Want to reinstall into smaller partition


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Dell XPS i7 16GB, 1TB HDD

I have been trying (for way too long now) to shrink the existing OS partition to approx 100GB (more on this later) and have decided to stop beating my head against a wall. No matter what options I choose, it just will not shrink to less than 600+GB.

So I now want to reinstall Win 10 on my HDD, put the OS in one partition, and use the balance for win data files and linux data files (each of these two in their own partitions). Linux will be on a separate SSD and I want to dual boot.

When I do a clean reinstall, will I have an option in that process to make a partition for Win 10 OS (and the two data partitions), or should I reformat the HDD and make the three partitions first and install into one of them (presumably the first?)? If the latter, what software is best for this partitioning?

I do not plan to use Win 10 much but want to keep it alive and there for when I do want it. Given that the Win OS and Win data will reside on two different partitions, how much room do I need for the OS?

any other observations/guidance welcomed.
 
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You can partition the hdd during the Windows installation. When it comes to the screen "Which type of installation do you want", choose "Custom: Install Windows only (advanced). The next screen will be "Where do you want to install Windows". There you can set up your partitions. I'd give it at least 50-60 gb. Those with inexpensive laptops with 32 gb emmc storage have issues with not having enough disc space for Windows updates.
 
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My ASUS Desktop of 2 years ago came with the 1TB drive having a 150GB OS partition [second] and 780GB Data partition [fourth] with, of course, the Windows created hidden/unlettered partitions of 100MB [first] and 500MB [third].
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If desiring a fully clean start I boot to a GPARTED LiveCD to wipe all partitions. Your Linux may have the program and you may be able to boot into Linux to do it but booting to a Linux LiveDVD should give the same.
 
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Sure don't understand why Windows creates all those big partitions, but it raises the question of how much of that is needed. More importantly if I try to make a 50-60GB Windows partition as (fellow) bigfeet suggests, is it going to have its way with the rest of that 1T and make another bunch of mysterious partitions

And does this guide to use gparted to keep it from happening?
 
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Those are not "big" partitions at 100MB MegaByte and 500MB MegaByte, haven't used hard drives that small since back in MS-DOS 5 and Windows 3.11 days.
1000MB = 1GB 1000GB = 1TB [approximations]

Installing Windows as you desire may leave an unallocated space which can be partitioned and formatted in Disk Management after Windows is running as Drive D:, the OS will usually be Drive C:. Every hard drive HDD [and SSD] needs at least one partition to be usable.
 
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Bighorn, good point. So if I make a 60GB for Windows to install in, whatever additional partitions for itself it makes will be within the 60GB?
 
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OK, I am in the install (from USB) and it is showing me the 5 partitions. Do I just delete all 5 of them, then carve up the resulting 1T unallocated into the 3 partitions I need? (I ask cause I don't want to delete something I shouldn't)
 
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Did you back up or copy your data first, anything that exists nowhere else that will be permanently lost? If so you can let Windows do its thing to clean install and I'd use a minimum 150GB or maybe 250GB for C:, let Windows create the small partitions then work with what is left after Windows is running.
 
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Thanks for that reminder and yes I have backed up. Before seeing your recommendation for the size, I went ahead and started the USB install and have got this far:

Disk O, part 1 /499MB/482/ Recovery

Disk O, part 2 / 100MB/95/ System

Disk O, part 3 /883MB/459/ MSR (Reserved)

Disk O, part 4 /58GB/58GB/ Primary (I intend for this to become the Windows OS partition)

Disk O, part 5 /166GB/166GB/ Primary (this will become the Windows data partition, I hope)*

Disk 0 Unallocated / 706.9GB/706.9GB (this will become the linux data partition, I hope)*

* If memory serves, only 3 primary partitions are allowed. If correct, do I need to change anything so that I can use the unallocated later for another partition (for linux data)? And if so, what please?
 
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The 58GB will serve adequately for the OS/boot drive. Depending upon what you do, what you store the 166GB partition may need more room if installing Windows-based/third-party programs choosing Custom to do so. I'd make the partitions half of 166GB plus the 706GB [or 436GB each] and put Linux on that last half. But then I'm running Linux Mint on a Desktop and a Notebook with only 500GB drives.
 
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Bighorn, thanks. Do I understand that any apps I now install can use the 166GB partition? how do I make this happen?
 
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The initial install routine may show a Custom or a dialog box where the drive/partition to be used can be specified.
 
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This has been a very informative thread and I thank the contributors.

To avoid highjacking, I am going to initiate a related discussion in another thread. "Secondary HD or no".
 

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