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How to Partition Hard Disk before Installing Windows 10

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    Are you interested in Windows 10? Do you want to test it out? Now, you can free download and use Windows 10 Technical Preview. Well then, how can we install it on our PC? Some users plan to run it in a virtual machine, and some think of replacing the original Windows OS with Windows 10. Actually, both of them are not recommended. The former may lose some performance, and the latter may bring problems. After all, Windows 10 Technical Preview is just for test and not stable. Therefore, users had better create a new partition for Windows 10 under the existing Windows so as to make dual boot. Nevertheless, how to partition hard disk before installing Windows 10?

    If users are running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 2008, or Windows 2012, take the following operations:
    1. Right click the icon “Computer” on desktop, choose “Manage” from the shortcut menu, and click “Disk Management” which is under the “Storage” item to open system snap-in partitioning tool:

    disk management tool of windows 7

    2. Right click a NTFS partition which is full of unused space and choose “Shrink Volume” from the popup list to create an unallocated space. Note: 32 bit Windows 10 needs 16GB disk space at least while 64 bit Windows 10 needs 20GB. Then, create a new partition via the function “New Simple Volume”.

    After the new partition is created, users can install Windows 10 to it. Well then, how about dual booting Windows 10 under Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 whose Disk Management cannot shrink a partition? Users need the help of third party partitioning freeware, MiniTool Partition Wizard for example.

    How to Partition Hard Disk with MiniTool Partition Wizard

    Firstly, download and install the free partitioning tool to computer and run it to get its main interface:

     minitool partition wizard main interface

    Then, select a partition which is filled with free space and choose “Move/Resize Partition” from the left pane to shrink it.

    how to partition hard disk shrink partition

    Next, drag the border of partition handle to shorten it so as to release unallocated space, and then click “OK” to go back to the main interface:

    how to partition hard disk create partition

    Now we can see a 126.52 GB unallocated space. Please select it and choose “Create Partition” from the left pane to get the interface below:

    how to partition hard disk create partition set partition properties

    Here, please assign partition label, partition type, file system, drive letter, and cluster size for the new partition, appoint partition size and partition location, and click “OK” to return to the main interface again. Note: the new partition should be primary, because the second Windows OS can not be installed on a logical partition in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

    how to partition hard disk apply all change

    At last, click “Apply” button on the top to perform shrinking partition and creating partition, and after application we are successful to create a partition for Windows 10.

    Now, users would know how to partition hard disk before installing Windows 10. Take different method under different Windows platform, and then install the new Windows operating system to your PC.