Disk Partitioning, also known as disk slicing is the process of creating one or more regions on secondary storage. The regions created on the secondary storage are known as partitions. You can manage your hard disk drive by shrinking, extending, deleting, creating partitions and change partition size, label, even location, etc. And best of all, you can even partition hard drive without formatting.
Here I will guide you to partition hard drive such as creating a partition in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista with or without formatting using Disk Management.
Why Disk Partitioning?
Here are some of the reasons why you need to partition your hard drive today:
- A low disk space warning appears
- Use unallocated space to extend to an existing partition
- To merge partitions
- When disk space of one partition is full (insufficient) and another partition has plenty of space
- To make full use of hard drive space
- Operating system update
- Due to changes in computer and hard drive usage
- Due to the change of computer users needs
A Windows XP user can’t perform additional hard disk partition creation without formatting the hard drive so easily. Windows Starter Edition and Home Basic users can perform free hard disk partition up to a certain limit – that means, if a Windows 7 Starter Edition user has four partitions on the hard disk of his PC, he will be unable to create any additional shrink volume (fifth partition). Whereas, a Windows Ultimate and Professional users can make use of it.
However, in Windows 7, 8 and 10, all the versions including Professional and Enterprise can be used to partition hard drive disk without formatting or without deleting any data.
-You need to “Run as an administrator” in order to be able to partition your hard disk.
-While partitioning a hard disk, I suggest you partition into 4 parts. One is for the system which is usually C drive, remaining 3 partitions for software, database, and backup.
How to Partition Hard-Drive Without Formatting your Computer?
There are two ways to partition hard drive without formatting your computer. One of them is without using software and another one is with software.
Method 1: Extend Disk Space Using DiskPart Command
Step 1: Click on the “Start” button or press Windows+R key. This will open you a dialog box.
Step 2: Type “cmd” on the dialog box.
Step 3: Now, the command prompt will open on your computer screen. Type “diskpart” and hit the Enter key.
Step 4: This will open you the DiskPart Utility. Then, click on “Yes” to open your User Account Control (UAC) Prompt.
Step 5: Now, type “list volume” on the command prompt. This will show you all of the partition spaces created on your computer.
P.S. It is list<space>volume, not list volume. “list volume” will show you command only.
Step 6: Now, select the desired partition to start partitioning. You can partition the hard disk by either extending or deleting the disk space. In order to partition the disk space of let’s say partition C, type “select Volume 2”. Likewise, select Volume 3 and Volume 4 and so on for any other drives in your computer.
Then, hit the Enter key.
Step 7: Now, type “extend volume” to increase the partition of the selected disk or “delete volume” to delete the disk space.
Thereafter, the deleted volume gets converted into unallocated space.
Hence, this is how you partition hard drive without formatting using the DiskPart command.
Method 2: Using Disk Management
Step 1: Right-click on “My Computer” and click on “Manage” option.
Step 2: This shall open you a “Computer Management” tab. Click on “Disk Management” from the options on the left side of the tab.
Step 3: After this, it will display all of the disk and their spaces on the screen.
Step 4: Now, select the partition you want to extend or delete the disk space.
Step 5: Then, right-click on the hard drive you chose.
Step 6: Now, choose the desired operation you want to perform on the hard drive. Hit the “Shrink” button if you want to free the disk space for other partitions and hit the “Delete” button if you want to delete the disk space.
Step 7: Finally, enter the amount of storage space you want to extend or delete in MB.
Thereby, disk partition has completed successfully. This is how you partition hard drive without formatting using the DiskPart command.
Method 3: Using Windows PowerShell
This method is especially helpful for Windows 10 users. Microsoft has replaced PowerShell as the default command shell system in Windows 10 Insider Build 14971. So, when you press the Windows+X key, you will get the PowerShell menu.
Step 1: Start by pressing the Windows+X key. This will open your Windows PowerShell.
Step 2: Then, type the command “Get-Volume” in the shell. This will show you the list of all the partitions on your computer.
Step 3: Now, select the drive letter you want to partition. Then type the command “Delete- Partition- DriveLetter” to delete the partition. Hence, the deleted space moves to unallocated space.
Step 5: Then, it will then ask for your confirmation. So, type “Y” to say yes and “A” to say yes to all.
Hence, this is how you partition hard drive without formatting using the Windows PowerShell.
Disk Management of Windows, can only shrink the volume, create some additional unallocated spaces. Thus it is used to only partition the hard drive. But, actually, it can’t re-partition the Windows hard disk as a whole. Hence, we need to use Partition Software to exactly re-partition the hard disk. The software also does some additional tasks such as extend, merge, split partition, change partition level.
There is various partitioning software available for free on the web. You can simply download them. Some of the notable ones are EaseUS Partition Master (Professional), AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, MiniTool Partition Wizard. Below, I have further explained about EaseUS Partition Master.
EaseUS Partition Master (Professional)
EaseUS Partition Master (Professional) is one of the most popular management software that helps you to manage and resize partition on the hard disk. It is a full-featured disk partition manager.EPM can format and partition hard drives and also repartition them. It can also recover deleted or lost partitions. EPM has a beautiful and user-friendly graphical interface. A common windows user can also use this software without difficulty.
Step 1: Download and install the EaseUS Partition Master from the official website.
Step 2: Now, click and open the software.
Step 3: Then, select the partition you want to resize.
Step 4: Now, select one of the options from the given options on the right side of the screen. Here, I chose “Resize/Move” option because I want to shrink the partition volume.
Step 5: A pop-up box will appear. Here you can adjust the size you want to assign for the disk by increasing or decreasing the size. Thereafter, click on the “OK” button.
Step 6: An unallocated space is created in your hard disk. Now, you can extend this space to any of the other disks.
In the same way, you can clone, merge, format, and delete the space in the hard disk.
Thereby, this is how you partition hard drive without formatting using the EaseUS Partition Master software.