I read your answer regarding partition resizing with 64-bit Vista (“64-Bit Partition Resizer,” December 2009). My 1TB of storage consists of two 500GB hard drives in RAID 0. I would like to shrink my partition to allow a dual-boot with 64-bit Windows 7. Should Vista’s Disk Management utility be able to handle this (the menu option I get is Shrink Volume)?
If you’re using a hardware RAID setup (either onboard or through an add-in card), Vista will see your RAID as a single disk, therefore you ought to be able to use Disk Management to shrink the partition—in theory. However, we tested this method on a RAID 0 of two 40GB Intel X-25V SSDs on a 64-bit Windows 7 machine, and although the Shrink Volume let us set a new size for the partition, the actual shrinking procedure failed. Fortunately, the free home version of Partition Wizard 5 (www.partitionwizard.com) succeeded where Windows’ built-in solution didn’t, allowing us to shrink the partition on the disk and create a new one in the freshly unallocated space. Given that you’re attempting to shrink a system partition on a RAID, though, you should definitely defrag the array and back up everything beforehand; some RAID controllers can be weird about shrinking partitions, especially on striped drives.
Partition Wizard 5 can resize partitions where the Windows tool fails--even with RAID. And the free version has 64-bit support, a rare feet.
One final note: We question the utility of dual-booting Vista and Win 7. There’s almost no software that runs on Vista but not Win7, and Win7 is all-around better, more stable, and more secure. Dual-booting is useful if you’re running two totally different operating systems (say a Linux partition and a Windows partition), but we’re not sure why you’d need to boot into Vista at all, once you have Win7.
SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION Are flames shooting out of the back of your rig? First, grab a fire extinguisher and douse the flames. Once the pyrotechnic display has fizzled, email the doctor at email@example.com for advice on how to solve your technological woes.