How can I merge hard drive partitions in Windows?

yevgeniy July 5, 2010

I have the local C drive and I have a D, E and F drive. D is empty. Can I combine it with the C drive, so that I have more space?

  1. Oron
    May 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Yevgeniy, you can't merge partitions in a single operation and there are certain limitations on what you can do (see the bottom of this post. However, in your case it is probably quite easy to do. For XP, see Tina's answer).
    In Vista or Windows 7:
    Run Computer Management (in Control Panel, Administrative Tools).
    Click on Storage/Disk Management.
    RIGHT-click on the empty partition (D: ?) and choose "Delete Volume...". Confirm your choice.
    RIGHT-click on your C: partition and choose "Extend Volume...".
    Change the figures to take advantage of all the free space you have freed up. OK your choice and wait...

    Limitations on merging partitions:
    First of all, a partition is a continuous space on a disc, so the two partitions you want to merge must be physically adjacent on the disc. It also follows that they must by on the same physical drive.
    Secondly, if there are any files or folders with exactly the same name on each partition (let's say C:\windows and D:\windows) then what is the merge software to do? There's no logical and satisfactory answer to that (folders can /sometimes/ be merged, but not files).
    Finally, Some files and folders, particularly those important to the operation of windows, such as the contents of the "Windows" folder and most of the contents of the "Users" folder (or "Documents and Settings" in older versions of Windows) are identified by a "magic number" on the disc, and moving them to another drive will break Windows.
    In other words, some merge operations might succeed, others may fail or cause Windows to fail, which is why there's no built-in tool to do this in one step. If you want to do it, YOU must make all the relevant decisions.

  2. dan
    May 7, 2012 at 2:17 am

    my local C: is full and i want to upgrade its space from local D:.
    Can I do it?

    • ha14
      May 7, 2012 at 8:35 am
    • Bruce Epper
      May 7, 2012 at 11:00 am

      Yes, but how you go about it differs based on your situation. If both partitions are on the same physical disk, you can use EaseUS Partition Manager or Paragon Software's Partition Manager to do the appropriate moves and resize operations while preserving any existing data on both partitions. Even though the operations preserve your data, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CURRENT BACKUP OF ALL PARTITIONS YOU INTEND TO MODIFY FIRST! After all, there is always the potential that things can go wrong.

      If the partitions are on different disks, you can shrink any partitions on the second drive, convert both affected drives to Dynamic Disks, then span the C: partition with the unallocated space on the second drive. Again the software mentioned above can do this procedure for you or it can be done with the built-in Windows Disk Management console.

      When it comes to shrinking partitions, the above software can give you more free space for use since it will move files that Windows considers 'unmoveable' but it requires a reboot for the process. Also note that the process may take quite a bit of time depending on a number of factors such as how much data needs to be moved to perform the resize and move partition operations as well as the speed of your processor and disk drives.

  3. Hans
    April 26, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Go to: Control Panel
    Admin Tools
    Computer management
    Disc management

    On the right hand side, you will see your hard drives. Right click near the bottom, and you could see 2 partitions on the same drive. From here, you can then remove the partition, and reformat the drive in question.

    Answer 2

    You can purchase partitioning software that will help you. Partition Commander seems to be quite intuitive, but go to your local "geek store" and ask which one they recommend.

    Answer 3

    I added a link in the links section that saved me buying Partition Manager. Windows 7 has this capability built in and I was able to use it to extend the OS partition.

    Read more:

  4. pceasies
    July 23, 2010 at 1:37 am

    MUO just released a great article that may help:

  5. 413736603
    July 19, 2010 at 9:05 am

    of couse,you can merge C and D together,but, my suggest you should not,because C is store system file,if you merge it which easily broken the system,maybe you can merge D and E together.
    first you download one free partition software(magic server partition software-partition wizard) then instaill it.the last you lanch the partition wizard and click the merge function,choose the partition which you want to merge,then click apply,that's OK.

  6. Jack Cola
    July 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    As Tina mentioned, if you have Vista, you can merge your handdrives together. Just open up disk manager in device manager and merge them. If you don't know what I am talking about, I wouldn't recommend that you do it yourself - go to a local computer shop - just in case you lose your data.

    Make sure that they are one physical hard drive and that you don't have 2 or 3 separate ones, otherwise it won't work - or it may work (depending on how you configure it), but if one drives crashes, you'll lose everything.

    Please give us more information so we can give you the best advice

  7. Tina
    July 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm


    is D a partition, i.e. physical part of the card drive that also holds C? If so, then yes, you can merge the two. There are programs that let you do that without having to reinstall Windows. The question is, which Windows version do you have?

    For Windows XP you will need a free software. For example Paragon's Free Partition Manager Express or Easus Partition Manager 3.0 Home Edition.

    Under Windows Vista and Windows 7 you will not need extra software, you can use the internal disk partition option. An article outlining how to use it can be found here.

    In any case, make sure you back up your important data before you make such changes to your hard drive!

    Please let us know in case you need more help.

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