Disk drives are becoming increasingly larger as
the need to store more data increases. While the
larger the drive, the better is probably a good
maxim, it does have its own setbacks. One such
setback is that, the larger the drive, the easier it
is for the data to get fragmented: that is, of
course, assuming you are only storing small amounts
of data on a single drive; larger amounts will, of
course, take up more room thus reducing the
available free space.
Large drives also take much longer to defragment,
check for viruses, spyware, malware and general
maintenance. By physically partitioning a hard drive
you are not only creating separate rooms for your
data, you are also making it easier and quicker to
maintain. After all, you wouldn't live in a house
with just one massive room, would you? So why have
one huge partition on your hard drive when you can
have a number of smaller, easier to manage
The Windows operating system comes with its own
partitioning software; however, to be candid, it
isn't always ideal as it will not perform the same
type of tasks that most third party application
would, but it does what it is supposed to do and
that is partition your hard drive. If you are
planning on moving, merging, or undeleting, a
partition then it would be far better to get a third
party partitioning application because the one
supplied with the Windows operating system either
doesn't perform the task as well or simply doesn't
perform the task at all.
Creating a partition is quite easy; however there
are a few rules that you need to stick to. To begin
with there are five partition categories:
- Unallocated - Colour Code: Black
- Primary - Colour Code: Dark Blue
- Extended - Colour Code: Dark Green
- Free Space - Colour Code: Light Green
- Logical - Colour Code: Light Blue
Unallocated refers to space that has not,
currently, been turned into a partition. It is
simply blank. Therefore, if your drive contains no
partitions, the Windows Disk Management graphical
interface will show that the space is unallocated.
The hard drive can contain a maximum of four
Primary partitions. If you already have, say, three
(3) partitions and you don't want to allocate all of
the remaining unallocated space to a partition, the
new, fourth (4th) partition becomes and Extended
partition. The Extended partition then allows you to
create any amount, up to the maximum number of
available drive letters, of Logical partitions.
An Extended partition is a partition which can be
sub-divided into a number of Logical partitions. The
Extended partition itself is not formatted and isn't
assigned a drive letter.
If you have, say, a 500GB partition and you
reduce this to, say, 250GB the remainder of the hard
drive (250GB) will be classified as Free Space. Free
space is the amount of space left on the drive after
a partition has been created.
Logical drives are created within an Extended
partition. There are no restrictions, other than the
amount of available drive letters, as to how many
Logical drives the Extended partition can hold.
To partition your hard drive proceed as follows:
- Click the Windows Start button.
- On the Right of the Start Menu, Click
- In Control Panel, Click Administrative
Fig: 4-1 In Control
Panel, click the Administrative Tools option
- In the Administrative Tools window, Click on
the Computer Management option.
Fig: 4-2 To access the
Computer management window, click the computer
- In the Computer Management window, Click on
the Disk Management option in the left hand
Fig: 4-3 You access Disk
management by clicking its option in the left
hand pane of the Computer management window
- A new window will now appear (see Fig: 5-4)
Fig: 4-4 The Disk
management window displays a list and a
graphical display of your hard drive partitions
- Right click on the unallocated space or Free
Space section of the partition display and, from
the drop down menu, select New Simple Volume.
(See Fig: 4-5)
Fig: 4-5 Select the New
Simple Volume to create a partition
- The new Simple Volume Wizard will now
Fig: 4-6 Click the Next
button to start the wizard
- Press the Next button to start the wizard.
- In the next window type in the size of the
partition you desire. In our example we are
going to create a 100GB partition so we type:
100000 into the Simple Volume size in MB box.
Fig: 4-7 Type in the
desired size (in Megabytes) for your partition
- When you have type in the desired size of
your partition, Press the Next button.
Fig: 4-8 Windows
automatically assigns a drive letter
- Windows will automatically assign a drive
letter to this new partition. You can, if you
wish, change the drive letter by pressing the
down arrow next to the Assign the following
drive letter option. Once the drive letter has
been assign, press the Next button.
Fig: 4-9 Give your new
partition a name
- The next screen shows the format option. The
default is NTFS. You should stick with this
unless there is an obvious need to change it.
You are also able to give your new partition a
name by typing the desired name into the Volume
Label dialogue box. After you have typed in the
volume name, Click the Next button.
Fig: 4-10 Check the
summary of settings before continuing
- You are now presented with a summary of
settings you have chosen for your new partition.
Check that these are correct and then press the
Next button. If they are not correct, click the
back button until you come to the screen that
Fig: 4-11 Your Partition
has now been completed and is ready for use
- The wizard will then begin to format your
hard drive. Once completed the partition should
display the Volume name along with Healthy
Primary or Healthy Logical.
- Your partition is now complete and ready for