Two Solutions to Create New Partition Grayed out Issue in Windows XP
Can't Create New Partition Windows XP on Unallocated Space
As you know, there is a built-in disk tool which is called Disk Management that can be used to create new partition or simple volume in Windows XP/7/8/10 PCs. This free tool has a feature "New Partition" in Windows XP which can help you to quickly create some new partitions when there is a need. However, sometimes you will find out this feature grayed out, which means you can’t create any partition with the unallocated space by using this utility. When you search "create new partition grayed out Windows XP", you will find there are many forums and posts about this problem. Let’s look at two examples.
- "I just bought a 3TB external hard drive and noticed it read data very slowly, especially when I first opened it in explorer, so I tried to partition this disk. I used Disk Management to repartition the hard drive and planed to divide the disk into 3 parts: one partition is 1.3 TB, and two partitions are both 700 GB. The 1.3 TB one is the primary volume, and I successfully created the first 700 GB partition into a simple volume, but when creating the second one, the option "new partition" is greyed out". –sevenforums
- "Yesterday my sister told me she had a 100GB hard drive with 4 partitions and some unallocated space. The first three partitions are primary partitions, the fourth one is a logical partition and the unallocated space is at the end of the hard drive. She wanted to create a new partition but the unallocated space can’t create partition with Disk Management in Windows XP. Why did this issue happen?"
After knowing the situations, you may want to ask why can’t create new partitions in Windows XP and how to solve this issue.
Why Create New Partition Grayed out in Windows XP
The above content introduce you "new partition" grayed out in two different cases. Generally speaking, there are two reasons which can cause this issue.
As you know, the hard drive can be divided into two different types, MBR and GPT. Just as the first example says, after repartitioning the MBR disk as 1.3 TB and 700GB partitions, you will find Disk Management shows two unallocated spaces. It is because MBR supports at most 2TB hard drive. As a result, the rest disk space is shown as unallocated space and you can’t create new partition.
Besides, the second example shows you still are unable to create new partition. Why? In fact, you can only create at most 4 primary partitions, or 3 primary partitions plus one extended partition on MBR disk. When there are already 3 primary partitions plus extended partition, Disk Management doesn’t allow creating new partition with the unallocated space.
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However, how to solve this issue in such cases? Two solutions are helpful as follows.
How to Solve New Partition Grayed Out Issue
Solution 1: Convert MBR to GPT
If you have a hard drive which is larger than 2TB in Windows XP, the rest part will be shown as unallocated space and it doesn’t allow creating partition. In addition, if there are four primary partitions, and you want to create a new partition for data storage, but it will fail. Therefore, to make full use of the disk space and create many partitions, you can convert this MBR disk to GPT disk.
You may considering using Disk Management to convert to GPT. However, this way requires you to delete all partitions and then you can finish this work successfully. Fortunately, MiniTool cooperation provides you a professional partition and disk management to do this work. Download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition and then start to convert the disk to GPT.
Here is the step-by-step guidance:
Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard and you can see its main interface.
Step 2: Right click the hard drive and select "Convert MBR Disk to GPT Disk". Or after selecting a target disk, select this feature in the left pane.
Step 3: Finally, click "Apply".
Then after finishing the conversion, it is easy to create a partition in Windows XP/7/8/10.
Note: In Windows XP, only the 64 bit OS supports GPT disk and the disk must be data disk.
Solution 2: Set Partition as Logical
When there are three primary partitions, one logical partition and some unallocated space in the hard drive, just as the second example explains, you can also use MiniTool Partition Wizard to create a new partition easily. And this freeware makes up for the deficiency of Disk Management.
In addition, if there are four primary partitions, you can’t create new partition. And if you don’t want to use GPT disk, you can change one primary partition as logical and then create partitions in Windows XP.
Step 1: Launch this application.
Step 2: Select the primary partition followed by unallocated space to convert and choose "Set Partition as Logical" feature from the left panel. Or you can right click the target partition and select this feature.
Note: You had better not convert partitions which are related to Windows system to logical, because it may make system unbootable in Windows XP.
Step 3: At last, click "Apply" button on the top to perform changes.
Tip: When unable to create new partition, this article Fixed - No Free MBR Slots While Creating/Splitting Partition Using Partition Wizard is useful.
In conclusion, this post introduce you two reasons and two solutions about "create new Partition grayed out Windows XP" issue. Just try MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition to create partitions in Windows 10/8/7/XP/Vista when this issue happens. Download it not.