Windows is the most popular Operating System developed by Microsoft which revolutionized how people use computers for different purposes. A computer’s software is its OS and it consists of a lot of hardware components like RAM, HDD ,Processor etc. Today we will be looking on a particular topic that is How to partition hard disk without formatting the entire Drive.
Hard Disk is were we store all our files and also it is were the Operating System will be installed. Hard disk capacities ranges from few Gigabytes to terabytes. The most common size that is used now a days is 1TB (1000 GB). We partition the drive for sorting and categorizing files and folders.
What is Partitioning?
For a 1TB Hard drive, if its a single partition of 1000GB, it would be very difficult to manage files and folders as everything is in one huge folder. But instead if there is say four partitions each with 250GB, how convenient would that be? We could easily manage the files easily.
In a single partition, there will be OS files and there will be our files and everything will be in a sluggish manner. it would be difficult to find files or sort them out. So if we created partitions on our hard disk, we can install the Operating System on a partition, then use the other partitions to store our data. We can use a partition for storing our Games and Applications, and use another one for all our medias.
Generally we partition the drives while installing the Operating System. In that case we format the entire hard disk and then create smaller partitions. Then Install windows in any one partition and use the others for storing our personal files.
But how can we partition hard disk without formatting? This answer will be answered in this article and you will now exactly what to do in case you are going to help your friends or family for partitioning their computer’s hard disk.
How to Partition Hard Disk without Formatting?
Ok lets see when will be needing to partition a hard disk without formatting it. Many of the laptops or computers you buy will have Windows pre-installed. We will not have to install an OS to get the system running. There are Laptops which comes with DOS, in such cases we can install an Operating System like windows or Linux. If there is no Operating system when you buy the laptop, we have a completely Empty Hard Disk, so we can format it while installing the OS and partition it as we want.
Many laptops comes with pre-installed OS and will be having a single partition out of the box. Even the laptop I personally use came with a single 1TB or 1000GB partition in which windows was installed. But I don’t want a single partition as it would be very inconvenient to manage all the files.
Also if anything has happened to my OS like some files got corrupted I will have to install the OS again which will format my partition, In this case the whole single partition will be formatted and I will be losing all my files. I don’t want this to happen.
So I did this:
I created a total of 4 partitions, One for the OS and the other 3 for storing my files. I didn’t format my hard disk or I didn’t re-install the OS. What I did was i made use of a special function that is available for Windows, called the Shrink Volume function. Windows has a dedicated Storage Management Application in which we can do many things related to out Storage.
Calculate the Sizes before starting:
Lets take a 1TB Hard Disk (1024G). We will be having around say 950GB available. Lets get into calculation. You can decide how many partitions you need and how much spaces they have. I am just taking some reference values.
Total Volume: 950GB
Available Shrink Volume: 700GB (will be different for you)
Main Partition after Shrinking: 950GB – 700GB = 250GB
Remaining Partition Available: 700GB
Creating 3 additional partitions: 700GB/3 = 234 GB (239616 MB)
Main partition (OS) : 250GB
Partition 2: 234GB
Partition 3: 234GB
Partition 3: 234GB
NOTE: Don’t mind the sizes in images
Create New Partitions:
- Right Click on My Computer Icon and Click Manage.
- Or you can open Run ( + R) and Enter: diskmgmt.msc
- You will be seeing the Hard Disk Details.
- Right Click on the Single Partition and Select Shrink Volume.
- A new window will popup.
- Check the amount of storage available for Shrinking.
- Click Shrink.
- Wait for some time….It will take few minutes.
- After Shrinking you will be getting 2 partitions one with Windows and another empty partition of size equal to the size we put in the Amount of Space to Shrink Field.
- Now that we have an empty partition, we can shrink it further to create more partitions.
NOTE: The space will be in MB. Make sure you calculate it in MB ( 1GB = 1024 MB). The pictures are for representative purpose only.
Allocating the New Partitions:
- After creating partitions, the spaces will be Unallocated.
- Right Click on the unallocated space and Select New Simple Volume.
- A new Window appears, Click Next.
- Select the amount of space for the Partition and Hit Next.
- Select a Drive Letter.
- Format the Drive in the next Step, additionally give a name for the partition.
So today we have seen how to partition hard disk without formatting it. This method doesn’t require any additional software or tools, we will be using an in-built tool inside Windows. The steps might seems a lot but is very easy and everyone can do.
This method doesn’t delete or format the data and is 100% Safe method. There is no risk involved as we are not using any 3rd party software or application. The steps may seem complicated, but it is not.
If you have any doubts or queries, do comment below. We are happy to help.