ntfsresize - resize an NTFS filesystem without data loss
ntfsresize [OPTIONS] --info(-mb-only) DEVICE
ntfsresize [OPTIONS] [--size SIZE[k|M|G]] DEVICE
The ntfsresize program safely resizes Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows 2000, Win-
dows 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 unmounted
DEVICE (usually a disk partition). The new filesystem will have SIZE bytes. The SIZE
parameter may have one of the optional modifiers k, M, G, which means the SIZE parameter
is given in kilo-, mega- or gigabytes respectively. Ntfsresize 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) and --size are omitted then the NTFS filesystem will be enlarged
to the underlying DEVICE size.
To resize a filesystem on a partition, you must resize BOTH the filesystem and the parti-
tion by editing the partition table on the disk. Similarly to other command line filesys-
tem 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 internally, like
Mandriva's DiskDrake, QTParted, SUSE/Novell's YaST Partitioner, IBM's EVMS, GParted or
IMPORTANT! 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 well!
If you wish to shrink an NTFS partition, first use ntfsresize to shrink 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 notwithstand-
ing 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 parti-
tion. 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 an other existing partition. Then 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 - and 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 is equivalent to -f -v. Long named options can be abbreviated to any
unique prefix of their name.
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.
By using this option 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.
This option never causes any changes to the filesystem, the partition is opened
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).
-s, --size SIZE[k|M|G]
Resize filesystem to SIZE[k|M|G] bytes. 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. Use this option with --no-action first.
Forces ntfsresize to proceed with the resize operation even if the filesystem is
marked for consistency 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 sev-
eral times without booting into Windows between each resizing steps then you must
use this option.
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
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.
Don't show progress bars.
Print the version number of ntfsresize and exit.
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 ex-
tent aren't supported yet. These cases are detected and resizing is restricted to a safe
size or the closest safe size is displayed.
Ntfsresize 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 Settings Change 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 result-
ing 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 Ntfsresize FAQ.
ntfsresize 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 documenta-
tion and comments, to Gergely Madarasz, Dewey M. Sasser and Miguel Lastra and his col-
leagues at the University of Granada for their continuous and highly valuable help, fur-
thermore to Erik Meade, Martin Fick, Sandro Hawke, Dave Croal, Lorrin Nelson, Geert Hen-
drickx, Robert Bjorkman and Richard Burdick for beta testing the relocation support, to
Florian Eyben, Fritz Oppliger, Richard Ebling, Sid-Ahmed Touati, Jan Kiszka, Benjamin Re-
delings, 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.
ntfsresize is part of the ntfs-3g package and is available from:
Ntfsresize related news, example of usage, troubleshooting, statically linked binary and
FAQ (frequently asked questions) are maintained at:
fdisk(8), cfdisk(8), sfdisk(8), parted(8), evms(8), ntfsclone(8), mkntfs(8), ntfsprogs(8)
ntfs-3g 2011.4.12AR.4 February 2006 NTFSRESIZE(8)