How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?

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  1. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,884
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #1

    How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?


    I am now on Windows 10 Home version 1909 with the recently acquired DELL Inspiron 3280 AIO that was delivered on Christmas day. I am just familiarising with Windows 10.

    This PC has a 916.5 GB bitlocker encrypted drive C: Screenshot below.
    How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?-29-12-2019-20-55-49.jpg

    Is there a simple method to shrink C: to about 100GB so that I can partition the rest of the space for my data?

    I understand that WDM can shrink to a maximum 50% and that if only it does not encounter unmovable data.I would require almost 800GB for the data partitions.

    The backup of current C: volume ( 900+GB) done with AOMEI Backupper is a fat 92GB and that because if the partition is encrypted it does a sector by sector backup of the whole volume.. That apart, I tried AOMEI Partition Assistant to check whether it can shrink C: but unfortunately the Resize/ Move volume is greyed out. May be it will not shrink a bitlocker encrypted volume.
    How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?-29-12-2019-21-04-52.jpg

    ( The bitlocker encryption has been done by the OEM DELL and not me. As I was familiarising with the machine, ( I don't know what is where in Windows 10 ) I ran across the following screen and backed up the Recovery Key.

    How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?-29-12-2019-21-32-40.jpg
    This came in handy when I disabled Secure Boot in UEFI Bios. I was immediately locked out and asked to key in the recovery key to complete the boot process and gain access to the drive. I came to the above screen from Device encryption below.How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?-29-12-2019-21-34-41.jpg

    I have also created the Recovery Drive on a 32GB Flash drive to reinstall Windows 10 ( but it has not yet been tested )

    Thats all the inputs I can give for now.
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  2. lx07's Avatar
    Posts : 5,479
    2004
       #2

    Turn off bitlocker, shrink the volume and then turn it on again.

    See Can not shrink partition for dual boot, new Win10 XPS 13 9360

    It will take a while and the recovery key will change afterwards so make sure you backup the new one.
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  3. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,526
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #3

    jumanji, after you removed Bitlocker, i don't see any reason why you can't shrink more than 50 percent.
    All files and folders should be on the first 10% of the disk.
    My Win 10 SSD has a C: partition of 60G and the remaining space on D:

    As you already created a disk image (hopefully without Bitlocker), after you removed Bitlocker, using Kyhi recovery tools you can delete the C: partition, create 2 (C: and D:) and restore C: using the image created.
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  4. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 15,590
    Windows 10 Pro
       #4

    lx07 said:
    Turn off bitlocker, shrink the volume and then turn it on again.

    See Can not shrink partition for dual boot, new Win10 XPS 13 9360

    It will take a while and the recovery key will change afterwards so make sure you backup the new one.
    I would not even re-enable bitlocker.
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  5. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 1,086
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       #5

    Dell sets up a bit locker sort of, you can log onto your MS account and find the Bit locker Key and disable it. That is what I have done with my dell 13 7386. Once Disabled you should be able to manipulate your partitions. If not try Mini tool partition magic. Also you'll have more options using Macrium Reflect as to Imaging SSD and Partitions With MR you adjust partition sizes when you Clone or Restore an Image. Here is a great Tutorial on how to use MR Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect
    https://www.dell.com/support/article...he-key?lang=en
    Last edited by Clintlgm; 30 Dec 2019 at 07:27.
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  6. lx07's Avatar
    Posts : 5,479
    2004
       #6

    NavyLCDR said:
    I would not even re-enable bitlocker.
    That's OK if you never store anything sensitive on your PC or can 100% guarantee it will never be stolen. I use it so next time I leave my laptop in the pub (which I've done before) my documents are better protected. My house hasn't been broken into yet but it is just a matter of time

    In this day and age arguments about not using using encryption (on any device) reminds me of XP era users moaning about UAC limiting use of their own computer as they were used to being Administrator. In both cases I think occasional mild inconvenience is worth it for better security but obviously it is a matter of opinion.
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  7. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,884
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #7

    lx07 said:
    Turn off bitlocker, shrink the volume and then turn it on again.

    See Can not shrink partition for dual boot, new Win10 XPS 13 9360

    It will take a while and the recovery key will change afterwards so make sure you backup the new one.
    @lx07, That was a nice catch from Dell forum. merci beaucoup ( Thanks). I was actually looking for someone who has actually done it and you made my job easier. I may take another day or two to work on it.

    Megahertz said:
    jumanji, after you removed Bitlocker, i don't see any reason why you can't shrink more than 50 percent.
    All files and folders should be on the first 10% of the disk.
    My Win 10 SSD has a C: partition of 60G and the remaining space on D:

    As you already created a disk image (hopefully without Bitlocker), after you removed Bitlocker, using Kyhi recovery tools you can delete the C: partition, create 2 (C: and D:) and restore C: using the image created.
    @Megahertz , AOMEI says "What’s worse, even though there are no obstructive unmovable files, you can only shrink half space of the total amount with Disk Management." How to Shrink C Drive beyond Limit Successfully in Windows?

    I haven't yet decrypted the C: drive. Still exploring Windows 10 . I created the disk image of the encrypted C: drive with AOMEI Backupper. When the disk is encrypted, it resorts to sector by sector backup and that is why the image is a whopping 92GB.

    I am not going to delete the C: drive and restore it later. That would be a cumbersome process. Shrinking it will be easier. As lx07 pointed out in his post one user had already done it. Another user in Dell forum has also done it. He used EaseUS Partition Master which shrinks the partition under boot mode. "EaseUS Partition Master will automatically check and fix errors on the target disk, and securely shrink the target partition under the boot mode." Fixed: Windows 10/8/7 Can't Shrink Volume Partition – EaseUS
    Clintlgm said:
    Dell sets up a bit locker sort of, you can log onto your MS account and find the Bit locker Key and disable it. That is what I have done with my dell 13 7386. Once Disabled you should be able to manipulate your partitions. If not try Mini tool partition magic. Also you'll have more options using Macrium Reflect as to Imaging SSD and Partitions With MR you adjust partition sizes when you Clone or Restore an Image. Here is a great Tutorial on how to use MR Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect
    https://www.dell.com/support/article...he-key?lang=en
    Hi @Clintlgm

    Thanks for the input. Here I have one who has actually done it. Good going.

    What actually happens when you disable the Recovery Key in the Microsoft account? Can you please elaborate?

    If it is that it decrypts the C: drive, it can easily be done in Windows itself. Start > Settings > Update & Security > Device encryption > Turn off (the last screenshot in my first post). That will decrypt the drive. ( I have already backed up the Recovery Key and used it to recover also - the last but one screenshot in my first post)

    I have been using Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16.5 for backup and restore. I released the activation from the old , now defunct Windows 7 Desktop in my Paragon account, installed it in this new machine and reactivated it. So no Macrium Reflect. .
    Last edited by jumanji; 30 Dec 2019 at 13:15.
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  8. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,884
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
    Thread Starter
       #8

    Megahertz said:
    jumanji, after you removed Bitlocker, i don't see any reason why you can't shrink more than 50 percent.
    All files and folders should be on the first 10% of the disk.
    My Win 10 SSD has a C: partition of 60G and the remaining space on D:

    As you already created a disk image (hopefully without Bitlocker), after you removed Bitlocker, using Kyhi recovery tools you can delete the C: partition, create 2 (C: and D:) and restore C: using the image created.
    Hi @Megahertz,
    You were right. Finally I managed to shrink the C: drive with Windows Disk Manager only.

    Had I started the shrink operation on 29th Dec 19 itself when WDM showed that I can shrink C: to 60GB ( my screenshot in the first post) I would have finished the job that day itself. I believed AOMEI which said one can only shrink upto 50% of the volume and didn't try. Later on when I tried to shrink with WDM it showed that I could shrink the volume only by 3GB , that is to 813 GB from 816 GB . Somehow System Volume Information had been placed near the end of the 816 GB C: drive thus limiting the volume that can be shrunk to 3GB.

    I was veering around to shrinking with third party tools like Partition Wizard, AOMEI Partition Assistant, and Easus Partition Master, which do the shrink at boot time. While many users had reported success with one or other of these programs atleast one user each had reported problems with PW and AOMEI. One user reported that during boot mode shrink, PW froze and he had to do a forced shut down using the Power button. The other user reported that after shrinking with AOMEI PA, many utilities like Windows Disk Management and System restore failed to respond and he had to do a fresh install of Windows 10. That put a brake on my thoughts of using these utilities and I went back to WDM
    .


    I disabled hybernation, set no paging file , disabled System Restore and God bless,WDM reported that I can shrink C: to about 49GB. I set it to 116.5 GB and the rest of the space 800GB,I created partitions for my data. After successfully partitioning the 1TB drive, I reenabled System Restore and paging file.So then here are the screenshots.

    How to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?-05-01-2020-11-36-58.jpgHow to Partition bitlocker encrypted System drive C: on my OEM PC?-05-01-2020-11-32-36.jpg

    So all is well that ends well .

    Moral of the story: When critical operations are involved, it is always better to use the OS Tools. (Third party applications do work most of the time but if you are unlucky you will get a boot . Do it at your own risk. Be prepared to face the unexpected. )
    Last edited by jumanji; 07 Jan 2020 at 20:52. Reason: Minor corrections
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  9. Clintlgm's Avatar
    Posts : 1,086
    Win 10 pro Upgraded from 8.1
       #9

    Well maybe so, however I have found these particular tools Minitool Partition Magic and Macrium reflect have been 100% for me since 2012! They have saved me many hours of trying to solve issue and reinstalles etc. I only use Minitool for partition work. Also I always create a Macrium Reflect Drive/SSD Image before attempting anything that could damage my setup. Anything that fails I just restore the image I had created before making the attempt. then sort out what went wrong and solve that before the next attempt. I guess just different experiences and methods of operations
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  10. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 2,526
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #10

    jumanji, thanks for the feedback. Are you sure it was System Volume Information that was at the end of the C: partition?
    It makes more sense to place hiberfil.sys and pagefile.sys as they are recreated at every boot and will always be de fragmented.
    Also, as you disabled them (disabling hibernation and virtual memory) you were able to shrink the C: partition.
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