An Explanation Of Windows Hardware Installation

How To Partition (Split) A Hard Drive

In this section I am going to show you how to create a new Logical Drive on your existing hard drive. The physical hard drive inside your computer is normally split up into two logical drives, named OS and Data for example, that are usually assigned the letters C and D respectively. Therefore giving you the OS (C:) logical drive and the Data (D:) logical drive. You can have a physical hard drive inside your computer that consists purely of one OS (C:) logical drive but most manufacturers these days prefer to split the physical drive into two logical drives before selling the computer.

The advantage of this means they can install Windows 10 on the OS (C:) logical drive, alongside Third-Party Softwares, and then put the Restore and/or Backup folders/files onto the Data (D:) logical drive. This in turn means your security software does not necessarily need to scan the Data (D:) logical drive for viruses and so on, therefore lightening its scanning process.

Just to clarify what I am talking about here. If you have a physical hard drive inside your computer of size 500 Gigabytes, for example, it will normally of been split into two 250 Gigabytes logical drives instead of one 500 Gigabytes logical drive. In this section I am going to show you how to split a logical drive into two logical drives - The Data (D:) logical drive into two logical drives. Data (D:) and STORAGE (F:). So the Data (D:) logical drive will be shrunk in order to create storage space for the new STORAGE (F:) logical drive, which can then be used to store person folders/files or whatever.


While I encourage you to learn and advance yourself, at the same time I must stress that if you are not confident with the terminology and technologies of Partitions, Logical Drives and Volumes YOU SHOULD NOT ATTEMPT THIS LESSON unless your are absolutely confident. You should use Partition Manager software instead.

Begin the partition (splitting) process by first clicking on the START Menu button, to make the START Menu menu-items appear, and then click on the SETTINGS menu-item. Doing so will open the SETTINGS control panel window (Fig 1.1) whereby you then need to start typing the word PARTITION.

Fig 1.0  Click on the START Menu button and then on the SETTINGS menu-item to continue

As you begin typing the edit box will automatically become active with the letter P and so on already inside it, so there is no need to click inside the edit box first. Once the word PARTITION has been entered into the edit box click on the button/link called CREATE AND FORMAT HARD DISK PARTITIONS (below) to open the DISK MANAGEMENT control panel window (Fig 1.2).

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.1  Type PARTITION inside the SEARCH edit box and click on CREATE AND FORMAT HARD DISK PARTITIONS

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.2  Click on an existing logical drive - i.e. Data (D:) - that you want to split (partition into two storage areas)

When the DISK MANAGEMENT control panel window appears (above) you will see many partitions listed in the mid-section of the Disk Management window. Depending on your computer manufacturer some of those partitions may be recovery partitions, for repairing and restoring Windows 10 back to working order, while other partitions may belong to your OS (C:) logical drive and Data (D:) logical drive for example.

In this example I have two logical drives (aka primary partitions) to choose from: The C logical drive (called OS) and the D logical drive (called Data). OS contains the Windows 10 operating system files, hence the name OS, as well as Third-Party Softwares and Data contains nothing. It is empty. Hence why I am selecting it for this example. The other partitions listed are recovery partitions belonging to the recovery of Windows 10, should it ever fail to start (boot up) for example. They will be used to recover/repair Windows 10 system files and help it start up in that case.

NOTE WELL - Depending on the computer manufacturer, some computers might store Windows backup files and/or Windows Restore folders/files on the D (Data) logical drive. The D (Data) logical drive might even be called something like RESTORE instead. So be extra careful when splitting up a logical drive that contains these important folders and files.


After clicking on (selecting) the logical drive you want to partition (split in two) right click over it to bring up its context menu (Options menu) and then select (left click on) its SHRINK VOLUME menu-item. What you will be doing here is shrinking the size of the selected logical drive in order to create space for a new volume. Volume is just a word, used like Album, to describe a Logical Drive.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.3  Right click over your selected logical drive and then select SHRINK VOLUME from its context menu

The SHRINK VOLUME process allows you to shrink the size of an existing logical drive (volume) so that its remaining space can be used to create a new logical drive (volume). So in this example I have selected the D logical drive (called Data) that is 263.35 Gigabytes (32,918 Megabytes) in size with 100% of its space available. I am going to shrink it down to 146.48 GigaBytes (150,000 MegaBytes) whereby the remaining space of 116.86 GigaBytes (119,666 MegaBytes) will be allocated to the new volume - the new logical drive (F:) that I will be calling Storage.

So after clicking on the SHRINK VOLUME menu-item (above) I am going to enter 119666 into the ENTER THE AMOUNT OF SPACE TO SHRINK IN MB edit box of the Shrink D: window that appears (below) so that the old volume - Data (D:) - shrinks down to 146.48 GigaBytes (150,000 MegaBytes), from 263.35 Gigabytes (32,918 Megabytes), leaving 116.86 GigaBytes (119,666 MegaBytes) for the new volume (logical drive F) that I will call Storage. When I have entered the number 119666 I then need to click on the SHRINK button to perform the actual shrinking process.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.4  Enter the amount of space you want to give the new volume before clicking on the SHRINK button

At this point your requested space (i.e. 119666) will have been allocated for the new logical drive (volume) whereby that space is not actually a logical drive yet. To turn it into a logical drive it needs to be formatted and given a letter. This is done for you by the New Simple Volume Wizard (Fig 1.6 below).

To start the wizard you need to right click on the logical drive, known at this point as an Unallocated Space (Fig 1.5 below), and then select the NEW SIMPLE VOLUME menu-item from the context menu (Options menu) that appears (Fig 1.5). From there, follow the wizard (Figures 1.6 to 1.10) leaving all of its settings/options alone. Just click on the NEXT, NEXT, NEXT, NEXT and FINISH buttons respectively.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.5  Right click on the Unallocated Space and then select the NEW SIMPLE VOLUME menu-item to continue

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.6  Click on the NEXT button to continue

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.7  Leave the settings alone - Just click on the NEXT button to continue

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.8  Use the LETTER drop-down menu to change the new logical drive's letter, (currently F), if need be.

If you do not like the letter assigned to the logical drive, for whatever reason(s), you can use the LETTER drop-down menu to change it (Fig 1.8 above). The same applies to the name of the logical drive. You can change it by entering a new name into VOLUME LABEL edit box (Fig 1.9 below). In this example I am leaving the logical drive's letter alone, as F, but will change its name from New Volume to Storage.

The option to PERFORM A QUICK FORMAT on the volume is ticked by default, which is fine, but if you want to make sure no previous data from the old volume - logical drive Data (D:) - is kept on the new volume - logical drive Storage F:) - for whatever reason(s), you should untick the PERFORM A QUICK FORMAT option; like I have done in this example.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.9  Change the VOLUME LABEL (new logical drive's name), if need be - I changed it to Storage in this example.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.10  Click on the FINISH button to continue

After clicking on the FINISH button (above) the newly created logical drive (F logical drive in this example) will be formatted ready for use and work just the same as the C logical drive for example. You can store data on it, install software on it and install a new operating system on it. I could therefore put the Linux Ubuntu operating system on the new F logical drive if I wanted to or just leave it for storage purposes. This is the beauty of partitioning a hard drive.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.11  Formatting (erasing any existing data from) the newly created F logical drive

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.12  The newly created F logical drive, with its name Storage, is ready for use.

So that is how you split (partition), or sub-partition if you like, an existing logical drive. If you now check the THIS PC folder you should see an additional logical drive called Storage (F:). Right clicking on it and selecting its PROPERTIES menu-item, or simply hovering the mouse pointer over it, will reveal that it has a capacity of 116 GB available for use.

HD Partition Explained

Fig 1.13  Hover the mouse pointer over Storage (F:) to see its storage capacity of 116 GB

To delete the logical drive you would right click over it, from within the Disk Management window, and then select the DELETE VOLUME menu-item. And if you then wanted to revert the logical drive Data (D:) back to its full capacity you would then right click over it, from within the Disk Management window, and click on its EXTEND VOLUME menu-item; because you would be expanding (extending) it back to its full capacity.

Remember: If you are not confident with partitions, logical drives and volumes DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS LESSON. Use Partition Manager software instead.