How to Create a Partition Without Reformatting a Drive


Creating multiple hard drive partitions on your computer provides several advantages. A partition essentially sections off parts of your hard drive to compartmentalize data. Partitioned hard drives can run faster and more efficiently as your hard drive has to search less space to find and execute a program. Hard drives with multiple partitions are also less prone to crashing and can be more effective overall. Partitioning also limits the damage you can receive from malware as your data is separated and harder to access by programs intent on harming your system.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows installation CD

Adding Partitions in Windows XP

  • Place your Windows installation CD in your CD-ROM tray and restart your computer. This loads the Windows setup program, which allows you to create partitions.

  • Press “Enter” at the setup screen, and then thoroughly read the licensing agreement.

  • Press “F8” to accept the licensing agreement. You now see a screen asking if you want to repair Windows. Press “Esc” to bypass this procedure and proceed to creating a partition.

  • You now see a list of your current partitions. Select the hard drive you wish to partition, and press “C” to create a new partition. Wait a few minutes for Windows to complete the partitioning. You are prompted to restart your computer.

  • Remove the Windows installation CD from your CD tray and restart your computer. You have now successfully completed adding a new partition.

Creating a Partition in Windows Vista

  • Right-click on the "My Computer" icon and select the option labeled "Manage."

  • Select the option named "Disk Management." You now see a list of available drives. Select the drive you wish to partition and choose "New Simple Volume." This opens up a partitioning options screen, where you see options for the size of the partition you would like to create.

  • Choose the size of your new partition and click "Next."

  • Assign your new partition a drive name and click the "Next" button.

  • Select the option that says "Do not format the volume" and click the "Next" button. You have now created a partition in Windows Vista without formatting your drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult your hard drive's instruction manual and make sure it is capable of multiple partitions before attempting to create a new partition.

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