How to Partition and Set Up Dual Boot on Your PC - Part 1

Do you find it difficult to choose an operating system? Then use the PC as a dual boot system! Get to know Linux while keeping Windows on hand. Before installing two operating systems on the PC, it is important to first divide the hard drive into usable partitions.

01 Disk Management

If you want to install another operating system in addition to Windows, you'll need an empty disk partition for this. It is not available on many PCs. Fortunately, you can easily free up space for a second operating system with the Disk Management tool. It's a good idea to back up your personal files beforehand just to be safe, so that you don't lose anything in case of any problems. On the PC, open the Disk Management tool. In XP, go to Start / Run, after which you diskmgmt.msc types. On more recent Windows versions, use this command as a search query.

02 Shrink Partition

When adding a new partition to the system, it is first necessary to shrink an existing partition. View in the overview from which partition you want to steal space. Often there is a recovery partition from the manufacturer with which you can restore the system to factory settings. It is best to stay away from this. Right click on the appropriate partition and select from the context menu Reduce volume. Specify by how many MBs you want to reduce the existing partition. Then confirm with shrink.

03 Assign Partition

Disk Management now shows part of the hard drive as "unallocated". This space is temporarily out of use. You simply create a new partition from this. Right click on it and choose New Simple Volume. A wizard will open on your screen. click on Next one and set the size. Typically you will use all the unallocated space for the new partition. Through Next one attach a drive letter to the volume. In the next screen choose your file system NTFS (more on this later). Think of a volume name and close with Next / Finish.

04 Primary Partition

In principle, every operating system is installed on a primary partition. In Disk Management, verify that the volume you just created is a primary partition. Isn't that the case? Then see if there is a possibility to reduce the number of partitions. Most PCs allow you to create up to four primary partitions per physical hard drive. The fourth primary partition usually consists of an extended partition with one or more logical drives. More information about partition rules can be found here.

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