How to Partition Hard Drive Disk without Formatting

Jean updated on Aug 14, 2020 to Partition Master | How-to Articles

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

PAGE CONTENT:
Partition hard drive without formatting using EaseUS partition manager 
Case 1: Partition a new hard drive
Case 2: Partition an existing hard drive
Partition hard drive with Disk Management
Case 1: Partition a new hard drive
Case 2: Partition an existing hard drive

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 10/8/7 or dual boot system.

Partition a new hard drive: If you buy a new hard drive and want to partition it, 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, 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:

How to partition a new hard drive

Step 1: Download the software

Download EaseUS Partition Master. Connect the hard drive or SSD to PC.

Step 2: Initialize your HDD/SSD

Right-click the target HDD or SSD and select "Initialize to MBR" or "Initialize to GPT" accordingly.

Fig 1. Initialize to MBR:

initialize to mbr

Fig 2. Initialize to GPT:

initialize to gpt

Step 3: Apply the operation

A pending operation of initializing disk to MBR or GPT disk will be added. Execute the operation and click "Apply".

click apply to start

After the initialization, So the next step is to partition hard drive in Windows 10.

How to partition an existing hard drive

Step 1. Locate the Target Partition

To start extending partition, you should first launch EaseUS Partition Master and locate the target partition which you would like to extend.

Step 2. Extend the Target Partition

1. Right-click on the target partition which you would like to extend and select "Resize/Move".

Select target partition to extend

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

choose another drive to allocate space

3. If there is no or not enough unallocated space on your disk, use the advanced partition resizing function to directly allocate free space from other partitions to the target drive without deleting or formatting.

Find the "Allocate XX space from" option, then click "Select partition". Choose the partition from which you want to allocate space. Drag the partition panel rightward or leftward to resize the partition you want to extend. Then click "OK" to confirm.

choose another drive to allocate space

Step 3. Execute Operations to Extend Partition

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

finish extending partition

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.
Notice:
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.

Download Now

 Windows 10 is supported

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Choose EaseUS Partition Master?

"I've used Partition Master Professional many times to create, delete, format, move, rename, and resize partitions."PCWorld

"Partitioning tools have come a very long since the days of complicated command line utilities and EASEUS Partition Master is one of the most advanced programs available."TECH ADVISOR

"I love that the changes you make with EaseUS Partition Master Free aren't immediately applied to the disks. It makes it way easier to play out what will happen after you've made all the changes."Lifewire

Will the "Migrate OS" feature transfer the Windows system files only or the whole C drive?

To ensure that the migrated system will boot normally, the Migrate OS feature will transfer all the files in the system and the boot partitions. Generally, the boot partition is the C drive so the transfer will include all the files in C.

Does EaseUS Partition Master license apply to multiple computers?

The license of Partition Master Professional and Server editions can be used on 1 computer only, while that for for the Technician and Unlimited editions can be used on multiple machines.

What is the difference between EaseUS Partition Master Trial version and the Free version?

Free is for home users only, with most basic functions available such as partition resize and clone. While trial can help you understand how this product works and test what a full license can do on a business or server OS machine.

Will it cause any data loss after resizing the partition in EaseUS Partition Master?

Generally, it will not cause any data loss or boot issue by resizing a partition. However, in order to protect your data, we suggest that you backup the partition before resizing, in case of any unexpected situations such as power outages, computer hardware failures, etc. You can use EaseUS Todo Backup to backup the partition and its trial version is fully functioned for 30 days.

What should I prepare before resizing the partition?

On the partition that is going to be operated, there might be some files being occupied by other programs. To ensure a successful operation, we suggest that you close all the unnecessary software before resizing that partition. Otherwise, EaseUS Partition Master will detect the partition being locked by the other software and require a reboot to resize the partition under boot mode.

About EaseUS Partition Master

All-round disk & partition management software for personal and commercial use. Let it manage your storage drive: resize, format, delete, clone, convert, etc.

Video Tutorial

How to Partititon a Hard Drive on Windows 10/8/7