how to resize or reallocate space on disk partitions

When initially setting up my PC I decided I’d go with the trusty old formula of keeping my operating system, my installed software and my data separated. So my C became my OS partition, D is where the software goes and E holds all my precious data like mp3’s, pictures, code etc.

This works fine, until at some point it turned out that I underestimated the amount of disk space greedy Windows and all of it’s components need. For instance if you want to send your PC into hibernation mode, you need enough space on your C drive to take a full memory dump (sounds nasty doesn’t it).  Sometimes, when installing software, some simply don’t let you choose where you want to put it, and they arrogantly nestle themselves on your C drive. Yes, I’m looking at you Google. Oh and the .NET framework also takes quite some space, just to name another one. If that isn’t enough already, some apps also store their settings on your C drive, in the folders provided by Microsoft of course, and that can also take up a lot of space. Picasa for instance stores it’s thumbnail database on your C drive. Google Earth also takes up a lot of space there.

So lately I kept seeing that annoying popup telling me I was low on diskspace on my C drive, but I had spare space on partition sitting next to it. How do I designate those free gigabytes to my C drive I wondered? And while I’m at it, some to my data drive as well, which is also getting kinda stuffed. Archiving all your CD’s to high quality mp3’s will do that.

Well, the GParted live CD is all I needed, and it’s free too. Awesome! Together with this step by step guide, you can easily resize and reallocate space from one partition to another by moving them around a bit. The whole process of moving a good 160 GB around did take about 8 hours to complete. So make sure you can leave your machine running for that long if you’re planning an operation like this.

But I don’t mind if my PC has to churn data for a few hours. It saved me from wasting even more time having to reinstall the whole system from scratch to get a larger system partition. In the meanwhile I could just enjoy a lazy Sunday, watch a movie, eat some pie and surf on my spare laptop. Not bad for a free tool right?

Photo by Daniele Muscetta, cc-licensed

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