I’ve cloned a lot of hard drives to SSDs recently and one problem I keep coming across is shrinking the size of a partition so that it fits on a smaller drive.

You can usually shrink it, but only to a certain size – and not small enough to fit on the new drive?   What’s going on as there’s enough free disk space to shrink it further?

Well you can only shrink as far as the first “unmovable” file.  Files such as the hibernation file can’t be moved, and so limit the minimum size of a partition.

However it’s possible to temporarily disable these files, shrink the partition and then enable them again.

  1. Disable hibernation – open an elevated Administrator command prompt and enter the following command:power cfg /h off

    (to turn this back on again – use “on” instead of  “off”)

  2. Disable the page file – In control panel – open the system settings and then, Advanced System Settings.  Under performance settings, chose Advanced and then “Change”.   Untick “automatically manage paging file size for all drives” and then set to “No Paging File” for the drive you want to shrink
  3. Disable System Protection – in the same window as above – go into the system protection tab, hit “Configure”  and then disable system protection

You should now be able to shrink the partition to the size you want.   When you’re done, just reverse the steps above.