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Quick Tip: Create a new partition with Windows 7 tool

Use the Disk Management Tool in Microsoft Windows 7 to add a partition to a hard disk volume so you can create a new logical drive.

In a previous blog post, I described how to use the Microsoft Windows 7 Disk Management tool to shrink an existing hard drive volume: "Quick Tip: Shrink a Hard Drive Volume in Windows 7." Once you have shrunk a volume, you can then establish a new partition on the newly empty space and create a new logical hard drive for your Windows operating system. Here are the steps to make that happen.

This blog post is also available as a TechRepublic Photo Gallery and TechRepublic download. The article was originally published in January 2011.

Disk Management

As in the previous post, the first step is to start the Windows 7 Disk Management tool with elevated administrative rights. Click the Start menu button and type diskmgmt.msc into the search box and then right-click the diskmgmt.msc entry to get to the Run as Administrator item in the context menu, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Open the Disk Management Tool with administrative rights.
Clicking Run as Administrator will load the Disk Management Tool, which will look something like Figure B. As you can see, we have some empty space to work with after shrinking the volume previously.

Figure B

There is empty space to fill.
Right-click on the empty area to get the context menu and then navigate to the New Simple Volume menu item, which will start the appropriate wizard (Figure C).

Figure C

Start the New Simple Volume Wizard.
Click Next on the Welcome screen (Figure D) to start the process.

Figure D

The Welcome screen starts the process.
You can take the empty space and divide it into several drives, but in our example, I am going to use the remaining space for the new simple volume (Figure E).

Figure E

Specify the volume size.
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On the next screen in the wizard you are asked to assign a drive letter or path to the new volume (Figure F). You have three choices:
  • Assign the following drive letter: Windows has suggested the next available drive letter. This is the default and will most often be the preferable choice.
  • Mount in the following empty NTFS folder: Instead of using a drive letter you can mount the drive to a folder. This essentially makes the drive look like and operate like a folder in Windows.
  • Do not assign a drive letter or drive path: You will have to assign a letter or path later in order to make the drive usable for storage.

We'll just stick with the default and make a new drive E.

Figure F

Assign a drive letter or drive path.
The screen in the wizard deals with formatting our new drive (Figure G). In general, you should choose to format this drive under the NTFS file system; however, you can also choose to use FAT32. The other default setting should not be used unless you know have a specific reason to change the allocation size.

You should give your new drive a label to help you distinguish the new drive from other drives on your system. A quick format will take less time, but it will not find and mark bad sectors on your drive that could cause problems later.

NTFS drives have built-in compression systems that are essentially seamless to users and can be a good choice if storage space is a premium.

Figure G

Set the formatting options.
The last screen in the wizard (Figure H) gives you a summary of your choices and the opportunity to step back and make changes. When you are satisfied with your choices, click the Finished button.

Figure H

Click Finish to create your drive.
When the formatting is complete, you will have a new drive visible to Windows 7 and ready to store your files (Figure I).

Figure I

A new drive is available.

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

29 comments
moiz_232@yahoo.com
moiz_232@yahoo.com

Hi,  i have tried to add more space to system partition due to storage problems and i shrinked 250GB from c:(which was my windows 7 OS) in which i had more than 150GB free. After this, i restarted the laptop and realized that OS is not working. It just keeps on blinking the cursor with blue color screen and keeps on restarting. I have tried everything, system repair, restore and even tried to restore the system to factory settings, but neither of the things worked. 

When I have tried to Install a new Windows7 through DVD, it's showing me only 15GB of space available and Drive C is Invisible. I lost 250GB of space. I don't know where it's hiding, hence  I am not even able to Install new OS.Please help me in fixing this issue. Thanks in advice.

moiz_232@yahoo.com
moiz_232@yahoo.com

HI,

My OS is not starting after shrinking my Drive C through Disk Management. It keeps on restarting and a cursor is blinking, but it's not starting. Any help will be appreciated..

junk4dimeji
junk4dimeji

Greetings, I am currently running WIN 7 on a 64bit system. I want to create a partition but the problem is that i don't have "unallocated space". What can I do?

Treybeau
Treybeau

If so, is it also done through the wizard?

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

Open the Disk Management window. Although typing diskmgmt.msc into the search box works, that's too much effort for lazy me. I prefer to right-click Computer (the old My Computer icon) and then click on Manage to get to Disk Management. With the Disk Management window active, the Action menu, or a right-click on Disk Management in the tree, will allow you to Create or Attach a VHD. Once the VHD is initialized or attached, you can create and format volumes within it as if it were a physical disk. When formatted and assigned a drive letter, the volumes in the VHD are available for use. The ability to work with VHDs is in the Win7 applet but not in XP.

sd.schiller
sd.schiller

I am an XP die hard, also not an expert - probably middle of the road. Can I use this with XP?

alking46
alking46

Does this work with W7 Home?

kingsley.lomotey
kingsley.lomotey

You have been helpful in my carrer. I have spoken to hundred of people about Tech replic and i am on it. until every IT student in my country and any other person get hold of it.

fix iphone
fix iphone

Before I have no knowledge about this partition thing but thanks for you that you were to share your personal experience and learnings for this matter. It's a very big help for me.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

The limit of four primary partitions on a hard drive has carried forward from the early days of DOS. The way around it is to use only three primaries and then create an extended partition to hold logical drives. The extended partition is the fourth primary. Under DOS and early versions of Windows, only primary partitions were bootable. Linux doesn't care, and newer versions of Windows are more flexible as to where the boot code appears. Nevertheless, when Windows does the partitioning, it still enforces the old rules.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

If your current programs and data do not fill the existing partition(s), you can go to Disk Management and do a Shrink Volume to create the unallocated space for a new partition. If you have a small hard disk that is pretty much full, your can buy a larger disk, copy over the existing partitions, then create your new partition(s) in the added space. Whenever you install a new disk, you also have the opportunity to re-install the operating system. It takes more time, and you have to re-install your applications and copy your data, but doing so gets rid of the debris that gradually accumulates in even the best maintained computers.

lesaus1
lesaus1

Thanks so much for the link to Partition Magic Windows 7.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

The DiskManager applet in XP is limited in capability compared with the applet in Win7. It will, however, safely create, delete, and format partitions. It also has some smarts. Let's say your XP is in partition 2 with the manufacturer's recovery tools in partition 1. If you use DiskManager to delete partition 1, DiskManager will automatically modify boot.ini to keep your system bootable.

Dogcatcher
Dogcatcher

As far as I can determine, the same functionality is included in Windows Home Premium.

Conselyle
Conselyle

if you only create partitions, just use windows native partition management feature: open management under my computer, and enter disk management, start to create partitons if you wanna create partitions and encrease or shrink some partitions, ok, third party partition management software can do this, just like partition master (http://www.partition-tool.com)

david
david

... install Linux, preferably *buntu; whatever flavour you like. There's nothing like having plenty of choice. And yes, keeping data on a separate partition is always the best approach; Linux does this very well of course...

toreador
toreador

Use the new partition for your data, your music files and pictures. I partition all PC's and servers at home and in the office with E: (Data) partitions. I map the 'my documents' folders to the data partition, map iTunes there, force all Office applications to automatically save there including Outlook pst files. If a user totally whacks out their operating system or it gets too bloated and slow and I am forced to reinstall the OS, they don't lose any data if they follow instructions on where to save data. Why would someone keep all of their data on the system partition is a better question?

jrhengst
jrhengst

I shrunk partition C and now have this unassigned partition available. I want to Extend the Recovery partition using this newly freed-up space, but upon right-buttoning the Recovery drive, the "Extend" option is greyed-out. How can I extend my recovery partition? Thanks.

ron-beauchemin
ron-beauchemin

Is it safe to assume that the disk management applet still does not have the ability to shrink and move a partiiton like Acronis Disk Director Suite has and Partition Magic had (before Symantec killed the proudct).

max.sherman
max.sherman

Previously I would SUBST (old PCs) to create a static drive V for my software. On newer PCs I would add V into drive D as as a shared drive with this "alternative name" and it would then show up as V under my networks. Now I am able to have a static partition for my development work, albeit still have to resort to the above on the various PCs on which it is used. QUESTION: Should I be worried about the warning that comes up saying I can only boot from my current boot drive? Thanks Max

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

the recovery partition contains the correct amount of space for the recovery files it's not supposed to be used for anything else

ffulton
ffulton

Since Partition Magic was killed off, I started using Bootit NG by TeraByte Unlimited they also make excellent Disk/Drive Imaging Tools.

jacobus57
jacobus57

For those who were not familiar with this tool, please know that Windows included this feature from 2000 forward. Familiarity Disk Management is essential for anyone who dares call themselves a computer tech. It doesn't do everything, but it is a very powerful tool.

Jeremy Barker
Jeremy Barker

The recovery partition does not have data added to it. You can turn off the partition full messages. The reason why you could not extend it is that you can only extend the partition upwards (to the right on the Disk Management display).

jrhengst
jrhengst

Because this recovery drive keeps alerting us to the fact that it is FULL and thus cannot save further data.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

to do a partition resize in win2K and XP you had to first backup any data you wanted to keep then delete the partition and start over from scratch if this meant the C:\ was deleted you were either faced with a complete OS & programs re-install or hopefully yer backup solution could restore to a dissimilar partition size as of win vista / 7 you can do a Hot Re-size even to the C:\