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How to Create a New Hard Drive Partition: Windows 8

Posted on: December 12, 2013

How to Create a New Hard Drive Partition: Windows 8

Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that different file systems can be used on each partition

HDD Partition

Benefits of having multiple Partitions:

Creating more than one partition has the following advantages:

  • Separation of the operating system (OS) and program files from user files. This allows image backups (or clones) to be made of only the operating system and installed software.
  • Keeping frequently used programs and data near each other.
  • Having cache and log files separate from other files. These can change size dynamically and rapidly, potentially making a file system full.
  • Use of multi-boot setups, which allow users to have more than one operating system on a single computer. For example, one could install Linux, BSDMac OS XMicrosoft Windows or other operating systems on different partitions on the same HDD and have a choice of booting into any compatible operating system at power-up.
  • Protecting or isolating files, to make it easier to recover a corrupted file system or operating system installation. If one partition is corrupted, other file systems may not be affected.
  • Raising overall computer performance on systems where smaller file systems are more efficient. For instance, large HDDs with only one NTFS file system typically have a very large sequentially accessed Master File Table (MFT) and it generally takes more time to read this MFT than the smaller MFTs of smaller partitions.
  • Partitioning for significantly less than the full size available when disk space is not needed can reduce the time for diagnostic tools such as checkdisk to run or for full image backups to run.
Disadvantages of multiple partitions:
  • Reduces the total space available for user storage on the disk, as it forces the operating system to duplicate certain file system administration areas on the disk for each partition.
  • Reduces overall disk performance on systems where data is accessed regularly and in parallel on multiple partitions, because it forces the disk’s read/write head to move back and forth on the disk to access data on each partition and to maintain and update file system administration areas on each partition. It also prevents disk optimizers from moving all frequently accessed files closer to each other on the disk, which could reduce the number and distance of required head movements. Files can still be moved closer to each other on each partition, but those areas themselves will still be far apart on the disk. This issue does not apply to Solid-state drives as access times on those are neither affected by nor dependent upon relative sector positions.
  • Increases disk fragmentation because it lowers the average size of continuous free blocks on each partition – as compared to a single partition of the same overall size – after the same amount of data has been written to them.
  • May prevent using the whole disk capacity, because it may break free capacities apart. For example, if you have a disk with two partitions, each with 3 GB free (hence 6 GB in total), you can’t copy a 4 GB DVD image file on that disk, because none of the partitions will actually provide enough space for that – even though you have more than enough free capacity in total on the disk. If the same files on those two partitions would have been stored on a single partition spanning the whole disk, then the 4 GB file could be easily stored in the 6 GB of free space.
  • Hurts portability and might impose constraints on how entities might be linked together inside the file system.

Creating a Partition on Windows 8:

Hold the Windows logo key on your keyboard and press “R” (Winkey+R). This will launch the Run the utility. Type “diskmgmt.msc” inside the text box and press Enter. This will open the Windows Disk Management utility. This is where you can format, create, and delete hard drive partitions.

1In order to create a partition, you need unallocated space. Unallocated space is basically disk space that is not formatted or not prepared for storage. Formatting is the act of preparing a disk space for storage. It’s similar to establishing a foundation for a place to be inhabited. Thus, unallocated space is just useless blank space with no “foundation” or format.

To create unallocated space, you need to shrink your hard drive. When you shrink your hard disk, the remaining space becomes unallocated.

To do this, right-click your main drive and select “Shrink Volume.”

2

Now you need to enter the amount you want to shrink the hard disk by in megabytes (1000 megabytes = 1 gigabyte). For example if you want to create a 1 gigabyte partition, enter 1,000 megabytes in the text box. Now click “Shrink.”

The Disk Management Utility will show you the maximum amount of shrink space available. That’s the maximum size that can be allocated to the new partition.

3

You will then see the region of unallocated space (shaded black). Please note that  this space is not yet usable

4

Now you need to create “new volume” and format  the unallocated space. This will allow for the space to become usable.

Right-click the region of unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume.”

5

This will launch the New Simple Volume Wizard. This will guide you through the installation process.

6

Assign the disk a drive letter. You can choose any drive letter that is not currently in use.

7

Select a file system for the disk. The file system is basically the type of format or “foundation” the storage device has. If you plan on installing a Windows OS to the partition select the “NTFS” file system.

8

Name the partition in the “Volume Label” text box.  You can choose any name for your partition.

Now click “Finish” to create the new partition.

9

Source: Wikipedia, technorms

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