, you can create a new simple volume with the unallocated space.

    create dynamic volume

    Here is a video for more information about disk contains maximum partition number issue:



    In this post, I introduce you what is disk already contains maximum number of partitions and why does this error occur and four solutions to this issue. In my opinion, MiniTool Partition Wizard is a good choice that can help you to set primary partition logical and convert MBR disk to GPT disk effectively for a new partition creation. With the help of this partition manager, the maximum number of partitions problem can be solved quickly. Do you have any suggestion or better idea? Please let us know via support@minitool.com or leave a comment below. Much appreciated.