ntfsresize - resize an NTFS filesystem without data loss
] --info(-mb-only) DEVICE
] [ --size
program safely resizes Windows XP, Windows Server 2003,
Windows 2000, Windows NT4 and Longhorn NTFS filesystems without data loss. All
NTFS versions are supported, used by 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.
Defragmentation is NOT required prior to resizing
because the program
can relocate any data if needed, without risking data integrity.
Ntfsresize can be used to shrink or enlarge any NTFS filesystem located on an
(usually a disk partition). The new filesystem will
fit in a DEVICE whose desired size is SIZE
bytes. The SIZE
parameter may have one of the optional modifiers k
which means the SIZE
parameter is given in kilo-, mega- or gigabytes
conforms to the SI, ATA, IEEE standards and
the disk manufacturers by using k=10^3, M=10^6 and G=10^9.
If both --info(-mb-only)
are omitted then the NTFS
filesystem will be enlarged to match the underlying DEVICE
To resize a filesystem on a partition, you must resize BOTH the filesystem and
the partition by editing the partition table on the disk. Similarly to other
command line filesystem resizers, ntfsresize
doesn't manipulate the
size of the partitions, hence to do that you must use a disk partitioning tool
as well, for example fdisk
(8). Alternatively you could use one of the
many user friendly partitioners that uses ntfsresize
Mandriva's DiskDrake, QTParted, SUSE/Novell's YaST Partitioner, IBM's EVMS,
GParted or Debian/Ubuntu's Partman.
It's a good practice making REGULAR BACKUPS of your valuable
data, especially before using ANY partitioning tools. To do so for NTFS, you
could use ntfsclone
(8). Don't forget to save the partition table as
If you wish to shrink an NTFS partition, first use ntfsresize
the size of the filesystem. Then you could use fdisk
(8) to shrink the
size of the partition by deleting the partition and recreating it with the
smaller size. Do not make the partition smaller than the new size of NTFS
otherwise you won't be able to boot. If you did so notwithstanding then just
recreate the partition to be as large as NTFS.
To enlarge an NTFS filesystem, first you must enlarge the size of the underlying
partition. This can be done using fdisk
(8) by deleting the partition
and recreating it with a larger size. Make sure it will not overlap with
another existing partition. You may enlarge upwards (first sector unchanged)
or downwards (last sector unchanged), but you may not enlarge at both ends in
a single step. If you merge two NTFS partitions, only one of them can be
expanded to the merged partition. After you have enlarged the partition, you
may use ntfsresize
to enlarge the size of the filesystem.
When recreating the partition by a disk partitioning tool, make sure you create
it at the same starting sector and with the same partition type as before.
Otherwise you won't be able to access your filesystem. Use the 'u' fdisk
command to switch to the reliable sector unit from the default cylinder one.
Also make sure you set the bootable flag for the partition if it existed before.
Failing to do so you might not be able to boot your computer from the disk.
Below is a summary of all the options that ntfsresize
accepts. Nearly all
options have two equivalent names. The short name is preceded by -
the long name is preceded by --
. Any single letter options, that don't
take an argument, can be combined into a single command, e.g. -fv
equivalent to -f -v
. Long named options can be abbreviated to any
unique prefix of their name.
- -c, --check
- By using this option ntfsresize will only check the device
to ensure that it is ready to be resized. If not, it will print any errors
detected. If the device is fine, nothing will be printed.
- -i, --info
- By using this option without --expand, ntfsresize
will determine the theoretically smallest shrunken filesystem size
supported. Most of the time the result is the space already used on the
filesystem. Ntfsresize will refuse shrinking to a smaller size than what
you got by this option and depending on several factors it might be unable
to shrink very close to this theoretical size. Although the integrity of
your data should be never in risk, it's still strongly recommended to make
a test run by using the --no-action option before real resizing.
Practically the smallest shrunken size generally is at around "used
space" + (20-200 MB). Please also take into account that Windows
might need about 50-100 MB free space left to boot safely.
If used in association with option --expand, ntfsresize will
determine the smallest downwards expansion size and the possible
increments to the size. These are exact byte counts which must not be
rounded. This option may be used after the partition has been expanded
provided the upper bound has not been changed.
This option never causes any changes to the filesystem, the partition is
- -m, --info-mb-only
- Like the info option, only print out the shrinkable size in
MB. Print nothing if the shrink size is the same as the original size (in
MB). This option cannot be used in association with option
- -s, --size
- Resize filesystem to fit in a partition whose size is
SIZE[ k|M|G] bytes by shifting its end and
keeping its beginning unchanged. The filesystem size is set to be at least
one sector smaller than the partition. The optional modifiers k,
M, G mean the SIZE parameter is given in kilo-, mega-
or gigabytes respectively. Conforming to standards, k=10^3, M=10^6 and
G=10^9. ki=2^10, Mi=2^20 and Gi=2^30 are also allowed. Use this option
with --no-action first.
- -x, --expand
- Expand the filesystem to the current partition size,
shifting down its beginning and keeping its end unchanged. The metadata is
recreated in the expanded space and no user data is relocated. This is
incompatible with option -s (or --size) and can only be made if the
expanded space is an exact multiple of the cluster size. It must also be
large enough to hold the new metadata.
If the expansion is interrupted for some reason (power outage, etc), you may
restart the resizing, as the original data and metadata have been kept
Note : expanding a Windows system partition and filesystem downwards may
lead to the registry or some files not matching the new system layout, or
to some important files being located too far from the beginning of the
partition, thus making Windows not bootable.
- -f, --force
- Forces ntfsresize to proceed with the resize operation
either without prompting for an explicit acceptance, or if the filesystem
is marked for consistency check. Double the option (-ff, --force --force)
to avoid prompting even if the file system is marked for check.
Please note, ntfsresize always marks the filesystem for consistency check
before a real resize operation and it leaves that way for extra safety.
Thus if NTFS was marked by ntfsresize then it's safe to use this option.
If you need to resize several times without booting into Windows between
each resizing steps then you must use this option.
- -n, --no-action
- Use this option to make a test run before doing the real
resize operation. Volume will be opened read-only and ntfsresize
displays what it would do if it were to resize the filesystem. Continue
with the real resizing only if the test run passed.
- -b, --bad-sectors
- Support disks having hardware errors, bad sectors with
those ntfsresize would refuse to work by default.
Prior using this option, it's strongly recommended to make a backup by
ntfsclone(8) using the --rescue option, then running 'chkdsk /f /r
volume:' on Windows from the command line. If the disk guarantee is still
valid then replace it. It's defected. Please also note, that no software
can repair these type of hardware errors. The most what they can do is to
work around the permanent defects.
This option doesn't have any effect if the disk is flawless.
- -P, --no-progress-bar
- Don't show progress bars.
- -v, --verbose
- More output.
- -V, --version
- Print the version number of ntfsresize and
- -h, --help
- Display help and exit.
The exit code is 0 on success, non-zero otherwise.
No reliability problem is known. If you need help please try the Ntfsresize FAQ
first (see below) and if you don't find your answer then send your question,
comment or bug report to the development team:
There are a few very rarely met restrictions at present: filesystems having
unknown bad sectors, relocation of the first MFT extent and resizing into the
middle of a $MFTMirr extent aren't supported yet. These cases are detected and
resizing is restricted to a safe size or the closest safe size is displayed.
schedules an NTFS consistency check and after the first boot
into Windows you must see chkdsk
running on a blue background. This is
intentional and no need to worry about it. Windows may force a quick reboot
after the consistency check. Moreover after repartitioning your disk and
depending on the hardware configuration, the Windows message System
may also appear. Just acknowledge it and reboot again.
The disk geometry handling semantic (HDIO_GETGEO ioctl) has changed in an
incompatible way in Linux 2.6 kernels and this triggered multitudinous
partition table corruptions resulting in unbootable Windows systems, even if
NTFS was consistent, if parted
(8) was involved in some way. This
problem was often attributed to ntfsresize but in fact it's completely
independent of NTFS thus ntfsresize. Moreover ntfsresize never touches the
partition table at all. By changing the 'Disk Access Mode' to LBA in the BIOS
makes booting work again, most of the time. You can find more information
about this issue in the Troubleshooting section of the below referred
was written by Szabolcs Szakacsits, with contributions from
Anton Altaparmakov and Richard Russon. It was ported to ntfs-3g by Erik
Larsson and Jean-Pierre Andre.
Many thanks to Anton Altaparmakov and Richard Russon for libntfs, the excellent
documentation and comments, to Gergely Madarasz, Dewey M. Sasser and Miguel
Lastra and his colleagues at the University of Granada for their continuous
and highly valuable help, furthermore to Erik Meade, Martin Fick, Sandro
Hawke, Dave Croal, Lorrin Nelson, Geert Hendrickx, Robert Bjorkman and Richard
Burdick for beta testing the relocation support, to Florian Eyben, Fritz
Oppliger, Richard Ebling, Sid-Ahmed Touati, Jan Kiszka, Benjamin Redelings,
Christopher Haney, Ryan Durk, Ralf Beyer, Scott Hansen, Alan Evans for the
valued contributions and to Theodore Ts'o whose resize2fs
(8) man page
originally formed the basis of this page.
is part of the ntfs-3g
package and is available from:
related news, example of usage, troubleshooting, statically
linked binary and FAQ (frequently asked questions) are maintained at: