I can't partition my drive to dualboot Zorin OS

Hey, when trying to shrink my drive (to partition it) using the Windows Disk Management tool, it says I can only shrink it for 400mb? That's nowhere near enough. Can I not install Zorin?
P.S it also doesn't give me the option to partition it easily because it does say "This computer has Windows Boot Manager on it. What would you like to do?" but there's no option to dualboot, it's either "Erase disk" or "Something else"

Are you installing as EFI boot or Legacy (MBR) boot?

You may need to Defrag Windows.
Then resize the partition manually using the Partition editor in Windows or the Gparted partition editor included in the Try Zorin LiveUSB.

I'm sorry, I don't know what EFI or Legacy boot means. My computer is modern (I got it in 2021), so I'd assume EFI?
Also, how exactly do I defrag Windows? I'm probably supposed to know what these mean, but I've never really dealt with partitions and stuff like this.

De-Fragmentation is something NTFS (Windows standard file system) needs on occasion due to how it operates.
Windows does not place the data logically - it places it in the first free slot on the disk. This causes files to become fragmented over time, where a portion is in one place on the disk and another portion is somewhere else entirely, with a marker indicating where it attaches to.

Zorin OS uses ext4 File System which logicall creates blocks for data and files that allows room for expansion. Files are never fragmented.

You want to defrag on Windows prior to moving or resizing a partition just as a precautionary step to prevent data loss.

I agree that you are likely installing as EFI.
If you are not seeing the option to install alongside:

  • Ensure Fast Boot or Fast Startup is disabled in Windows Control Panel > Power Settings
  • Ensure that Secure Boot is disabled in BIOS / EFI Settings
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"Fast Startup" I disabled
I can't disable Secure Boot because I need that for Windows 11 to run
Thank you for the help, I will do this and mark as solution if it works!

Nevermind... I have an SSD so defragmenting won't help me here
How about I try with the tool you mentioned bundled with Zorin OS?

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Gparted. You can launch it from app menu in LiveUSB "Try Zorin"
or from alt+F2 and entering in gparted

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Thank you :+1: I'll try that and report back.

No, you should still defragment... defragmenting an SSD won't speed up file and folder access (as it does for a spinning-rust drive), but it will accumulate all the files toward one end of the drive, so there's contiguous free space to repartition with.

Should I try it again?

If nothing ends up working, I might just install on another drive.
Which, now that I think about it is probably safer for my data with all this partitioning stuff...
I'll think about it.

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I am not sure what I am seeing here. It looks like you are selecting nVME partition 3 with a little under 400gigs of space...

Yes, that is the biggest partition I had. Windows reported it as the C drive.

Ah... is it a five hundred gig drive?

Something on Windows has it locked...

About 500 gbs, Windows reports it as 470 because theres random partitions which I don't know what they are and I'm too scared to delete them

lol I agree - do not go deleting other partitions. They are small and are used for Backups and System Restore.


Update: I bought an external drive for peace of mind. And I get 2x more storage than what I was planning (64gb -> 128gb) which is nice :slight_smile:
Thank you for your help with this. Excited to see Zorin OS!

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Save all your personal files to a separate external drive (USB thumb drive) formatted as NTFS. They're cheap, so get two or three and sync them for backup purposes using rsync and Grsync (the rsync GUI).

If some catastrophic event occurs where you have to bail quickly, you can grab that drive and run, and you'll still have all your important files which can be read by Mac, Windows or Linux.

If your Linux (or your Windows) crashes, you've still got those files.

Never mix your files and OS files. I've gone so far as to bind-mount the built-in Documents / Music / Pictures / Videos local directories so they're all on external drives.


Update: I DID IT! SUCCESS!!!!
Loving it so far :smiley:

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