The methods on this page can be applied to partition hard drive in Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7, Windows XP/Vista. 

Why Need Partition Hard Drive

Disk partitioning is a process of dividing a hard drive into several partitions - managing the hard disk drive by shrinking, extending, deleting, creating partitions and change partition size, label, even location, etc. Why do we need to partition a hard drive? Here are the common reasons to partition a new/existing hard drive:

  • To make full use of hard drive space, splitting it into several partitions.
  • Operating System update.
  • The changes in computer and hard drive usage.
  • The change of computer users needs.

Hard drive partitions first being prepared for saving data, games, system, etc., normally, will be resized, moved, split, merged or created into new partitions in a new format or new size in Windows 11/10/8/7 or dual boot system.

Partition a new hard drive: If you buy a new hard drive and it only has a C drive. Then, if you want to partition the C drive, you need to initialize it before using it. Then follow the step-by-step tutorial to split it up.

Partition an existing hard drive: You'll need to resize/move disk space for drive partition.

But to partition a hard drive without formatting it is very important for some specific purposes. How to partition hard drive disk without formatting it? Here, a third-party partition manager software, EaseUS Partition Master, can work. 

If you want to know more about repartition hard drive, click the link below.

related articles

How to Repartition a Hard Drive on Windows 10/11 [Step-by-Step]

Are you looking for a way to partition your computer's hard drive? Learn how to repartition a hard drive in this comprehensive guide.

repartition hard drive

Solution 1: Partition hard drive without formatting using EaseUS partition manager

Professional partition manager software - EaseUS Partition Master can partition a hard drive with its advanced partition operations on your hard drive without formatting it, including resizing and moving partitions, converting partitions, splitting partitions, merging partitions, resizing dynamic disk, etc.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Moreover, EaseUS Partition Master can extend or resize a partition when there is no unallocated space behind it that Disk Management can't.

How to partition a new hard drive

As for the new disk is not initialized, you'll need to follow this video and initialize the disk first with EaseUS partition manager software.

After the initialization, the next step is to partition hard drive in Windows 10. Here are the detailed steps:

Step 1. Open EaseUS Partition Master, go to Partition Manager and click "Partition this disk" on the popped-up New Disk Guide window.

new disk guide partition external hard drive step 1

Step 2. Set the number of partitions you need to create, and set the partition style to your disk - MBR or GPT.

Or, you can accept the default setting offered by EaseUS Partition Master. Once done, click "Proceed".

new disk guide partition external hard drive step 2

Step 3. Click "Execute 1 Task" and "Apply" to finalize partitioning the new HDD/SSD or external disk.

new disk guide partition external hard drive step 4

How to partition an existing hard drive

Step 1. Locate the Target Partition.

Go to Partition Manager, locate the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

Select target partition to extend

Step 2. Extend the Target Partition.

Drag the partition panel rightward or leftward to add the unallocated space into your current partition and click "OK" to confirm.

choose another drive to allocate space

Extra Option: Get Space from Another Drive

If there is not enough unallocated space on your disk, right-click on a big partition with enough free space, select "Allocate space".

Then select the target partition that you want to extend at the allocate space to column.

choose another drive to allocate space

Step 3. Execute Operations to Extend Partition.

Drag the dots of the target partition into the unallocated space and click "OK".

finish extending partition

Then Click the "Execute Task" button and click "Apply" to keep all the changes. 

See how to partition a hard drive without formatting with EaseUS Partition Master on your own:

In addition, you can also apply some advanced features  as listed below to manage your hard drive in all Windows OS:

If you think this hard drive partitioning software is useful, why not apply it to manage different Windows OS partition problems with ease.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

Solution 2: Partition hard drive with Disk Management

Before you start partition hard drive with Disk Management, you should first understand that it has different features in different Windows OS.

  • In Windows 10/8/7, Vista and Windows Server 2008, Disk Management can shrink volume, extend volume, shrink volume, create volume, delete the volume, format volume, etc. on a hard drive.
  • In Windows 2000/XP and Windows Server 2003, Disk Management can only create a partition, delete partition, format partition, change the drive letter on a hard drive.
Disk Management can’t partition a hard drive when there is no unallocated space right behind it. But EaseUS Partition Manager can do it.

So how to partition hard drive with Disk Management? Let's see:

How to partition a new hard drive

Step 1: Open Disk Management

Right-click on This PC/My Computer > Click "Manage" > Enter Device Manager and click "Disk Management".

Step 2: Initialize the new hard drive

initialize hard disk

Step 3. Right-click on the unallocated space and select "New Simple Volume" to create a new partition.

create new simple volume

You’ll then enter the New Simple Volume Wizard to choose the volume size, drive letter, and file system. 

How to partition an existing hard drive

  • Step 1: Open Disk Management
  • Right-click on This PC/My Computer > Click "Manage" > Enter Device Manager and click "Disk Management".
  • Step 2: Partition hard drive
  • Shrink partition:
  • 1. Right-click on the partition that you want to shrink and select "Shrink Volume".
    2. Adjust the partition size and "Shrink" to confirm.
  • Shrink partition with disk management
  • Extend partition:
  • 1. Shrink partition next to the target partition that you want to extend in advance.
    2. Right-click on the target partition and select "Extend Volume".
  • Extend partition with disk management
  • 3. Click "Next" to continue, add the unallocated space to extend the target partition. Click "Next" and "Finish" to complete.
  • Create partition: (formatting required)
  • 1. Right-click on the unallocated space, select "New Simple Volume".
  • Create partition with disk management
  • 2. Click "Next" to continue, set the new partition size, drive letter, file system, click "Finish".
    Wait for the formatting complete.
  • Delete partition:
  • Right-click on the partition that you want to delete, select "Delete Volume" and select "Yes".
  • Delete partition with Disk Management
  • Change drive letter:
  • 1. Right-click on the partition and select "Change Drive Letter and Paths".
    2. Click "Change" to set a new drive letter for your partition.
  • Change partition drive letter.

Although, Disk Management is capable of dealing with most simple partition management tasks. It still has cons to solve some complex problems that you'll need a third-party partition manager like EaseUS Partition Master for help:

  • It can't re-partition hard drive especially create a new partition without formatting. 
  • It can't extend system partition when the unallocated space is not behind the system partition. 
  • It has no "Move Partition" feature to move the unallocated space next to the volume which you want to extend.
  • It can't convert disk to MBR/GPT.
  • It can't convert Dynamic disk to Basic disk.

In all situations, a third-party partition manager software is highly required since Disk Management has so many limitations when partitioning a hard drive. EaseUS Partition Master can always be your best choice.

Free Download 

Windows 11/10/8/7100% Secure

The Bottom Line

This article focuses on how to partition a hard drive without formatting via EaseUS Partition Manager and Disk Management. For partition a new or existing hard drive, the third-party software provides more convenience than Disk Management.

Hard Disk Partition FAQs

Is it important to partition hard disk?

Most computer users partition their hard disk for two primary reasons: to logically organize their files and to improve system performance. If you want to running more than one OS on your system, it is important to partition hard disk.

What are the types of partition in hard disk?

Partition types include:

- Primary: A primary partition can contain only one operating system. You can create multiple Primary partitions but maximum it depends on Operating System you are using. In Windows you can create 4 Primary Partition but in Linux Operating System you can create as many as you want(Depends on File Allocation Table - MBR). Each hard disk must have at least 1 primary partition.

- Extended: An extended partition does not hold an operating system or boot records, but it does allow for logical drives within the extended space. This allows for more than the four-partition limit of primary drives by allowing numerous logical drives within the extended drive space. Usually we create only one Extended Partition in a hard disk and store all other Logical Partitions inside that so if any Logical Partition got corrupted then it will not affect other Logical Partitions data stored outside the Extended Partition.

Was This Page Helpful?

Updated by Tracy King

Tracy became a member of the EaseUS content team in 2013. Being a technical writer for over 10 years, she is enthusiastic about sharing tips to assist readers in resolving complex issues in disk management, file transfer, PC & Mac performance optimization, etc., like an expert.

Read full bio

Written by Jean

Jean is recognized as one of the most professional writers in EaseUS. She has kept improving her writing skills over the past 10 years and helped millions of her readers solve their tech problems on PC, Mac, and iOS devices.

Read full bio