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Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

I was going to use the Windows 7 built in system then I read this https://www.easeus.com/partition-master/merge-partitions-windows-7.html

Steps to merge partitions in Windows 7 with Disk Management Tool

  1. Right-click “Computer” icon on the desktop, choose “Manage” and click “Disk Management” to get its main interface as follows.
  1. Right-click partition D and then choose “Delete Volume” button to release unallocated space.
  1. Right-click partition C and then choose “Extend Volume” button. Then, extend volume C by following Extend Volume Wizard.

Steps to merge partitions under Windows 7 with EaseUS Partition Master

Windows 7 built-in Disk Managemen tool requires you to delete the partition when you merge partitions with it. So, this method is not recommended because it will lead to data loss disaster.

Now I know that the link site is trying to sell their product but is there a serious risk of this happening given that the procedure described here seems clear and safe https://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/merge-two-partitions-in-windows-7/

This is what I have at present - to an extent it is a legacy of starting with Vista 64 bit then moving to Win 7 64 bit as dual boot and finally a clean install of Windows 7 on an SSD drive

My Computer.jpg

 

 So what I want to do is  delete Windows Vista Primary Boot K: and the Swap File J: partitions then expand the D: partitions to take up the full disk

Next I want to delete the Windows 7 boot H: and expand the backup partition F; to take up the full disk

So the start point is

C: SSD Windows 7 boot
D: Data Partition
E: Storage
F: Backup Partition
G; DVD Drive
H: Windows 7 Boot
J: Old swap file partition
K: Vista Boot

And the end point would be (sizes are nominal)

C: SSD Windows 7 boot 128GB
D: Data Partition 500GB
E: Storage 1TB
F: Backup Partition 500GB
G; DVD Drive

7 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,940
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

All EaseUS Partition Master will be doing is automating the copying of all the data off the partition that's going to be deleted, and the copying of that data into the expanded partition. There won't really be any differences in the steps EaseUS Partition Master does automatically and the steps you'd have to do manually to achieve the same result. I don't think one is safer than the other, merely easier with less to do manually.

VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,647
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

Beware of Windows!

It allocates letters to partitions in a weird way.

So merging partitions on disk 1 might relabel your other partitions.

Always take a backup before messing with partitions.

Browni
Seasoned Champion
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Registered: 02-03-2016

Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

You will need to use a 3rd party tool because the disk management tool in Windows won't expand a partition to include unallocated space before it, it can only use unallocated space after a partition.
I must have been really bad in a previous life. This is my 3rd ISP in a row that uses lithium.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

Thanks for that - that makes things a bit more complicated as I would need to move the partition content around before sorting it

In fact shifting the content to another drive - reformatting the whole drive and copying it back again may be the way to go
Fortunately the E: drive (1GB capacity) has stacks of spare space

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
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Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7


VileReynard wrote:

Beware of Windows!

It allocates letters to partitions in a weird way.

Windows allows you to allocate drive letters manually so automatic allocation isn't a problem
The only thing you really need to remember is the drive letter allocated to the DVD Drive and don't change it as that can muck up programs which need to access the DVD drive


 

mikelahey
Aspiring Pro
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Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

I have always used GParted for this kind of thing. Its free and its got a nice gui which shows all the disks and their layouts.

 

https://gparted.org/

 

You need to make a bootable USB stick or CD and set your PC up to boot off it. There may be a key combo that enables your to access a boot menu or you may need to set the boot priority in BIOS temporarily. On my PC with an Award BIOS if you hold F11 down during startup you get a menu asking which device you want to boot off.

 

The instructions to create a bootable USB are here: https://gparted.org/liveusb.php

 

Once booted into GParted highlight the partition you wish to delete in the GUI and click the delete icon. Then click the partition you wish to resize and click the resize / move icon, you can then increase the size in the popup dialog. It works both ways you can expand the partiton to fill free space before it or after it. Although expanding into space before it takes a lot longer as it has to move all the data.

When you are happy with the new disk layout, click the apply icon (green tick) and it will make the changes for you. 

You can change the disk you want to edit in the drop-down icon in the top right.

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Safe way to delete partitions and merge them in Windows 7

Done but with an annoying problem

I backed up the appropriate data partition and then used Acronis to clone the boot drive onto it.

However the disk was previously a dual boot with another drive and in its wisdom Acronis not only cloned it into the drive intended but also into the other boot drive deleting the data partition on that drive as well with no warning

Fortunately the critical data on that drive was backed up as routine so it was only a few, hopefully non important files and folder which went as thy weren't active files

So a general; warning - watch out when you playing about with dual boot systems