Honey…I can’t shrink my disk volume!

Well, I’ve been touting running Windows 2008 as a desktop for months. However, my latest work laptop came installed with Vista Business and I need to use it right out of the gate. Also, it’s an hp and laptops are notorious for being “driver challenge” with a new OS.

Anyway, I finally completed the book and have a need to run Windows Server 2008 x64 and Hyper-V, so I decided to use Vistas built in disk shrink function since HP built the entire drive as c:.

Well, I cleared some junk of my laptop and had about 45GB free. I tried to shrink it and came up with bubkiss…nothing…nada. All I got was a lowly 300MB. Even with the HP recovery partition vaporized, not enough for W2kOcho.

After some searching and testing, I found the solution. You not only need to defrag the drive; you need to defrag the system files. What happens is that a simple defrag does not impact the MFT, or Master File Table records, on the drive. In my case, they were sitting on the last few sectors of the disk so a shrink was impossible.

Since Vista does not have built in defrag of systems files, I downloaded a trial of Perfectdisk 2008 from Raxco software (www.raxco.com). This worked flawlessly except I had to run error-checking (chkdsk.exe) and fix any errors prior to it working. After running both, I was able to shrink my volume by up to 45GB.

Other hints:
-Turn of Volume Shadow Copies/Previous Versions
-Temporarily stop page file usage and delete pagefile.sys

Good Luck!


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