How to (and why) partition the hard drive on your Windows computer

How to (and why) partition the hard drive on your Windows computer

Several computer users have only one physical hard drive with a single partition on their PC’s. Very few people are aware that you can create multiple partitions on a single drive in your computer and there are several advantages of doing this. For example, your important files are less likely to get lost or ruined in case your computer crashes or if your hard disk is compromised for some reason or another.

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Partitioning a drive is simply telling your computer to split the total storage of a hard drive into different pieces known as partitions. Once the partitions are created, your computer treats each of them as separate drives.

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To check the partitions on your computer, open the “My Computer” or the “This PC” window. In the devices and drives section, you will find all the drives on your Computer. Most computers come with a single partition already set up usually labelled “C:”. If your Computer only has one single partition, the following reasons are why you should consider partitioning your hard drive.


It’s easier to organize your data

Organizing data on your Computer is much easier when you have multiple partitions especially if you have a large hard disk drive. For instance you can reserve drive C: for the operating system, programs and apps while another, let’s say D: can be used to store your music, videos and other media.

In case your Computer crashes, your data is less likely to be affected

Your Computer can crash as a result of a virus attack, hardware failure or for some other reason. When this happens, you may lose all your data. Having at least two partitions – one for the system and the other for your personal data means that your personal data is unharmed whenever you are forced to reinstall the operating system.

You can try out multiple Operating Systems on the same PC

Partitioning your hard disk lets you try out other operating systems like Linux, for example. Normally, two operating systems cannot coexist on a single partition without messing with each others system files.

It’s easier to Back up your files

Backing up your entire computer can take a very long time. If you have multiple partitions, you can choose to back up only certain portions of your hard drive that contain your important files instead of having to back up everything you have ever downloaded and installed as well.


Note: This only applies to Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10. If you are using still using windows XP or any other archaic version of windows you’ll need a more powerful partitioning software than Microsoft’s Disk Management tool.

STEP 1. You’ll need to open Disk Management, the tool included in Windows that lets you partition drives, among other things. To do this Open the Start Menu > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Computer Management. In the left pane, under Storage, click Disk Management.

Alternatively, you can open Disk Management by pressing the windows key + R then type “diskmgmt.msc” into the Run box, and press Enter.


Step 2. Once you have opened the Disk Management tool. Right click on the C: drive in “Disk Management,” and click “Shrink Volume”.

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STEP 3. Enter the size you want the new partition to be then click “Shrink”. This will create a new partition from the shrunk space.

STEP 4. Right-click on the new partition you have just created and click “New Simple Volume”. Here you can specify the size of the new partition and assign a drive letter to it.

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Specifying the size of the new partition

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Assigning a drive letter to the new partition

STEP 5:Once you are done doing this, click “Next,” then “Finish” and you are done. Congratulations, you have successfully partitioned your hard drive.

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Related Article: 5 Essential tips to free up space on your Windows Computer

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  • Brian

    I had Beyonce’s Partition playing in my head when i read this -_-

    • I like your sense of humor ☺. Anyway, I’m hoping your Hard Drive is partitioned by now