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How to Create a Partition in Windows

These instructions apply to the following versions of Windows:

  • Windows NT
  • Windows 2000
  • Windows XP
  • Server 2003
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8.x
  • Windows 10

Additionally, it is assumed that the disk is a Basic disk and not a Dynamic disk (the type of the disk is shown in Disk Management in the Type column). While the procedure for creating a standard partition (Simple Volume) on both types of disks is similar, Dynamic disks may require additional steps not covered in these instructions.

Creating a Partition

  1. Access the Disk Management applet.  There are several ways to do this:

    • Select Disk Management under the Administrative Tools menu, under the Start menu.

    • Right-click the My Computer icon, select Manage, then select Disk Management from the tree that appears on the left.

    • Click Start, right-click on My Computer (or Computer), select Manage, then select Disk Management from the tree that appears on the left.

    • Click Start, then click Run (the Run box can also be opened by pressing WinKey + R).  Type the following text in the Open: box that is displayed:


    • Windows 8.x/10: Press WinKey+X and click on Disk Management in the Quick Link menu.

    The Disk Management applet window appears and depicts all the drives visible to Windows.

  2. If you haven't initialized the disk, Windows will ask you to do this first. Depending on the version of Windows, you will either get the Welcome to the Initialize and Convert Disk wizard or the Initialize Disk window (used in Windows Vista and later):

    • Initialize and Convert Disk: Go through the wizard and permit it to select the disk to initialize. When you see the screen to select Disks to Convert, be sure to uncheck your disk, as this option converts your disk to a proprietary dynamic disk. Finish the wizard and continue with the following steps.

    • Initialize Disk: The default MBR (Master Boot Record) partition style is usually the one desired, especially for drives under 2TB in size. The GPT (GUID Partition Table) partition style is recommended for drives larger than 2TB. Click the OK button to finish the process.

  3. Locate the block of Unallocated space you wish to use to create a partition, right-click within it and select the New Partition... / New Simple Volume... menu item.  The New Partition / New Simple Volume Wizard appears.

    • If you need to delete an existing partition to create unallocated space, right-click the desired partition and select the Delete Partition... / Delete Volume... menu item.

  4. Click Next > in the New Partition / New Simple Volume Wizard.  The Select Partition Type window appears. Note: Windows Vista and Windows 7/8.x/10 will not let you select which type of partition to create (skip the next step).

  5. Select Primary partition if you wish to create a primary partition, or Extended partition if you will be adding one or more logical drives to the extended partition later.  If you wish to add a logical drive to an existing extended partition, select Logical drive.

  6. Click Next >.  The Specify Partition/Volume Size window appears.

  7. Enter a value for the Partition size in MB.  The applicable Maximum disk space in megabytes (MB) and Minimum disk space in MB values will be shown.  Click Next >.  The Assign Drive Letter or Path window appears.

  8. You have several options here:

    • Select the Assign the following drive letter option and choose a drive letter, if you wish to assign one.

    • Select the Mount in the following empty NTFS folder option, if you want the new partition to be available under a folder on one of your existing drives.  In this case, you will have to either manually type in the folder name or click the Browse... button and then create and/or specify the folder that will be used for mounting the new partition.  Please note that the FAT and FAT32 file systems do not support this functionality.

    • Select the Do not assign a drive letter or drive path option if you do not want any letter or path assigned to the new partition at this point.

  9. Click Next > and the Format Partition window appears. In most cases, you will want to select NTFS for the File system and leave the Allocation unit size as Default. Type in a Volume label for the new partition (this will help you to identify the partition). If you don't want Windows to perform a full format (scan for bad sectors), check the Perform a quick format option. Please note that a full format can take a very long time on a large partition.

  10. Click Next > and then click Finish to create the partition.

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