In this guide I tell you everything about partitions in Windows. I show you what types exist and how to create one to better manage your data.
In this guide I am going to explain how create hard drive partitions in Windows 11. This is a method that you should know if your computer comes with a single partition and you are interested in separating your personal data from system files and applications. In addition to showing you the step-by-step procedure, I also explain what type of partitions exist. I’m even going to clarify some basic concepts for you, like what the drive letter or file system is.
Be that as it may, whether you want to learn how to create partitions or if you want to know a little more about them, you should stay until the end. In both cases, what I analyze here is of great interest to you. Let’s start!
What is a hard drive partition in Windows?
When you get a new hard drive, you can divide it into separate sections called partitions. Each partition acts as an independent unit with its own storage space and file system. This division allows you to organize your data more efficiently and separate different types of files, such as the operating system, programs, and your own documents.
To simplify the matter, imagine that you have a cake. With a knife, you divide it into a total of eight portions that you then distribute among several people. Although all the slices are part of the same cake, each one is for someone specific. Well, in the same way, the same storage unit, whether SSD or HDD, can be divided, making it possible to assign a specific space for each purpose.
Having multiple partitions is a technique with associated benefits. Without going any further, it helps you protect your data and isolate them from possible problems that arise on other partitions. Of course, having several of these compartments is also great for organizing the information you store on your hard drive. Of course, you should keep in mind that if the drive is damaged, all partitions will no longer be accessible. Therefore, in addition to creating partitions, many users use a second hard drive.
you will be able to create from Windows or any other desktop system. As for mobile devices, their storage unit also has partitions, although these are hidden from the user, who only has access to the one where the data is stored. For example, in Android we find the /data, /recovery, /system partitions and more.
Types of hard drive partitions
exist three types of partitions. Next, I show you what the particularities of each one are:
- Primary partition. In this partition, the Windows operating system is installed. This is because it is the type of partition that your computer will detect when it starts up. Each disk can contain up to four primary partitions, and one of them is usually designated as the primary drive for the system.
- Extended partition. The extended partition acts as a container to open additional new logical partitions. This approach allows you to overcome the restriction of having only four primary partitions on a disk. The operating system will never be installed within this type of partitions.
- Logical partition. Logical partitions reside within the extended partition and are used to organize and store data. You can create multiple logical partitions within one extended one, offering flexibility in managing files and programs.
In addition to this classification, another can be applied depending on the type of data that each partition houses. For example, some manufacturers include a recovery partition, allowing the equipment to be reset more easily. There are also the swap partitionsknown in English as Swapwhere the system saves some files in RAM to decongest it.
How to create a partition in Windows 11 step by step
Now you know more about what hard drive partitions are and what they are for. In the past, they played an important role in safeguarding the integrity of the user’s personal files. By having two partitions, one of them dedicated to storing information, if it became necessary to reinstall the operating system, the data remained intact. This approach has been changing, mainly because most users now backup to one of the best cloud storage services.
Despite that, you may still want to maintain a safer local space from potential virus infections or system corruption. How to do it? In case that your hard drive only has the system partition (and some more hidden ones), go to the partition tool. Just look up the word partition in Windows Search. Select the first result, which will be Create and format hard drive partitions.
Locate the system partition. Right click on it and select Dicrease the volume. Keep in mind that you must have enough free space to be able to carry out this operation.
In the pop-up window, choose the size of space to remove from the original partition. Windows will set a maximum that you cannot exceed, taking into account the distribution of the files on the drive. You must write it in MB. To make it easier for you, look at this equivalence: 100000 = 100 GB.
Once you have finished the shrinking process, you will see that the original partition is now smaller. Furthermore, there will have appeared a unallocated space, black. Click on it and press New simple volume.
Press on Followingin the New Simple Volume wizard.
Choose the size of new partition. You can use the same equivalence as above to make it easier for you to choose. The maximum size of the partition will be the same as the unallocated space.
Now you must assign a drive letter. This is the most recommended option, although you can also mount the partition inside an empty folder. I do not recommend that you do it this way because it will be more difficult for you to organize your files. It is best if the new partition has a letter and appears as a different drive in file explorer.
In the next step, choose the formatting options. Actually, you can have a formatted partition, although that will prevent you from using it. Therefore, it is best that you choose the second option, which says Format this volume with the following settings. The recommended file system is NTFS. You should not touch the second parameter and, in Volume label, you can give the new unit a name. Lastly, keep the quick format and press on Following.
To finish, press Finish. The procedure will be launched according to the selected parameters.
When finished, go to the file explorer. Enter the section This team and notice that you now have two different units. You have managed to detach a part of the main partition to separate your personal data from the system data.
From now on, you will be able to better organize the information you save on your computer and not worry if you have to reset Windows at some point.
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