How to Partition a Laptop Hard Drive


Due to advances in technology, hard drives have increased in capacity considerably. Even laptop hard drive now come with at least 120GB of storage - a 100% increase over a few years ago. This makes it easier for people to use their computer in different ways. For example, by partitioning a drive, a user can have multiple operating systems on the same computer. Different drive partitions can also be used as a form of file organization keeping your important files separate or even hidden from files of everyday use. This article will tell you how to partition a laptop hard drive.

  • If you are partitioning a new drive, skip to step two. If partitioning a drive you currently use, you will first have to format the drive. Backup all your important files to an external drive or CD/DVD and use a format utility like FDISK to format the drive.

  • Decide how you want to organize your laptop hard drive. A typical hard drive has two partitions, one for the operating system and one for other programs and folders. If you want to run more than one operating system, you will need a partition for each one.

  • Run the partition software of your choice and follow the directions to setup your partitions. Your operating system disk may contain disk partitioning software. Check the help section of your operating system manual for disk partition utility. If using Windows Vista, you can manage and create disk partitions under Disk Management under System and Maintenance in the Control Panel.

  • Partitioning your laptop hard drive will assign a new drive letter to each partition. If you have multiple operating systems, you will be asked which drive to use on booting your computer. Select the letter with operating system you wish to boot.

  • When saving files in the future, you will have to tell programs which drive letter you are using for general storage so they do not save to the C: partition by default.

Tips & Warnings

  • Multiple partitions are also an added form of security. If your drive is affected by malware, it will be likely be contained to one partition and you will only have to fix or recover that partition.
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