How to Shrink a Windows XP partition and create space for a second partition on your drive:
The 250GB hard drive I’m using for this article contains a single partition used by Windows XP. While this is not a large drive there is enough free space to accommodate Windows 10. You may need to off load (move) some of your data files (Documents, Music, Photos, Etc) to the USB drive if necessary.
In order to create space on the drive for Windows 10 we must use a third party Disk Management utility to “Shrink” the XP partition which will result initially in “unallocated” space, and after formatting will be available for use when installing Windows 10.
After the Windows XP partition is shrunk / resized to make room for Windows 10 another baseline image backup of the entire drive will be created, this second baseline will be used as a starting point prior to installing Windows 10.
1) Open EaseUS Partition Master and select the ‘Go to home page’ option.
2) In the left column select the ‘Resize/Move partition’ option.
3) I’m going to shrink the XP partition down to 175GB (179200 binary) which will result in about 63GB of “Unallocated” for use when installing Windows 10.
Start by moving the mouse to the very end of the Windows XP partition, until you see the double arrow at the end of the partition. You may need to move the cursor back and forth slowly for the double arrow to become visible.
Hold the left mouse button down and move the double arrow slider to the left until you create the amount of “Unallocated Space After” you want for use by Windows 10. Note the small difference in the values / amount of unallocated space is that one is displayed in binary and the other / smaller value is displayed in decimal notation.
4) Click on the “OK” button after you have set the appropriate value for your hard drive. The actual resizing may appear as if it has be completed but it has not, it is a Pending Operation and to implement the change you must click on the ‘Apply’ button and when prompted click ‘Yes’.
5) Click ‘Yes’ to apply the change.
You may be asked to reboot the computer, click ‘Yes’.
During the reboot (there may be more than one) you will see a Partition Master Progress screen and when completed Windows XP will load.
If you open XP Disk Management utility you will now see the XP partition plus the unallocated space you created.
6) Create and format a new primary partition using the unallocated disk space with XP’s Disk Management utility. For added reliability with hard drives I always choose to perform a ‘Full’ format, SSD (Solid State Drive) users should choose the ‘Quick’ format option. Assign a meaningful volume name such as Windows 10. The drive letter XP assigns to the new partition is of no consequence as after Windows 10 is installed, it will always boot as C: and XP will still boot as C:
7) At this point its time to create your second baseline backup. This is the backup you can use to reset your drive back to a pre Windows 10 installation state.
Verify that the entire drive (XP partition, the empty Windows 10 partition and Master Boot Record) and any other partitions that may be on your drive are included in the backup.
Verify the USB as your destination drive and enter a folder name for the backup, once again choose something meaningful (Folder example: WinXP_PriorToInstalling_Win10).
When you reach the screen where you enter the “Description”, enter: After creating Windows 10 partition, but prior to installing Windows 10.
Click ‘Next’ to review the ‘Backup summary’ screen, click ‘Next’ and the ‘Finish’ button. To start the backup, on the main screen click ‘Apply’.
At this point you should have two image backups on your USB drive.
One note of caution, don’t forget to create Windows XP partition only backups (System backup option) on an “as needed basis” whenever you have installed new software or uninstalled some unwanted application in XP. The entire drive (all partitions) or just the Windows XP partition can be restored from this backup on an as needed basis.