There are many reasons why you would want to partition your computer’s hard drive. The most common reason is to safeguard your files in case your PC fails to boot up for one reason or the other. In which case, it might require a clean install of the operating system and a possible partitioning of the partition where the OS boots from.
Fortunately, with the latest Windows versions, partitioning hard disks have become a simple and quick thing to do. Simply follow the steps given below to partition your hard disk.
Windows Disk Management
This option is the simplest way to partition a hard disk. Windows’ built-in Disk Management tool, Disk Management is perfectly capable of getting the job done fast. Though there are other third-party apps with a bit more extra set of features, at the end of the day, you just want the hard disk to be partitioned.
The step described below is particularly for Windows 10, but they are still applicable if you are using Windows 7, or 8.1.
#1 – Open the Windows search box and type in ‘Disk management’ and click on Create and format hard disk partitions’ from the results returned. You could also use the Windows ‘power user’ tool (by pressing Start + X) and then selecting ‘Disk management.’
#2 – Next, you will be presented with a list of hard drive available on your PC. Select the one that you would like to partition. If the drive is new, you should skip to Step 4 below. But if it is an already existing drive with files, folders and maybe the OS already stored therein. You will have to create an unallocated space before you can proceed to do the partitioning. You will need to right click on the hard disk and select ‘shrink volume’ from the drop-down menu that will pop up.
#3 – The PC will then embark on calculating just how much free space can be allocated to the new partition. Once it has completed the calculations, it will ask how much space you would like to use. Should you want to use all the available free space on the hard disk, just click on ‘Shrink’ button. Otherwise, specify just how much size you would like to use (in megabytes) before clicking on the ‘Shrink’ button.
The process of shrinking your new hard drive partition can run for up to a minute depending on the speed of the drive itself. When it is completed, you will see a new ‘unallocated’ space next to the corresponding physical drive at the bottom-half of the Disk Management screen.
#4 – Now, right click on the new ‘Unallocated’ space and then select ‘New Simple Volume’ from the resulting menu.
#5 – From here, all you have to do is follow the on-screen instructions and then select the size of the volume. The default setting will utilize all the unallocated space. You will also need to give the drive a letter.
#6 – As a rule of thumb, always format both new and old drives when you’re creating a new partition. When the option for formatting comes up, for‘file system’ select ‘NTFS.’ The other option for ‘exFAT’ is commonly used for portable devices.
#7 – You will have to click through the ‘Next’ buttons until you finaly reach ‘Finish’ at which point a new volume will have been created. At this stage, your hard drive will have a new partition, complete with its own designation. It will also appear under the Disk Management page.