How to partition hard disk without formatting?


In this blog we will see how to partition hard disk without formatting.

Why partition a hard disk in Windows 10?

Partitions are the regions that separate one physical hard drive into multiple volume setss. These can be used to divide different parts of the one physical hard drive into logical drives, which is useful when you want to install two or more operating systems on one computer, or if you’d like to create volumes for specific purposes (e.g., a volume for virtual machines, applications, games etc).

Do I need to partition my hard disk in Windows 10?

If your Windows 10 PC has just one single hard disk that it boots from and only one copy of Windows 10 is installed on it then no additional partitions are requiredand all files on this drive are visible through File Explorer. However, if you’re running low on space while using the default layout with multiple drives mounted at different points within the system hierarchy (like “System Reserved”, “Recovery”, “Windows” etc.) or you have more than one physical hard disk in your computer, then you may benefit from the advanced partitioning scheme that allows for separate storage of operating systems and software.

The partition is a logical subdivision of a disk volume, which has a file system – i.e., a structure and rules determining how information is stored on it – allocated to it so as to make data accessible by assigning letters (i.e., drive letters). In other words, partitions are divisions within a hard disk that function as independent drives with their own file systems.

In Windows 10, all fixed disks must be divided into partitions before any can be used with the exception of the very first one, which is automatically created when a Windows installation begins. It’s usually a small, 100 MB partition labeled as “System Reserved” and used by the operating system for storing information about drive letters and to hold startup files.

In other words, without at least one partition you won’t be able to use the hard drive as it isn’t accessed as a single unit by the operating system. However, you can create as many partitions as your disk supports and the particular needs of your computer require – 3 or 4, 10 or 20… just not too many because each will carve out some space from your disk limiting its total capacity.



How to partition the hard-drive in Windows 7/8.1/10/11?

Have some data on a hard disk but you still would like to partition it? Fear that you would loose some data? Fear not.

To partition your hard disk without formatting you need to use some disk management tool that allows you to re-arrange your partitions without modifying the data on them.

Partition Wizard

The below write up is about Partition Wizard which can be downloaded for free.

Partition Wizard is not only a hard disk partitioning tool, but also a powerful manager of hard drives and partitions. You can resize, move, copy or delete partitions with this software. It supports dynamic disks, basic disks and even GPT disks that have MBR format within them.

It features in its capabilities extended operations such as creating bootable CD/DVDs or USB flash drive. Besides, it has options for setting up file system (NTFS/FAT32), compressing files, encrypting files, copying, moving or deleting partitions.

Partition Wizard is absolutely free for home users with no usage limits. For business use, you need to purchase a license in order to get more advanced features.

Resizing hard drive without formatting with Partition Wizard software is really simple.

Partition Wizard is an excellent tool for those wanting to resize their NTFS partitions without having to delete and recreate them. It can also be used to extend a partition. However, even if it’s already installed on your system you still essentially need to reinstall the operating system in order to use this software, as Partition Wizard has no way of saving drive changes during initialization that haven’t been made yet.

It takes only 1-2 minutes to extend partition by 1GB or shrink it to release unneeded space for your computer system – even works on systems installed Windows XP and 2000.

To partition a hard drive using Partition Wizard, be sure your system is already installed Windows 7, 8.1, 10 or 11.

  • Run the program; select the “Move/Resize Partitions” feature; click “Next”.
  • Choose a partition you want to extend and specify the size you want it to become (in MB). Click “Next”. Note: Specify larger size than the actual space to hold partitions.
  • Click “Apply” and then click “Finish” to end Partition Wizard.

Now you can successfully rebuild MBR or GPT without lossing data, or resize NTFS partition without shrinking volume size.


So what you might want instead is a simple command line converter which can easily resize an NTFS partition without needing any data recovery tools such as PartitionGuru. This free utility works on systems installed Windows XP and 2000. To convert NTFS to FAT or convert FAT/FAT32 to NTFS follow the steps below.

Steps to Convert NTFS to FAT without Formatting Hard Disk

1. Download and extract it on your local hard disk. You can also download PartitionGuru which you might need for data recovery if anything goes wrong after resizing an NTFS partition – this is basically a free tool that can be used to recover files from lost or corrupted partitions .

2. At this point, open Command Prompt by clicking ‘Start’ > ‘All Programs’ > ‘Accessories’, right-clicking Command Prompt, and choosing Run as Administrator from the context menu. When Command Prompt starts, enter cd /d>” where <path> is the location of the ntfs2fatxp.exe file you downloaded and extracted earlier.

3. Stop any anti-virus program before doing anything further because these applications might interfere with this process to create two partitions from one . It is also recommended that you make a backup of important files stored on your hard disk because their loss might occur if anything goes wrong during this step .

4. When Command Prompt starts, type ntfsresize –size <new_size> /dev/sda1 to specify the desired size for NTFS partition (i.e., <new_size>) with “/dev/sda1” as its target . The above command will resize NTFS partition without formatting it.

If you feel all this is too overwhelming, our technicians are just around the corner!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...