Check it out. I've got an an old hard drive sitting around and I want to use it for school. Need to install fedora on it. I don't want to do a complete reformat of the drive but it's currently full and I need to make space for fedora. Now the drive used to have windows 7 on it and it's being funny about deleting alot of the old windows crap. I'm currently using the drive as secondary storage and I'd like to continue doing that at least in some fashion. So what I want to know is, is it possible to partially format a hard drive? Removing some of the content without erasing everything? And if not how do I get permission to delete alot of this windows crap?
You could shrink down you existing partition and then create a second partition with the space you freed up. This can all be done through a disk management utility. Depending on how your OS stores information you may have to run a defrag to compress your existing data so it clumps everything together better on the platter.
Once you create the second partition you can most definitely format it however you like .
Perhaps loading it as a second drive and booting from a linux may let you delete all the windows stuff. Never tired something like that myself though so not sure if it would work.
Besides the options above, your other choice would be to just delete what you don't want. Or if have have the room (or know some one with an external with the room) copy the files from your HD to the 2nd one (expect for windows if you want to get rid of it) and format it, then copy back.