How to Create a Disk Partition in Windows Vista/7

With so much of our lives stored on hard drives these days, the backing up of information has become a necessity for all computer users. Anyone who has experienced the heartbreaking moment of hearing clicks and whirrs from their desktop or laptop, knowing that all of their important files are fizzling into dust, will tell you that you can never be too careful.

Although USB flash drives, external hard drives and cloud storage spaces such as Dropbox are all excellent ways to backup data, many users opt to take further precaution by simply creating a new partition (or volume) on the hard disk drive. Please note that this practice is not a substitute for regularly backing up data by external means, however it is convenient to have a second volume there for when you need it. Should you need to re-install the computer’s operating system for example, you could lose files that are stored on the same volume. By following these steps you can help to safeguard your work and personal information, dealing with the issue before it arises.

So, lets get started.

To perform this operation, you need to get to the ‘Disk Management’ console. Go to the ‘Start’ menu and right-click on ‘Computer’, then select ‘Manage’.

The ‘Computer Management’ window will pop-up assuming that you have ‘administrative rights’ for the system. If not, you won’t be able to create a partition. This problem is only likely to occur if you’re logged in to a secondary account or attempting to edit the drive of a network computer without permission. Choose the ‘Storage’ menu and click on ‘Disk Management’ to open the window you need.

Note: The C: drive is the computer’s hard drive. If you’re uncomfortable diving straight in and would like to run through this process on an external E: drive first then feel free to do so.

Right-click on the drive you wish to use, in this instance the C: drive, and in the pop-up dialog select ‘Shrink Volume’. This will free up the space needed to accommodate the new volume. Your system will check to see how much space is available, which may take a few minutes. Once this is done, a new window will appear entitled ‘Shrink C:’.

This window shows the total size of the drive, how much of it is available and how large the drive will be after the shrink operation. Enter your desired size for the new volume in megabytes, then click ‘Shrink’.

Once this is done, you’ll see a section of ‘Unallocated’ space a black bar above it. Right-click on this section and choose ‘New Simple Volume’. A wizard window will guide you through the rest of the process. Assign a letter to the drive and format the volume with the default settings, then click ‘Finish’ and you’re done.

Go to ‘My Computer’ and you’ll see that your new drive is ready to use.

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