Question Unable to shrink SSD to create new partition - Need defrag?

Jul 3, 2021
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In Windows 10, I'm trying to shrink the volume of my 500GB SSD by 100GB so that I can create a new partition, on which I will then install Linux.

I'm experiencing the problem whereby Windows 10 will not let me shrink the volume beyond a few MB, despite there being plenty of SSD space available:




I have been through a few tutorials and turned off a number of systems processes (page file, restore points, etc). This freed up a bit more disk space, but did absolutely nothing to free up the available MB that can be shrunk (no change at all).

I'm guessing there is some sort of 'blockage' stopping me, which normally a decent defrag tool can sort out.

However, the information I've found on this forum suggests it is not advisable to defrag an SSD....?

So, what should I do in this situation? Seems like a stalemate.

I'm wary of software solutions - though it looks like I will probably need to trust something, I've had bad experiences with 3rd party solutions (eg. CC Cleaner for other issues). Is there a simple and trusted program that will easily clean up this blockage and let me shrink my SSD volume?

Further notes:
  • Performance has been painfully slow lately.
  • I continue to find programs I don't use, and uninstall them. It increases disk space, but the handful of MB available to shrink does not change at all.
Any help would be much appreciated.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Defragmentation will only aid in reducing the life and performance of your SSD. Make and model of your SSD? What motherboard are you working with? BISO version for said motherboard? What version of Windows 10 are you working with at the time of writing? If you really need to create a partition use EASEUS, it's been serving me well for the past decade, though I create all partitions during the OS installation window(for Windows 10) if needed, or make sure I get another SSD for the other OS, to prevent creating partitions and risk degrading SSD performance.

FYI, CCleaner has been blacklisted by Windows 10 and for good reason, it tends to send the OS into a belly up mode.
 
However, the information I've found on this forum suggests it is not advisable to defrag an SSD....?

So, what should I do in this situation? Seems like a stalemate.
Yes, all files of a partition have to be in the physical limits of this partition so you have to move all files to the start of the disk to make space for a new partition.
Use Mydefrag and the option flash memory disks it will use the least amount of writes possible to defragment files and move everything to the beginning of the disk.

And yes, every app could have an off day and destroy your data so backup anything crucial.
 
Jul 3, 2021
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Defragmentation will only aid in reducing the life and performance of your SSD. Make and model of your SSD? What motherboard are you working with? BISO version for said motherboard? What version of Windows 10 are you working with at the time of writing? If you really need to create a partition use EASEUS, it's been serving me well for the past decade, though I create all partitions during the OS installation window(for Windows 10) if needed, or make sure I get another SSD for the other OS, to prevent creating partitions and risk degrading SSD performance.

FYI, CCleaner has been blacklisted by Windows 10 and for good reason, it tends to send the OS into a belly up mode.
Thanks for your reply Lutfij. Ideally I would create partitions during installation, or just use a separate disk, but this is actually for my laptop that I've had for a while, and there is only room for one disk.

Here are the specs:

Code:
Disk model: Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB
OS Name    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Version    10.0.19041 Build 19041
Other OS Description     Not Available
OS Manufacturer    Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer    ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
System Model    N55SF
System Type    x64-based PC
System SKU   
Processor    Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2630QM CPU @ 2.00GHz, 2001 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date    American Megatrends Inc. N55SF.204, 7/07/2011
SMBIOS Version    2.6
Embedded Controller Version    255.255
BIOS Mode    Legacy
BaseBoard Manufacturer    ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
BaseBoard Product    N55SF
BaseBoard Version    1.0
Platform Role    Mobile
Secure Boot State    Unsupported
PCR7 Configuration    Binding Not Possible
Windows Directory    C:\WINDOWS
System Directory    C:\WINDOWS\system32
Boot Device    \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Installed Physical Memory (RAM)    12.0 GB
Total Physical Memory    11.9 GB
Available Physical Memory    7.74 GB
Total Virtual Memory    12.7 GB
Available Virtual Memory    8.24 GB
Page File Space    768 MB
Page File    C:\pagefile.sys
Kernel DMA Protection    Off
Virtualization-based security    Not enabled
Device Encryption Support    Reasons for failed automatic device encryption: TPM is not usable, PCR7 binding is not supported, Hardware Security Test Interface failed and device is not Modern Standby, Un-allowed DMA capable bus/device(s) detected, TPM is not usable
Hyper-V - VM Monitor Mode Extensions    Yes
Hyper-V - Second Level Address Translation Extensions    Yes
Hyper-V - Virtualization Enabled in Firmware    Yes
Hyper-V - Data Execution Protection    Yes
 
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Jul 3, 2021
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Please show us a screencap of Disk Management without that dialog box covering it up.
Thanks for your reply USAFRet. An unobstructed screenshot is below and I provided the specs above in a new reply. The SSD model is a Samsung SSD 850 EVO 500GB.

 
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Jul 3, 2021
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Yes, all files of a partition have to be in the physical limits of this partition so you have to move all files to the start of the disk to make space for a new partition.
Use Mydefrag and the option flash memory disks it will use the least amount of writes possible to defragment files and move everything to the beginning of the disk.

And yes, every app could have an off day and destroy your data so backup anything crucial.
Thanks TerryLaze - Mydefrag looks good, and that was the sort of thing I was fishing around for (unless I was wrong about the diagnosis in the first place). It doesn't say that it is made for Windows 10 Pro though. Is it still fine to use regardless? If successful, can I expect speed improvements too, or would that be a separate issue? This system has just slowed right down. Thanks again for your time.
 
Thanks TerryLaze - Mydefrag looks good, and that was the sort of thing I was fishing around for (unless I was wrong about the diagnosis in the first place). It doesn't say that it is made for Windows 10 Pro though. Is it still fine to use regardless? If successful, can I expect speed improvements too, or would that be a separate issue? This system has just slowed right down. Thanks again for your time.
It's made for windows, there are no differences in how windows sees drives so it's fine to use.
Your current slow downs could be caused by anything and might not have anything to do with your drives at all.
In general (theory) defragging an ssd could even cause a slight slow down depending on the ssd because a lot of ssds run their own garbage collection and wear leveling so after defragging these two thing would have to work overtime to get everything the way they want it again. BUT this is based on very early models of ssds and the tech has come a long way, I have no idea if it still has any impact on todays drives.
 
Jul 3, 2021
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It's made for windows, there are no differences in how windows sees drives so it's fine to use.
Your current slow downs could be caused by anything and might not have anything to do with your drives at all.
In general (theory) defragging an ssd could even cause a slight slow down depending on the ssd because a lot of ssds run their own garbage collection and wear leveling so after defragging these two thing would have to work overtime to get everything the way they want it again. BUT this is based on very early models of ssds and the tech has come a long way, I have no idea if it still has any impact on todays drives.
Thanks - appreciate your help. I have to make the disk shrink happen one way or another as I need Linux accessible from my laptop. Would you say stick with the Mydefrag way, or try EaseUS Partition Master Free without defragging?
 
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The reason why you can't shrink a system partition is because there are certain elements of the partition (probably the MFT) that can't be moved and they just happened to park somewhere in the middle of the partition. Defragging is not going to help, but third party partitioning tools can usually shrink it by moving the parked elements around.

This comes at the caveat however of your partition being blown away if something goes awry, so make a back up before you do this.
 
Jul 3, 2021
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The reason why you can't shrink a system partition is because there are certain elements of the partition (probably the MFT) that can't be moved and they just happened to park somewhere in the middle of the partition. Defragging is not going to help, but third party partitioning tools can usually shrink it by moving the parked elements around.

This comes at the caveat however of your partition being blown away if something goes awry, so make a back up before you do this.
Thanks for your reply hotaru.hino. I've made a decision to wipe the disk and re-install as required.

I was able to identify via Event Viewer past defrag attempts which pinpoint the last unmovable files as being located in an old profile. I deleted them, but it only release a small amount of shrinkable space. I think the old user profile is complicating things, and between this corrupted, unusable profile and years of trash from companies like Adobe, a fresh install is better. This is in line with the ideal advice from this thread.

This is what happened:
I removed the current SSD a few months ago and replaced it with a different SSD which had Linux on it. One day for business I needed a specific program on that laptop which was only available on Windows. So I took out the Linux SSD and put the W10 SSD back in. Obviously communication between the hardware and the software did not return to what it was, because my profile was virtually unusable. I had to create a new profile and abandon the original one. The defrag event shows old files from this unused profile as problematic. It seems a fresh install will be best in this situation, as there is too much to clean up and a gazillion access denied issues in the way.
 

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