A hard drive partition is a logical division of the hard drive space into several spaces which can be addressed by their individual names. As the name partition tells us the partition is a part of the entire hard drive, or it is sub section of the hard drive. A hard drive without any partition will only be represented by one drive letter, but if it has more than one partition then it will carry drive more than one drive letters in it. For example a hard drive of 200 GB can be partitioned in several drives instead of using the entire hard drive as a single storage space. Partitioning has several advantages like: you can install more than one operating system on a single hard drive, you can organize your data well by keeping important documents in partition and songs and videos in another, if operating system needs to be removed or reinstalled your data would remain intact in other partitions.
Microsoft has always bundled a tool for managing the disk partitions in all of its operating systems. Earlier is was FDISK in Windows 95, Windows 98, then came the Disk Manager from Windows 2000 and the same has been carried forwarded in the new operating systems like Windows Vista and Windows 7(though with more features).
To create a partition in Windows 7 you need to open the disk manager first and this can be done by going to the Start menu, opening the Run box and typing DISKMGMT.MSC. if you don’t want to use the command then it can be opened by right clicking on “Computer” in Start menu and then selecting “Manage”. This result in a Window titled “Computer Management” which has several tools like Event Viewer, Task Scheduler, Performance, etc listed in the left pane. It also has the tool which we need for partitioning and it is called “Disk Management”. On clicking Disk Management you will get a graphical representation of all the drives connected to your computer in the Right pane along with the details like storage space, layout, Disk type, and File system.
To partition the disk first you need to select it and then right click and select “Shrink Volume”. Shrinking is necessary because up till now the entire hard drive space was in use by one single partition and until and unless you shrink it you cannot create room for new partitions. On clicking on Shrink Volume you will get a Window which will tell you the current size of partition (the only partition) and will also give you the size up to which the drive can be shrink. Shrinking size will depend upon the data which you have on your drive and it is recommended that you run Disk Defragment before resizing the drive so that all the unused space of your drive goes towards the end. After entering the values in Shrink box click on the Shrink button and this will give you a resized partition and the available unallocated space. The unallocated space is what you have got after shrinking the drive. Once you see the unallocated space in Disk management window just right click on it and create “New Simple Volume”. This steps will ask you to define the size of new partition and its not necessary to use the entire space. You can have more than one partitions in the current unallocated space depending upon the size of unallocated space and your requirement. In “create new simple volume window” select the file system and also assign a drive letter and name to it. Click on next, and windows will format the new partition, on you will find the drive created and it will be ready for use. If you still have some unallocated space left you can create more Simple Volumes in the same way.