Say you've got a nice new machine, with a 100gb hard disk, efficiently running Windows XP, but what if, for one reason or another, you want to split that hard disk into multiple partitions. What are some of the reasons you would want to create multiple partitions? Well, how about a separate drive for your paging file, to aid system performance, a separate drive for all your media / photo's / movies, or, a separate drive, to run another operating system, in a dual boot environment. Sound good? How can you do it in XP? Well, it's not the easiest thing to do...
Well, looking at the first one - it's abit of a hassle, and what if you already have alot of work on there? You will need to back it all up etc, taking valuable time and effort. This is obviously assuming that you have the DVD of XP. The second method would provide you with a feature-rich application, but, it's not free, and if you are only to use it once or twice, maybe the cost isn't quite justified.
So, how does this all change with Vista?
Well, although not as full featured as some third party partition management applications, in the Disk-Management snap-in, pictured below, users can shrink, extend, create, and format partitions. The new resizing features will allow users to shrink a single partition with unused space, and then create a new partition in the resulting free space, as well as extending a current partition if there is available free space after it.
Compare this with the options you have in XP:
And you can see the number of features has increased a great deal.
So, you've installed Vista, on your single-partition, but you've decided that you'd like to create another couple of partitions, one for your media, and one for your other data, keeping just your system files on the current partition. All you have to do is click Shrink Volume, enter the details...
and your unallocated space is created, where you can subsequently create your new volume with the New Volume Wizard, allocating size and choosing drive letter, or, you can extend an already existing volume. You can split this space again, and again, to create your required partitions.
I think you'll agree, with the new enhancements to Windows Vista Disk Management, the wizard-driven shrinking and extending partitions is now easily accomplished. As always, when making changing to the partition structure, users should ensure that all important files and data are backed up.
I had a problem with my vista installation, so I reinstalled to a dedicated "recovery" partition. Problem is, that partition has only 10 GB. I have another partition on the same drive with 240 GB. Could I delete the larger partition, and then expand my recovery partition to 250 GB? And how?
As per provided instructions I was able to shrink my C drive, but when allocating it to another drive it jerks out with the error.
" You cannot create a new volume in this unallocated space because the disk already contains the maximum number of partitions "
Any Solutions ?!?!?!
You've obviously already got 4 Primary Partitions on that disk, right? What you'll need to do is back up one of your partitions, delete the partition in Disk Management, then, on the free space, create an 'Extended Partition' and this will allow you to use the space accordingly.
Hi there Matt,
My HP Pavilion a730n desktop comp using XP is messed up, because of too much virus so I use system restore back up disc from my HP Pavilion notebook dv6636nr laptop using Vista. Now, my desktops disk drive is full already and there's a lot of conflicting hardwares and softwares and I can't use the scanner in my hp psc 1350 all-in-one printer. Now, I inadvertently deleted a shortcut to disk drive and when I tried to start my comp., it's just making a loop. It will start, then show the windows logo and then it will show the error message " autochk not found - skipping autochek. I don't know what to do anymore. Please help me. Thank you and God bless your heart.
So, if i understand you correctly, your Desktop machine came with XP, and you used a System Restore back-up disk from your laptop (Vista) to fix it? I've not seen this before, and I would imagine that the system restore disk has put Vista over the top of XP, yet kept your XP installation in a Windows.old folder, which is why you have so little space left.
All i can suggest is have a look here: http://www.pchell.com/support/autochknotfound.shtml as this seems to describe your problem. I think the problem is here, you've used a Vista restore disk over the top of an XP machine. You may need to find your original XP disks that came with your a730n, and restore back to the beginning, although if you can fix the autochk problem, you may be able to fix the Vista OS once you are booted.
Hope that helps,
very good tutorial on how to partition in vista, thanks.
my only issue is that once i shrank the c drive I had an unallicated partition and no way it seems of giving it a volume letter ... obviously i missed something ... any help would be great.
please email me with a solution
Have you created a volume on the unallocated partition?
It's ok, i figured it out, the only down fall was not being able to make the C: Drive smaller to there would be more room to store files, the laptop I partitioned was about 120 gigs and alittle under 60 was allicated which I guess is ok for a personel device, there is always external Hard drives.
Thanks again for the great tutorial
hi, my D drive is WIndow vista and now that lot of updating has been done the space which is 20.1 GB only , is showing that D drive is not having enough space for further updates installation. i ahve already defrag and clean up the disc many times. but no result though i have enough space on F E and G drive , so kindly solve my problem whether partition can be merged?
If you look in Disk Management, you'll only be able to expand your D:\ if you have free space next to it. If your E:\, for example, starts straight after your D:\ in the Disk Management Layout, you won't be able to expand the D:\ I'm afraid, unless you use a 3rd Party tool like Partition Magic.