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How to Increase and Decrease the Local Disk Partition Size in Windows XP

  • Question: from Microsoft I got the message that users can extend or shrink a partition in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2012 since these systems include "Extend Volume" and "Shrink Volume" features. Now, I just want to know how to increase and decrease the local disk partition size in Windows XP. Is there a solution?

    Answer: though Windows XP Disk Management does not offer a function to change partition size, there are still 2 solutions. One is to use Diskpart, and the other is to employ 3rd party partition manager. Nevertheless, Diskpart can only extend a partition in Windows XP, and to shrink a partition, users should ask partitioning tool for help. Moreover, Diskpart extends a partition only when there is contiguous free or unallocated space after the partition we want to extend.

    How to Increase Local Disk Partition Size in Windows XP with Diskpart

    Here, we take extending Partition 2 on Disk 0 to 10GB unallocated space for example. Note: every step ends with clicking "Enter" key.

    Step 1: run command prompt.

    Step 2: type diskpart.

    Step 3: type select disk 0.

    Step 4: type list partition.

    Step 5: type select partition 2.

    Step 6: type extend size =10240.

    After these 6 steps we enlarge a basic disk partition in Windows XP successfully. However, if we want to shrink a partition or there is no contiguous free/unallocated space after the target partition, third party partitioning tool is needed.

    How to Increase and Decrease Local Disk Partition Size in XP with Partition Manager

    First of all, we need to download such a program. The freeware MiniTool Partition Wizard is recommended for it is easy to use and with high security. After installation, launch it to get its main interface:

    minitool partition wizrd main interface

    The main interface displays all disks and partitions. To resize a partition, we just need to select the target partition and choose a suitable function from the left. "Move/Resize Partition" helps shrink a partition or extend a partition when there is contiguous unallocated space; "Extend Partition" is able to enlarge a partition even if there is no neighboring unallocated space. Here, we take shrinking partition F for example. Select partition F and choose "Move/Resize Partition" to get the following interface:

    decrease local disk partition size in XP drag handle

    Then, drag one of edges of the handle towards the middle to decrease partitions size and click "OK" to go back to the main window:

    decrease local disk partition size in XP apply change

    Now, we can see an unallocated space which can be used to create a new partition or added to other partitions. At this time, click "Apply" button to apply changes. After that, partition manager shrink partition successfully.

    Seeing the introduction above users would know how to increase and decrease local disk partition size in Windows XP. Try suggested solutions when necessary.