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Partition Strangeness

849 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Sinani201

I've been using the Windows 7 Beta for quite some time, but I couldn't help but notice this problem that's making free space unobtainable.

When I made my Win7 partition, I thought I gave it too much memory, so I wanted to hand it over to my primary Vista partition. But when I shrunk the volume, the free space (see the picture) went into a little blue box with Win7, and now it's a chunk of memory that neither Windows 7 nor Vista can get. I can't "expand" the volumes, those options are unavailable when I right click on my partitions.

So, does anyone know how I can get my free space? If I have to, I can always give it back to Win7...

The image is big, so here's a link:
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Hi -

The reason that Windows7 or Vista cannot access the space is because it is in a format that is not recognized by either of them - "Free Space".

Go into Disk Management, RIGHT-click on the Free Space and format it NTFS. When finished, assign a drive letter. Then both Vista and Windows7 should be able to access it.

START | diskmgmt.msc

For info, this involves the hard drive, which is different than physical memory (RAM). Virtual memory (page file) is located on the hard drive.

Regards. . .


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It said that there isn't enough space on the drive to format. :4-dontkno
What is on the 47MB FAT partition - drive a: ?
Err... I think (not sure) it came when I tried to get rid of the GRUB bootloader, because I forgot about Wubi when I installed Ubuntu. Super Grub Disk said it could fix it, but what I didn't know, was that the fix was for XP (whoops). I'm thinking of deleting it.
Delete it.

You are limited to 4 partitions. You have 4. Delete it and you will have 3 - then try the format on the Free Space again.

Not sure why the error message referred to space.


The 47 MiB FAT partition (drive F:) may be the OEM's diagnostics. Dells have a partition just like that at the start of the drive for the Dell Diagnostic.

You have Windows 7 installed on a logical drive in an extended partition. The Free Space shown in bright green can't be used until you create a logical drive (right click, New Simple Volume). It can't be added to the Vista partition as it's part of the Extended partition.

You can't shrink an Extended partition with the tools in Vista, you can only shrink the logical drive/volume.
Extending a logical drive can extend the partition, but you can't shrink the partition.

You'll need to use a 3rd party tool to shrink the Extended partition so that you can expand the Vista partition. I have no idea how Win 7 will react to that though, so make sure your backups are current.


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I deleted it, and tried to claim its free space. Vista nor Win7 could do it. I made a volume, formatted to as NTFS. In Windows Explorer, it says that somethings eating up the space inside of it. Then I try to re-format it, and then the same problem happens. Throughout the whole period I wasn't able to give the space to Vista or Win7.

I'm going to attempt to do it in a Linux Live CD. If that doesn't work, I'll post back.
Sorry for the Double Post.

Anyways, there's been a change of plans. Since I'm changing to the RC of Win7, I deleted the partition, and then deleted the free space. And now there's this big chunk of unallocated memory that I can format to a Windows 7 RC partition. And, even better, Vista can access it!

I'm installing the Windows 7 RC right now. It should work fine.
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