The partitions of a disk are a good way to have everything well organized, especially if we have a large hard disk. But if you are not used to working with them, it can be a bit confusing in the sense of knowing which format is best for you, what are the reasons for making a partition or why it should not be done. We will try to solve all these issues.
Windows as an operating system, can partition any disk that we have on the computer, so we will not have to use third-party tools, unless you master them and they are very easy to handle.
The problem is when you are going to do it for the first time or you have no experience, since it can be somewhat overwhelming due to the number of questions that can come to mind.
We are going to try to resolve all of them after reading this article, so that you can make a partition and know exactly what you are doing.
Table of Contents:
What is a partition?
A partition is the part of the hard drive that we tell Windows it can use. In other words, if we have two equal partitions on the same disk, Windows will know that each of them has a drive letter and that both parts are independent, as if they were two different disks, but only one.
When you format a partition you are creating an infrastructure in which data will go that the operating system can move, that is, that unit will have volume.
But to have this volume we have had to assign it a specific file system, that is, a kind of library in which the operating system can organize and manage everything that is stored there.
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File system formats
The issue is that they exist different file system formats, which have their own advantages, limitations and ways of working, so it is better to know them to know which of them to choose.
There are many, surely some are familiar to you and others do not, but the best known are the following:
FAT32: It was created in 1996 and has become somewhat outdated, despite being extremely versatile in terms of compatibility with devices and operating systems. That is why most of the units you see carry this standard. The biggest problem is that it only allows you to save files up to 4 GB. exFAT: This system is a FAT32, but more modern, since it does away with the 4 GB limitation. It can be used in Windows, but only from version XP SP3. NTFS: is the file system that Windows uses by default. It has no size limits per file, being an ideal option for large capacity hard drives or external drives. Its fundamental disadvantage is that if you are going to use it on macOS you will be able to read it, but not write to it. HFS: This is the system created by Apple to house its entire operating system. And it is the same as with NTFS, but in reverse. That is, in this case it is Windows that can read this format, but cannot write it.
With this explanation it is clear that the systems that you will be able to use in Windows are FAT32, exFAT and NTFS, although the latter is the most advisable for obvious reasons, especially if we are talking about an internal storage unit of a computer.
On external drives you can opt for FAT32 or exFAT without problems, since they are compatible and work really well.
Partitioning a drive from unallocated space in Windows
To perform this action we are going to use the tool Disk management of the Windows operating system itself.
Once we have the new drive inside our computer, to be able to make a partition in a space that is not assigned, we must do the following:
We must enter Control Panel, typing it in the search bar. Once it is seen in the new window, click to open it. Now that we are in the Control Panel, to go faster we write in the upper right part of this panel, Create and format hard drive partitions. They will immediately appear in the first place, within the Administrative Tools section. Once inside we will see all the disk drives that we have on the computer along with all their partitions. To know which is the partition that still does not work, we will see how it says unallocated space, making sure that it is the one we want and not another one. Now we right-click on said unit and choose New Simple Volume. Now the Assistant which will guide us through the process of creating a volume for the drive. You will have to set the volume of the unit to the maximum (if you want), give it a unit name or leave the one that comes out by default, and then decide whether to format the unit or not, something that is highly advisable to do. Then it only remains to choose the File System (NTFS we recommend for Windows) and give a unit name. The new partition would already be configured.
Partition a drive from existing storage
If what we want is to divide a unit into two partitions, we can also do it, even if the unit already had its assigned space.
The first thing we are going to do is reduce the partition that we already had assigned, something normal if we want there to be a new one. Keep in mind that all data will be erased, so if you see it appropriate, you should make a backup.
We return to the Disk Management tool as we told you in the previous point, that is, Control Panel> Create and Format Hard Drive Partitions. Once inside we right click on the partition that we want to divide selected Dicrease the volume. Now we reduce the volume enough so that the new one has the desired size. You must bear in mind that the data in megabytes not in gigabytes. We warn you so that there are no mistakes. When we have it, click on Reduce. Once the unit has been formatted, we will see a space that says unallocated space. Well, now we must follow the steps we did in the previous example. We right-click on the new space and choose New Simple Volume. Now the Assistant which will guide us through the process of creating a volume for the drive. As before, we must set the volume of the unit to the maximum, put a unit name or leave the one that comes out by default. Then it only remains to choose the File System (NTFS we recommend for Windows) and give a unit name.
These are the two ways we have to create partitions in Windows 10, something that can be of great help at a given moment such as when we change hard drives or if we realize that we could make better use of what we already have.
We hope that you have better understood everything that has to do with partitions, so that, if necessary, you can make them yourself without problems.