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If you notice that the Extend Volume Option is grayed out or disabled in the Windows 10/8/7 disk management tool, this article will explain why this happens and what you can do about it. We can use the integrated disk management tool or the disk part or Fsutil command line tools to create, resize and delete partitions. But what happens if the Expand Volume option is grayed out or if the Expand command fails?
With the Windows operating system, you can increase any volume if there is free or unallocated space on the right side. If there is no unallocated space, this option is not available and appears grayed out.
If you need to enlarge the volume, you must delete the partition on the right side, behind the partition to be enlarged, and create unallocated space.
If you want to extend your data drive, there is a workaround. Suppose you have a system drive – C and a data drive – D. You want to expand drive D, but the option is grayed out. You can shrink the system disk to create unallocated space on the left side. Create a new volume with this unallocated space. Then move your data from drive D to this new volume. After you have done this, clear the D command and then you can increase the new command because there is unallocated space on the right side.
If you want to extend your C drive or system, copy all your data from your D drive or data drive to an external or USB drive. Then delete volume D. You can now increase volume C. Use the space you want, then create a new volume with the remaining unallocated space and name it D. Now transfer your data to drive D from the external drive.
Some comments on the volume extension, as mentioned by TechNet :
- The partition must have an associated volume before it can be expanded.
- For basic volumes, the unallocated space must be on the same disk and follow the partition you want to expand. That is, it must appear on the right side in volume management.
- A single or extended dynamic volume can be extended to any free space on any dynamic disk.
- If the partition has already been formatted with NTFS, the file system is automatically extended to fill the largest partition and no data loss occurs.
- If the partition has already been formatted with a file system other than NTFS, the Extend command may fail.
- If the partition has not previously been formatted with a file system, the partition is extended.
There are some free Partition Manager software that can facilitate volume removal, merging and expansion. You should check them out.