How To Partition Your Hard Drive In Windows 7

Posted on June 9, 2010

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Partitioning basically means “splitting” or “grouping” or “separating”. When you partition your hard drive, you are breaking your hard drive into separate, differently sized chunks that the system sees as separate hard drives, even though they aren’t. So, how do you partition you hard drive? Well, if you are running Windows XP or below, you will have to install third-party software to do it, but if you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, then you’re in luck! There is actually a built-in partitioning service in Vista and 7, and in this article I will show you how to access the service, and how to use it to partition your drive.

The first thing that you want to to is go to your start menu and go to the control panel, then in the control panel’s search bar (located in the top right-hand corner) type “partition” and you will see this result appear:

Click on it, and the partitioner will appear.  Don’t be confused by the look of it. It’s actually really simple if you know what you’re doing. Basically, in the first pane it has a list of all your drives (including CD and DVD drives, but disregard those for now). Pick which one you want to partition, right-click on it, and select “shrink partition” in the drop-down box. Doing that will bring up this window:

Now, the top box shows the total size of your hard drive in MB (megabytes), not GB (gigabytes). To convert Megabytes to Gigabytes, just divide the number in Megabytes by 1024. This is because there are 1024 Megabytes in a Gigabyte, not 1000 like some people believe. So, you want to focus your attention on the white box, which is basically how big your partition is going to be. I picked 102400 MB for mine, because 100 GB is a nice, even number. But you’re free to choose whatever size you want. Once you’re done, hit Shrink.

When it’s done shrinking, you should see some space in the bottom pane (labeled disk 0″ that says “unallocated”. This is the (soon to be) new partition. Now, to format it and make it usable, right-click on the Unallocated space and select “new simple volume”. It will then open up a wizard, which will guide you through the rest of the process.

Once the wizard is over, you are done! You have successfully created a new partition! Congrats!

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Posted in: How To, Microsoft, Windows