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 8. 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 8 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 8.
Open EaseUS Partition Master and select the ‘Partition Manager’ option.
2. In the left column select the ‘Resize/Move partition’ option.
3. I’m going to shrink the XP partition down to 150GB (153600 binary) which will result in about 83GB of “Unallocated” for use when installing Windows 8.
Start by moving the mouse to the very end of the Windows XP partition, you see the double arrow as shown below.
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 8. 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’. 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.
5. 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 Windows8. The drive letter XP assigns to the new partition is of no consequence as Windows 8 once installed will always boot as C: and XP will still boot a C:
6. 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 8 installation state.
When you reach the screen where you enter the “Description”, enter: After creating Windows 8 partition, but prior to installing Windows 8. Click on the empty Windows 8 partition to include it in the backup, be sure to include the XP partition and any other partitions that may be on your drive.
Select a destination drive (bottom right) and a folder for the backup, once again choose something meaningful (Folder example: Todo_XP_PriorTo_Installing_Win8_MMYYDD).
Click ‘Proceed’ to start the backup.
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. This backup can be restored on an as needed basis.
Download any and all Windows 8 device drivers for your PC (if available) or from the motherboard’s support site (if you build your own PC) to a newly created folder (Example: Win8_Drivers) located in the root (C:\) on the XP partition and burn them to a CD/DVD. Leave the folder in-tack in case you need it.