Shrinking Partitions in RAID


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 ( ) 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.

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