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How to Resolve Hard Drive Space Disappeared After Partition Shrink

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 27, 2024 • Filed to: Answer Hard Drive Problems • Proven solutions

Q: How to resolve the issue of hard drive space disappearing after partition shrink?
"I am not an expert on handling hard drives, yesterday I was allocating space while creating a new volume from an unallocated hard drive partition. As I was performing this task, my drive partition disappeared. I have no idea about what went wrong with my 1TB hard drive. Is there any way to recover the unallocated partition in Windows 10? If yes, I certainly want to acknowledge them and the reasons behind this issue."

People all around the world are using hard drives as the main storage media. Some people don't know that the manufacturer considers 1 TB as 1000 GBs, but your operating system shows only 931 GB. People think that the other 69 GB is wasted, but you can utilize that space by shrinking it. If you fail in the procedure and your hard drive space disappears, no need to stress yourself. You can solve this problem just by following the methods mentioned in the guide. Follow the guide carefully to get all the fixes and the causes of this issue.

In this article

Part 1: Why hard drive space disappeared after partition shrink?

If you are not aware of the causes of any problem, you certainly can't solve it properly. The same is the case with the disappearing of the hard drive space issue, you need to know all the possible reasons behind this problematic situation.

Here are some common factors;

File system errors are usually caused by disk-related errors. If your hard drive space disappears, there are chances that disk integrity or corruption in the drive may have caused the file system error.

You might be using an external hard drive, which would be having internal errors. It can be considered that your hard drive may have a hardware issue, which is leading you to this trouble.

The most common culprit behind this issue is the virus attack. When your computer is connected to the internet, the virus travels through it in no time, if you have a weak security system. If not, it can travel into your hard drive through any other means and infect the disk.

If the driver of your hard drive is old, it simply means that your drive is no more compatible. Drivers are the main entity to run a drive, if they are outdated, you can end up in errors like these.

In some cases, your system files go missing due to which the window is unable to perform all the tasks properly. The files can become corrupted due to various reasons and pop-up this issue for the hard drive.

Part 2: What takes up the missing space?

Now, that you have known the reasons for your issue. You must be wondering that what takes up the missing space in the hard drive. Here are the 3 situations that cause windows to miss space on the hard drive;

1. Hidden partitions take up space

There are computers and laptops which come with built-in hidden partitions. Partitions like OEM partition, recovery partition, and Microsoft reserved partition. You can use disk management to witness these hidden partitions. Using disk management, you can also delete them, only if you have backed up your system.

2. Systems protection takes up much space

The system protection feature in the computer is there for regularly creating and saving information about the computer's file system and settings. In doing so, it creates restore points, which results in taking up much space. To view the data, check the "system volume information".

3. There is unpartitioned hard disk space

You can only witness the partitioned space with your Windows Explorer, as partitions are made to utilize the space in the hard disk. some of the space is left unpartitioned which causes the missing space, it can be viewed in the disk management.

Part 3: How to recover the unallocated space manually?

Acknowledging that what takes up the missing space in the hard drive is not the whole answer, you need to know ways to recover the missing space, so you can utilize the real capacity of the hard drive.

Here are the two finest methods to do so;

Method 1: Run System File Checker

If the causes of your issue "disappearing of hard drive space after partition shrink" is corrupted or missing system files. You can surely use this method to get out of this problem. A system file checker is a tool provided by Windows that can detect and repair corrupted or missing system files.

To use a system file checker (SFC) follow these steps;

Step 1: Open the search bar or press "Windows+Q" to open it.

Step 2: Type CMD in the search bar.

Step 3: Press "Control+Shift+Enter" to run CMD as an administrator.

Step 4: Lastly, type sfc/scannow to run the system file checker's scanning procedure.

sfc scan

Step 5: if the system scans any trouble with the system files, it can ask for Windows media to repair the system files.

Method 2: Run the 'Chkdsk' command

If the system file checker does not scan any corrupted or missing files, this method can help you out. Chkdsk is a built-in utility given by Windows, you can use it to scan a hard drive's partition and internal errors, it will automatically resolve them. Chkdsk can repair the file system metadata and logical file system error, which corrupts the partition and cause them to disappear.

Follow these steps to Run the 'Chkdsk' command;

Step 1: Open the Windows search bar, type CMD, and press 'control+shift+enter'.

Step 2: Click yes to open CMD as an administrator.

Step 3: Type the command chkdsk X:/f, 'X' is the hard drive partition letter.

check disk command

Step 4: Press enters and waits for chkdsk to scan and repair the disk errors.

Step 5: In the last step, restart your computer after the task is complete. Furthermore, try accessing your hard drive through windows explorer. If you are unable to access the drive, copy your data, and format it using a risk management tool.

Part 4: How to recover lost partitions using Recoverit?

If you delete a partition while shrinking or extending the volume on the hard drive, it erases the data on the particular hard drive. So, make sure you have made a backup of your valuable data. In a situation where you were unable to create a backup of your data and accidentally deleted the partition, no worries, you can recover your data using the remarkable software mentioned below;


Recoverit Data Recovery is a professional data recovery tool, it is used for recovering data of more than 1000+ types. The software is capable of recovering data lost after the deletion of a partition on a hard drive.

Step 1: Launch Recoverit on Mac

First and foremost, the task is to download and install the Recoverit software on your Mac. Once it is installed, you can just double-click the icon to run the application.

mac data recovery

Step 2: Select the device

Once the window appears. You need to select the drive under the "Devices" option in front of you. Keep in mind that you select the drive on which you lost data due to an accidental partition.

mac select folder recovery

Step 3: Scan the location

After you have pressed the tab "start" the software will start the deep scanning process for your hard drive. You can even either pause or resume the scanning process.

mac scanning lost files

Step 4: Preview and recover files

The scanning process depends on the size of your lost data. After the process has been completed, you will be able to preview all the data you lost when the partition was deleted. You can preview multiple types of data, may it be videos, pictures, or audio. Now that you have detected all the vanished data, press the 'recover' option to restore all your data. Lastly, save your recovered data at the desired location.

mac photo recovery


When dealing with a hard drive, first of all, make sure that you have made a backup of all your important data files. In this guide, we've discussed the reasons behind the disappearance of hard drive space after partition shrink. Although the methods mentioned above are efficient enough for getting you out of the problem if in case, you have deleted or formatted the partition with data on it while shrinking it, you just need to use the astonishing Recoverit data recovery tool to restore the data with pleasure.

Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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