How to Partition SSD/HDD for Dual Boot OS?

July 27, 2017

This tutorial details how to partition SSD or HDD for OS dual boot or for OS and games using Diskpart in Command Prompt as well as AOMEI Partition Assistant in Windows.

Why Partition SSD for Dual Boot?

SSDs are dramatically coming into our computing life and more and more users are benefit from the new technology. SSDs tend to be with large capacity and affordable prices on the market. SSD manufacturers like Samsung, Intel, Toshiba, Kingston, SanDisk, and PNY are well-known SSD brands. For a period of time, replace HDD with SSD in desktop and laptop becomes a popular trend. This part of PC users mostly want to change old and slow traditional hard drive with new and fast solid state drive. Of course, some of them use SSD for OS and HDD for storage to fully take advantage of each disk.

Well, is it good to partition SSD? SSD has no moving parts comparing to HDD, yet you can still partition it for multiple tasks. There is a large part of user hope to partition hard disk for dual boot. They have benefited from the SSD and want to get more from this disk. As mentioned before, SSDs come with large capacity recently, which makes OS dual boot on SSD possible. For user who has upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 10, dual boot is a good way to back to familiar OS. For user who has requirements for different operating systems, dual boot is a good way to keep both systems in use. Some users even partition SSD for OS and games. All in all, there may be other factors lead us to partition a hard drive, but the more important thing is to figure out how to do this.

Before You Do

Before start, it’s better to learn some information about dual boot requirements. For instance, a normal Windows OS like Windows 7, Windows XP or Windows 10 needs space larger than 60 GB, and 80 GB would be the best. For Linux like Mint, disk space between 20 GB to 40 GB is enough, and Ubuntu require less. Mac OS is around 10 GB. As a result, a SSD with 120 GB disk space can meet the basic demands for dual boot.

In terms of file system, NTFS and FAT32 are workable in Windows OS. For Windows 7 and the later, NTFS file system is required for OS. Linux needs EXT2, EXT3, or EXT4 to run. HFS+ is in Mac OS. Absolutely, among these file systems ExtFAT is compatible for both Windows and Mac. FAT32 is available for file sharing and day-to-day use. One can easily reformat to FAT32 when necessary. In most cases, you need leave 10% to 20% free space of that disk for swap each system.

How to Partition SSD for Dual Boot?

After above information, we know that SSD should be partitioned to different file systems for different operating systems. Therefore, a stable and powerful hard disk partitioning tool is of great help. Surely, you can partition the SSD with Diskpart if you want to install both Windows OS on the disk. You need to connect the SSD to your PC in the first place.

1. Press Windows + R key combination and type ‘diskpart’.

2. Type following commands in turn and press Enter after each move.

  • list disk

  • select disk 2 (disk 2 is the SSD)

  • create partition primary size=102400 (the unit of the size is KB)

  • assign letter=H

  • exit

Diskpart Create Partition

3. Right after you create the partition, a small window will appear and ask you to format the disk/drive before you can use it. Then click “Format disk”.

Format Disk

Tips: You can create another partition by repeating above steps and you can resize partition using Diskpart as well.

This method is quick and fast, and is a good idea to partition hard drive for dual boot. However, you can only create partition with FAT32 or NTFS file system in Diskpart. If want to dual boot Windows and other OS like Linux or Mac, you might as well turn to third party partitioning software like AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. This software allows you to create a partition based on NTFS, FAT32, FAT, EXT2 or EXT3 for different systems. Windows 10, 8, 7, XP and Vista are supported. Besides, command line partitioning is available as well. Download the demo version and have a try.

How to Partition Disk for Dual Boot via AOMEI Partition Assistant?

1. Connect the disk to your computer and make sure it can be detected. Download, install and start AOMEI Partition Assistant.

2. Right-click the unallocated space and select “Create Partition”.

Create Partition

3. In the pop-up window, specify the new partition including partition size, drive letter and file system. Then click “OK”.

Specify partition

4. Click “Apply” to make it real.

Tips: 

*You can create multiple partitions at a time with “Quick Partition” feature in AOMEI Partition Assistant.

*If the SSD has only one partition, you can create a new partition from the existing partition directly.

*If you create a partition with EXT2/EXT3/FAT file system, it might be recognized in Windows environment. Just create it and install the related OS on that partition.

*This software is also the strategy for how to partition HDD for dual boot. 

It is quite easy to partition SSD for dual boot, isn’t it? Install each OS and then you can experience different operating systems in one computer.