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How to Partition Hard Drive Disk without Formatting

Updated on May 16, 2019 by Jean to Partition Master

This page delivers a comprehensive solution for how to partition hard drive such as creating a partition in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista with or without formatting using Disk Management and EaseUS Partition Master. Follow to learn how to partition hard disk in Windows without formatting by the help of partition manager software.

The methods on this page can be applied to partition hard drive in Windows 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 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 10/8/7 or dual boot system.

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, both Disk Management and third-party partition manager software can work. 

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 resize and move partitions, convert partition, split partition, merge partitions, resize dynamic disk, etc.

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

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 Windows 10 is supported

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


Step 1: Install and launch EaseUS Partition Master

Run EaseUS Partition Master

Step 2: Partition Hard Drive

Shrink partition:

1. Right-click on a partition that you want to shrink and select "Resize/Move".

Shrink partition

2. Drag the end of the partition rightward or leftward or adjust the space by clicking the "Partition size" column. Click "OK" to continue.

Extend partition:

1. To extend partition, you need to leave unallocated space next to the target partition. If not, shrink a partition as mentioned above to leave enough unallocated space behind the target partition first.

2. Then right-click on the target partition and select "Resize/Move".

Extend partition

3. Drag the target partition handle into the unallocated space to extend partition. Click "OK" to continue.

Create partition:

1. On the main window, right-click on the unallocated space on your hard drive or external storage device and select "Create".

Create partition on unallocated space

2. Set the partition size, partition label, drive letter, file system, etc. for the new partition and click "OK" to continue.

Delete partition:

1. On the main window, right-click on the hard drive partition which you want to delete and select "Delete".

Select parittion to delete

2. Click "OK" to confirm.

Change partition drive letter:

1. Right-click the partition, and choose "Change Drive Letter".

Change Drive Letter - Step 1

2. Click the down arrow, choose a drive letter for the partition, then click "OK".

Step 3: Execute operations

Click the "Execute Operation" button at the top corner and keep all changes by clicking "Apply".

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.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

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.

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

  • 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.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported