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How to Partition a Hard Drive

Partition your hard drive for special needs

How to Partition a Hard Drive
Hard disks can be partitioned to run separate operating systems on the same disk, or to break down a disk into manageable chunks for storage. Partitioning is performed on a new or reformatted disk. These instructions describe using FDISK for PCs using Windows XP or later.

Things You'll Need:

  • Partitioning Software
  • Hard Disks
  • Drive Management Software

  1. Start the computer in Command Prompt Mode.

  2. Type "FDISK." The partition window will appear with menu options.

  3. Enter 5 if you're partitioning a second drive, and select the drive; otherwise, skip to the next step.

  4. Enter 1 (Create DOS Partition or Logical DOS Drive).

  5. Enter 2 (Create Extended DOS) to create a partition.

  6. Enter N when the program asks if you want to use the maximum available size.

  7. Designate the amount of disk space to allocate to the second partition (the partition will be assigned the next drive letter).

  8. Type a name for the new partition and press Enter. The partition menu will appear.

  9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 to create additional partitions.

  10. Press Esc to exit the partition command.

  11. Format the newly created partitions .

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to allocate ample disk space (about 20 GB) on the C drive to hold Windows software and temp files created by other software programs.
  • Commercial products, such as Partition Magic, make hard disk partitioning much easier.
  • The FDISK procedure deletes all files on the hard disk. This action is not reversible. Be sure to back up any files you want to keep.
  • If the disk capacity displayed in the FDISK menu doesn't match your hard drive, then your system doesn't support larger disk drives. Use disk management software, such as Disk Manager or EZ-Drive, to provide support for larger drives.

How to Merge a Disk Partition

Merge multiple disk partitions using partition-management software.
Merge multiple disk partitions using partition-management software.
hard drive interior image by Curtis Sorrentino from Fotolia.com

Partitions divide a single hard drive into multiple virtual drives. Multiple partitions let you install multiple operating systems or better organize files on a single hard drive. You can merge multiple partitions using partition-management software.


  1. Partition-management programs such as Paragon Partition Manager, Easeus Partition Manager and Acronis Disk Director will merge disk partitions. These programs let you merge two or more partitions without reformatting the hard drive. Partitioning programs use nondestructive methods for merging partitions so that you will not lose the data contained in each partition.
  2. Benefits

  3. You can merge partitions to increase available system space when one partition is full. For example, if you store your operating system on one partition and your programs and files on a second, and the first partition is full, you can merge the two partitions to increase the disk space available to the operating system.
  4. Considerations

  5. Although partition-management programs preserve the data stored on each partition, you should still back up the data on each before merging the partitions in case an error occurs. For example, a power outage during the merger process could result in data loss on both partitions. Partition-management software also cannot merge partitions containing different operating system installations.

How to Restore a Deleted Partition With Norton Partition Magic.

Norton PartitionMagic is a hard disk utility developed by Symantec that allows you to manage and perform various operations to your hard disk partitions. Its main feature is its ability to resize a partition without affecting the partition's contents. Other features include the moving and merging of partitions and deletion of partitions you no longer need. If you unintentionally deleted a FAT, FAT32, NTFS or Linux formatted partition, it is possible to restore the partition along with any data in it.


  1. Launch PartitionMagic from the desktop by double-clicking its icon. If you cannot find the icon, find the program on the Start menu.

  2. Click the "Partition" menu item and choose "Undelete" to bring up a list of recoverable primary and logical partitions.

  3. Check the partition or partitions that you wish to recover by clicking on their corresponding check boxes. Click the "OK" button to begin the undelete process.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the undelete function is unavailable, you may have pending operations on the unallocated space. Discard these pending operations by going to the "General" menu and clicking "Discard all Changes."
  • If you wish to undelete multiple partitions, Symantec recommends that you recover one partition at a time to ensure its full integrity.
  • If you spot a recoverable partition and wish to undelete it, commence the operation right away because your chances of recovery decrease once you write new data to the hard drive or create a new partition before recovering the old one.
NOTE: It is also recommended that MiniTool Partition Wizard software can also be used

Category: Computer Zone | Views: 1034 | Added by: seniorkoa | Rating: 5.0/1
Total comments: 1
1 seniorkoa   (2011-06-04 10:07 AM) [Gurus Entry]
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