How to create space for a Windows 7 partition on your Windows 10 disk drive: The 1TB hard drive I’m using for this article contains 3 partitions. The first is the 450MB Recovery partition, the second a 100MB EFI System partition and the third and last partition is the Windows 10 partition. We need to shrink (reduce the size) of the Windows 10 partition to create space for the Windows 7 partition.
A) The location of the Master File Table (MFT) or other locked files may limit the amount of space / value in MB that you can enter in step #3.
B) You already have 4 “Primary” partitions, therefore you need to convert to an “Extended” partition with a “Logical” drive. Another option is with a drive that is initialized with a Master Boot Record (MBR) to convert it to a GPT (GUID Partition Table). GPT allows for more than 4 Primary partitions.
To create the space needed for Windows 7 we will use Windows 10’s Disk Management to “Shrink” the Windows 10 partition which results in “unallocated” space for use when installing Windows 7.
1. Open Disk Management and right click on the Windows 10 partition. 2. Select the “Shrink Volume ” option.
3. I’m going to create a 400GB partition for Windows 7 so I’ll enter the value 409600. (100GB = 102400, 200GB = 204800, 300GB = 307200, 400GB = 409600)
Note that the “Size of available shrink space in MB” is the maximum amount the Windows 10 partition can be reduced by.
4. Click on the “Shrink” button after you enter the appropriate value for your hard drive. When the shrink operation has completed you should see an area of “Unallocated” space, 400GB in the screenshot shown below.
At this point you can either choose to pre-format the unallocated space (see step #5) in advance of installing Windows 7 or leave the space “Unallocated” and format during the installation process. If you want to leave the space as “Unallocated” then skip to step #6.
5) Formatting the unallocated space:
Right click on the “Unallocated” space and choose the ‘New Simple Volume’ option.
Give the Volume label an easy to recognize name as this will make it easier to spot which partition you want to install Windows 7 on during the installation process.
Note: For users who have an SSD drive be sure to use the default “Perform a quick format” option. Hard Disk Drive user can perform a “Full” format if desired by removing the check mark as shown below.
6) At this point it’s time to create your second baseline backup.
It does not matter if you choose to format the new partition or leave it as unallocated space you should create a new backup to a new and separate folder on your external USB drive, the new folder will insure you still have your original “baseline” image backup file separate and protected from a possible over write when creating the second baseline backup.
This second backup is the backup you can use to “restore” your drive back to a pre Windows 7 state should the Windows 7 installation fail for whatever reason and you need to try installing Windows 7 again.
How to dual boot Windows 10 and Windows 7 ----->>> Understanding Disk Drive Partitions and what needs to be backed up ----->>> Image Backup Strategy ----->>> Initial Baseline Image Backup ----->>> How to create space for a Windows 7 partition on your disk drive----->>> Installing Windows 7 ----->>> Final Image Backup ----->>> How to access the GUI (Graphical Boot Menu) ----->>> Chkdsk always runs on my dual boot computer ----->>>