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Partition a Hard Drive Without Formatting?

This discussion thread has 3 messages.

#1
SoDSasqua Suspended due non-functional email address
I was wandering if it was possible to make another partition on a drive without erasing all of the data on it. I have my installed 80GB stock drive and an external My Book (300 GB) Hard drive with 156GB Free. I would like to install another operating system because of compatibility issues with programs, especially with iTunes. My external drive, (named Linda), has EVERYTHING on it and can't erase it but has way too much to fit on my 80Gig. Is there anyway to do this and if it is possible, can I get it to where when I boot my computer on, I can choose the Vista Partition or the XP partition? That would be the best way to do it because I have so much room but if it's not possible, I could put the new OS on the default C:/ drive with no prob. but I don't want to have to go through reinstalling all of the crap because I had to format it to create a new partition. Someone hit me up with a suggestion.
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#2
It is possible, but not without jumping through a lot of hoops.

IMHO, for less than $100.00, it's probably less hassle to go out and buy another external HDD. I have 6 around the house just for situations like this.

Newegg currently has a sale. 1TB for 109.99 free shipping.
#3
jony218 Suspended due non-functional email address
It's possible but dangerous even with the paid partition software. First you need to backup your 80gb hard drive with the free macrium reflect (hopefully the compress backup file will fit on your external). This backup file will be your insurance in case you run into problems, it will be bootable when restored.
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Next you can use the free gparted partition software to create a new partition on your 80gb hard drive. Gparted will move all the use data to one partition, then create the new partition on the empty space left. (by the way the vista installation dvd can also partition your hard drive).
http://gparted.sourceforge.net/screenshots.php

next depending on how you have the 80gb hard drive setup (xp or vista installed) below are the directions, it's simpler when xp is installed first and vista added later as a dual boot.

installing vista after xp
http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_install_04.asp

vista preinstalled than xp added later
http://www.pro-networks.org/forum/about88231.html
http://www.pro-networks.org/forum/about92429.html

The final option and somewhat easier is to install vista or xp inside a virtual environment. You can use the free virtualbox to run an operating system within an operating system. No need to partition anything etc.

The reason it's dangerous to partition a hard drive that has data on it is because of the risk of the partition software hanging/ or power outage. If that occurs you will loose all the data. That's why it's important to have the backup.
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