Partition a partially full drive

By Abomination ยท 6 replies
Jan 17, 2006
  1. I have a 110gig hard drive with 37gig free. Is it possible to partition a drive that is in use without having to format and start again?

    I've had a look around but all seem to talk about partitioning a new drive.

  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Advanced partitioning utlities like Partition Magic or Partiton Commander or Partition Expert can resize, split and merge your existing partitions and create new ones in the unused space. You'd still need to reboot the machine if you make changes to the system partition.
  3. Abomination

    Abomination TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Thanks for that. I'll look into them
  4. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    If your have an NTFS(Win 2000,XP) partition create a primary dos partition make it small since you won't be booting from and exdended partition and logical drives using FDISK.If you have a primary DOS (Dos,WIN3x,Win9X) create an extended dos partition and logical drives through FDISK.If you have both primary and exteded partitions already you will either need to delete the extended partition and create a new one or use a tool like Partition Magic.
  5. SultanGris

    SultanGris TS Booster Posts: 158

    if you use fdisk, it will erase everything on your hard drive, and require that you format it. your best bet is to use a windows based partition program, but defrag your HD first, and it should be possible to create a partition in the unused space, but if you dont defrag, and have data scattered all over, u will have problems. i recomend diskkeeper to defrag.
  6. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    SultanGris has a good point it is easier to use a windows based program.
    But Fdisk will not erase everything if you only use it to add partitions and not delete any existing ones.If you would like to use fdisk and have win 2k or XP you will need a dos boot disk avalible here In dos prompt type FDISK to open the program.once a new partition and logical drives are created reboot with the boot disk in and type format X:/u x=drive letter you want to format.The main advantage of FDISK is it's free. However If you want to buy or already have a windows based partitioning/formating tool it will be much easier.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,158   +986

    the sequence of operations for Partition Magic is:
    decompress the existing partition into one contiguous area
    then, shrink the existing partition, leaving some freespace(FS)
    then create a new partition and format it.

    the issue is how much FS to leave in the existing partition? 20% is a starting point or a minimum of 5gb
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