I have two hard disks with an unallocated partition at the beginning of each disk. These are data disks, not operating system disks. I would like to merge the unallocated partitions with the data partitions.

Is there a way to do this without losing data?

I can do this in either ubuntu or Win 7. The disks are formatted as NTFS.


2 Answers 2


There is always some risk of losing data when you change partitions. That is why it’s always recommended to have backups available. However the change you describe (expand a partition into unused space) doesn’t sound unusual so it should be routine to do it with the usual tools. I’d be inclined to use Windows tools for NTFS partitions but do take backups first.


Since the unallocated space is at the front of the disk, you can't expand the currently existing partition to take up that space. You could move the currently existing partition to the front of the disk and then expand it to fill up the rest of the drive, but this is a fairly risky operation as it involves moving the physical location of all the data on the partition from one part of the disk to another.

You would certainly need to back up your data before doing something like this, and at that point, it would just be easier to temporarily copy the data to another drive, reformat the disk to suit your liking, and then copy the data back onto the freshly formatted partition.

  • I think I will just reformat and copy data from my backups. These are 10TB disks, it is going to take awhile.
    – Kim Adams
    Oct 3, 2019 at 1:33

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