Partition the disk in Windows and create an extra drive

Step-by-step-guide to partitioning the disk drive in Windows

I recently reviewed the free partition manager for Windows, AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard. Here is how to use it to create a partition, format a partition and use a partition.

Split drive C: into two partitions

If you have a large disk drive, and some models are 2TB or more these days, you might want to split the disk into two or more partitions. If you have a 2TB disk as the C: drive you could split it down the middle and have two partitions, C: and D: of 1TB each. Any combination of sizes is possible and they do not have to be equal, so you could have a 1.4TB C: drive and a 600GB D: drive.

Disks don’t have to be in the TB range and you can partition small disks too, although there is less benefit because you end up with two even smaller disk partitions. In the test PC I am using for this is a 29.9GB disk which will be split into a 25GB disk and a 4.9GB disk, but you can use any size of disk.

Run AOMEI Partition Assistant (it’s free from Select the C: drive and click Split partition in the Partition Operations panel on the left.

 Partition the disk

The Split Partition window opens and there is a graphic at the top that shows the existing C: partition and a new one at the end that it has labelled E: (any unused drive letter is OK). Drag the dot between the two partitions to adjust the size. Alternatively, type the partition sizes you want in the boxes below.

There is an Advanced button in the bottom left corner. Click it if you have a solid state drive (SSD) and tick the box to align the partition and optimise the performance. Click OK to continue.

 Disk partitioning

Format a partition

Right click the new partition you made and select Format Partition from the menu that is displayed. A newly created partition must be formatted before it can be used.

 Format a disk partition

When the Format Partition window is displayed, click in the Partition Label box and give it a short name. I called it Disk2, but you could have MyStuff or whatever you want. Set the file system to NTFS and leave the cluster size as the default. Click OK.

 Format a disk partition

Up to this point Partition Assistant has done nothing. It is building a list of the actions you want to perform, but it has not yet carried them out, so no changes have been made to the disk drive.

This is typical of partition managers and you can experiment with tasks like creating partitions, erasing them, merging them and so on. You can undo anything and everything because you have not yet applied the actions.

Apply the actions

Click the Apply button in the top left corner to carry out the partitioning and formatting functions you specified.

 Partition Assistant

A window appears that lists the actions. Click the Proceed button to carry them out.

 partition manager

Windows shuts down and the computer restarts. Just before Windows loads, a special Partition Assistant utility runs and carries out the list of actions you created. Go and grab a coffee and come back in 10 minutes or so.

When the Windows desktop appears once more, open Explorer and take a look at the new partition you created. It has a new drive letter and it works just like a regular disk drive. You can see why the new drive is labelled E: in the screenshot and this is because the CD Drive is already labelled D:. The new drive is given the next available letter.

 Windows Explorer

Use the new partition

Copy files and folders to this new drive by dragging them from another disk or partition just as you normally would with a disk drive. Double click the new drive in the Explorer window to open it to view the files and folders it contains. Select the new disk as the save location when saving documents, photos and so on within applications, and so on.

One disk drive now appears to be two. You could use it exclusively to store your photos, your music, your videos or whatever files you want. It helps with organising the files on the disk drive.

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