Using disk management utility in Windows 7 and 8

Disk management is an essential feature of Microsoft Windows which can be used to perform different operations like creating new partitions, formatting partitions, shrinking/extending partitions or changing drive letters. The method of using the disk management utility is almost same for Windows Vista ,Windows 7 and 8.

You can access the disk management utility by right clicking my computer then click manage and on the next window click disk management in the left menu. Here you can view all the connected hard disks ,CD/DVD ROM or any removable storage media attached to your computer. Here you can perform a number of operations and make changes you want to be related to your hard disks.

Creating new partition

You must have available free space to create a new partition. If there is free space it will be shown with a green header in the expanded view in the second row. To create a new partition just right click on that green cell and click “New simple volume”. A wizard will open which will guide you through rest of the process.

Changing drive letters

Before changing drive letters please note that if you have any installed programs in that partition they will not work properly so if any of your drivers contains any installed programs it is highly recommended not to change the letter of that drive especially C drive. However renaming a driver will not affect any of the installed programs and you can rename any drive including C drive.

To change a drive’s letter right click on that drive name ( expanded view in the second row) and then click change drive letters and path. A new window will be opened, click the change button and on the next window and choose a different letter from the drop-down list and press ok. Now the letter of that drive will be changed to the new one which you assigned.

Shrinking a drive/volume

If you want to  shrink a drive and reduce its capacity you can do it by right clicking that drive (expanded view in the second row) and then click shrink volume. Windows will then query volume for available space. After this, you can enter the amount of disk space to shrink and then press the shrink button.

Extend a drive/volume

You can extend a drive’s capacity by right clicking that drive (expanded view in the second row) and then select extend volume. Please note that you cannot extend every volume. if You want to extend the capacity of a specific volume then there must be empty space at the end (location of that volume on your HDD) of that volume. If the empty space is available at the start of that volume even then it will not be possible to extend that volume. If space is available at the end then right click that volume and select extend volume. A wizard will open which will guide you through rest of the process.

Creating VHD (Virtual Hard Disk)

VHD is a file format which is virtually similar to a physical hard disk. VHD are used to make backup copies of your data . To create a VHD click on the  action tab in the top menu (within the disk management window) and then create VHD.  A window will open asking for the location where the VHD will be saved and VHD size. You can also choose between fixed and dynamic storage options. Once you have created a VHD you can view it within the disk management window same like other physical storage devices connected to your computer.

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