How to Create a Partition for Windows 7


By default, installing Windows 7 places the operating system on your primary hard drive. For those who do not wish to replace their existing operating system, however, a separate hard drive partition can be created. Though there are a number of third-party tools that can be used to resize existing partitions and create new ones, a new partition can also be created using tools that are already present in previous versions of Windows. Creating a partition for Windows 7 may take some time, depending on the desired size of the partition, but the steps involved in the creation process are relatively simple.

  • Open the "Start" menu by clicking the "Windows" button on the taskbar or pressing the "Windows" key on your keyboard. Click on the "Control Panel" item in order to open the Control Panel window.

  • Click the "System and Maintenance" heading in the Control Panel, then choose the "Administrative Tools" item. Double-click on the "Computer Management" listing in order to open the Computer Management window.

  • Select the "Disk Management" option that is listed under "Storage" in the navigation panel on the left side of the window.

  • Right-click on the partition that you want to shrink in order to create space for your Windows 7 partition. Select "Shrink Volume..." from the context menu that opens, then wait while Windows determines how much the partition can be reduced.

  • Enter the amount to which you would like to shrink the existing partition; the default value is the maximum amount (in megabytes, not gigabytes) by which it can be reduced, but you can change this if you would like to leave additional space on the partition.

  • Click the "Shrink" button, then wait while Windows adjusts the size of the existing partition.

  • Right-click on the unallocated space that was freed up by the change in partition size. Choose "New Simple Volume" from the context menu that opens in order to open the "New Simple Volume Wizard."

  • Click "Next" to advance the wizard. Enter the size of the new partition that you would like to create (again, in megabytes instead of gigabytes); Windows 7 requires at least 16 gigabytes (15384MB) to install the 32-bit version of the operating system or 20 gigabytes (20480MB) to install the 64-bit version. Click "Next" to continue.

  • Choose a drive letter for your new partition, then click "Next."

  • Click "Next" to format the new partition using the default formatting options.

  • Click the "Finish" button to accept the options that you have chosen and begin the creation of your new partition for Windows 7. Once the partition has been created, you can reboot your computer and begin installing Windows 7 on the partition that you have made.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure that you are logged in on an account with Administrator privileges before attempting to create a new partition.

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