[Fix] “Cannot shrink a volume beyond the point” when Resizing a Partition Using Disk Management

When you use the Disk Management console to shrink the volume in which the Operation System is installed, you’re unable to choose a value (to shrink) beyond a limit. In the shrink volume dialog, the following message is displayed:

You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point where any unmovable files are located. See the “defrag” event in the Application log for detailed information about the operation when it has completed.

When you look at the Application event log, Event ID: 259 “defrag” event showed this:

You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point

A volume shrink analysis was initiated on volume OS (C:). This event log entry details information about the last unmovable file that could limit the maximum number of reclaimable bytes.
 
 Diagnostic details:
 - The last unmovable file appears to be: \pagefile.sys::$DATA
 - The last cluster of the file is: 0x749141f
 - Shrink potential target (LCN address): 0x9b6c2f
 - The NTFS file flags are: P---D
 - Shrink phase: 
 
 To find more details about this file please use the "fsutil volume querycluster \\?\Volume{2eeff2ba-3c96-4389-a407-6461354e612a} 0x749141f" command.

It’s usually the pagefile.sys that prevents Disk Management from shrinking the volume beyond a point, as pagefile.sys is an unmovable file. Other unmovable files include hiberfil.sys hibernation file.

Also, the System Volume Information folder used by the System Restore feature prevents you from shrinking the drive beyond a point. In some systems, you’ll see this in the event log — “defrag” Event ID 259:

The last unmovable file appears to be: \System Volume Information\{characters}{characters}::$DATA

or

The last unmovable file appears to be: \$BitMap::$DATA

If the event log notifies you about the $BitMap::$DATA as the last unmovable file, you may try running Contig (from Microsoft SysInternals) first before partitioning the volume using Disk Management. Alternately, you can use third-party software (e.g., AOMEI Partition Assistant Free) to partition the system drive to overcome the limitation of Microsoft technology.

This article tells you how to shrink your system partition to your preferred size.

[Fix] “You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point” when Shrinking a Partition

My Dell Vostro computer comes with a single partition. When I attempted to shrink the partition so that I can create a second partition out of the free or unallocated space, I could shrink the 940 GB drive only by 50% approximately. Here is the max possible shrink size the Disk Management dialog offered me:

You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point

The fix is to temporarily disable hibernation, the Paging file, as well as the System Restore feature. Once disabled these features, restart Windows and resize (shrink) the volume using Disk Management.



Disable System Restore

  1. Launch systempropertiesprotection.exe from the Run dialog
  2. Select the system drive and click Configure
    You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point
  3. Click Disable system protection, click OK, OK.

This turns off System Restore and also erases all the restore points.

Disable the hibernation feature

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator
  2. Run the following command:
    powercfg /hibernate off

This turns off the hibernate feature and clears the hiberfil.sys from the system drive.

Disable the Paging file

  1. Launch systempropertiesadvanced.exe from the Run dialog.
  2. Under Performance, click Settings, click Advanced button
  3. Click the Change button.
  4. Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  5. Select No paging file, and click Set
    You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point
  6. Click OK.
  7. You’ll see the following warning message after you click OK.

    If you disable the paging file or set the initial size to less than 200 megabytes and a system error occurs, Windows might not record details that could help identify the problem. Do you want to continue?

    Click Yes to continue.

  8. Restart Windows
  9. Open Disk Management and attempt to shrink the system volume. Now you should be able to shrink the drive to the required size as you want.

    You cannot shrink a volume beyond the point

    After disabling paging, hibernation and System Restore, I’m now able to shrink the drive by 95% as seen in the above screenshot. The remaining 5% disk space is consumed by the OS, your personal data and other overheads. I could successfully partition the C: drive, reducing its size to 150 GB which is what I wanted.

Re-enable System Restore, Paging file and Hibernate features

After you shrink the volume, be sure to re-enable the Paging file and System Restore and Hibernate options by reversing the earlier steps.

Enable System Restore

  1. Launch systempropertiesprotection.exe from the Run dialog
  2. Select the system drive and click Configure
  3. Click Disable system protection, click OK, OK.

This turns on System Restore.

Enable Hibernation

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator
  2. Run the following command:
    powercfg /hibernate on

This turns on the hibernate feature. As a side note, Fast Startup depends upon the Hibernate feature to work.

Note: If you run the command from a normal (non-elevated) Command Prompt, you’ll see the error Unable to perform operation. An unexpected error (0x65b) has occurred: Function failed during execution when turning off/on hibernation.

Enable the Paging file

  1. Launch systempropertiesadvanced.exe from the Run dialog.
  2. Under Performance, click Settings, click Advanced button
  3. Click the Change button.
  4. Enable Automatically manage paging file size for all drives
  5. Select System managed size, and click Set
  6. Click OK.
  7. Restart Windows

Hope this article helped you shrink your system volume as required, without any limitation on your Windows computer.


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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

2 thoughts on “[Fix] “Cannot shrink a volume beyond the point” when Resizing a Partition Using Disk Management”

  1. I get “An unexpected error has occurred : function failed during execution” when turning on the hibernation off through the command prompt . Help
    Please

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