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How to Extend a Drive Volume in Windows

Sometimes, an extra chunk of storage exists on a hard drive. You can use that unallocated portion of disk space to make a drive’s main volume larger.

To know whether you have unallocated space on your disk drive, you can look at the drive in the Disk Management console window.

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What may not be obvious is that you can use any chunk of unallocated storage on any drive to make any other drive larger. You can even combine unused chunks from several hard drives to increase the storage capacity of a single drive. To make any or all of that happen, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Disk Management console window.

    1. Open the Control Panel.

    2. Open the Administrative Tools window.

      In Windows 7, choose System and Security and then Administrative Tools.

      In Windows Vista, choose System and Maintenance and then Administrative Tools.

      In Windows XP, open the Administrative Tools icon.

    3. Open the Computer Management icon.

      In Vista, click Continue or type the administrator’s password.

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    4. Choose Disk Management.

  2. Right-click the volume you want to extend.

    The volume can be extended only when it dwells on a hard drive not currently in use and where an unallocated portion of storage is available somewhere else on the computer.

  3. Choose the command Extend Volume.

    The Extend Volume Wizard opens.

  4. Click the Next button.

    The next screen of the wizard allows you to select chunks of unallocated space on hard drives in your PC.

  5. Choose the chunks of unallocated space to add to the existing drive.

    Any unallocated space on the current drive (the one you’re extending) already shows up in the Selected column (on the right side of the window). Any additional unallocated space on other drives shows up in the Available column. Use the Add or Remove buttons to choose which unallocated volumes to use.

    If the Next button isn’t available, the value specified by Select the Amount of Space in MB is too high. Set it to a lower value.

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Click the Finish button.

    As if by magic, the size of the drive instantly increases, by grabbing up all the unallocated portions.

  8. Close the Disk Management console window.

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