Partitioning Your Hard Drive in Windows 8

Disk Partitioning is the act of separating a hard drive into different storage units. Partitioning divides your hard drive into “miniature hard drives,” so to speak. Each storage unit is known as a partition or volume. Partitioning is a very useful feature because it significantly extends the functionality of your hard drive.

For example, by partitioning your hard drive, you can dual boot multiple operating systems simultaneously (e.g. Windows 8 and Linux).  Fortunately partitioning your hard drive in Windows 8 is very easy.

Right-click the bottom-right corner of the screen and select “Disk Management.” Disk Management is a built-in utility in Windows that lets you configure and partition your hard drive.

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To create a new partition, you must have unallocated (unformatted) space. You can do this by shrinking the size of your main partition.

Right-click your main partition and select “Shrink Volume.” Windows will then scan the hard drive for available space to shrink.

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Enter the amount you want to shrink in megabytes (e.g. 1 Gigabyte = 1000 megabytes).  For example, if you want to shrink the hard drive storage by 1 gigabyte, enter 1000 megabytes.

After you have entered the amount you want to shrink the hard drive storage by, click “Shrink.” This creates unallocated space.

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To create a new partition, right click the region of unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume.” The unallocated space region is shaded black (see the image below).

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Verify the simple volume size and click “Next.” Assign the Drive and letter and click “Next.”

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Select “NTFS” as the file system. If you are going to use that partition to install another version of Windows, it is best to choose NTFS. Select FAT32 if you are going to use for storage or to install Linux. Click “Next” to continue.

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Click “Finish” to create a new volume. During this process, Windows formats the unallocated space to create a new volume or partition.

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If you access the drives folder, you should see the new partition that you have created.

Partitioning your hard drive - create new drive

There are plenty of benefits for partition your hard disk. While some people use it to install different operating system, others use it to backup their files. When you create a system backup for your computer, you can also save it to this partition instead of an external hard drive. Is it necessary? The answer is No, but it can really useful to have (at least) two partitions in a single hard drive.

What are your thoughts on partitioning your hard drive? Chime in in the comments below and let us know what you think.