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How to Partition an External Hard Drive in Windows Operating System?

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Partitioning an external hard drive is the first step that should be done when we get a fresh external hard drive. In order to write and read data from the external hard drive, making partition and file system is necessary. Create different partitions for different purposes can also expand your available options, such as for making dual boot, for different data backup and etc.

How to partition external hard drive?

General specking, partitioning external hard drive is an easy job, the tools you need to do so are already right there in Windows-it's named Disk Management. As you know, in order to facilitate users, Microsoft built in the hard disk tool to assist people managing there hard disks, with the help of this tool, you could do some simple partition management, like: create partition, delete partition, format partition, resize partition (only in Windows 7, 2008 and vista). This tool could also help you partition the external hard drive. Here we have an example based on Windows 7 about how to partition external hard drive.

Note: before the operation, make sure the external hard drive is right connecting with your computer and your system could recognize it.

Step1. Right-click "My Computer" selects "Manage"-> "disk management".

Step2. Right-click the unallocated space, select "New simple volume".

Step3. Then it will pop up a window that guides you to the "New simple volume wizard". Just follow the wizard to complete the operation.

You will find partition external hard drive is as easy as you hope. Through repeat the previous steps you could make more partitions for more purpose.

However there are some steps that you should be noticed. Here I have listed as below:

Partition External Hard Drive Notice

Notice-1: Specify Volume Size

When you are in this window, you should notice at the "Simple volume size in MB" the default is set as the maximum, if you do not change the size, the new volume you create will occupy the whole hard disk. Therefore, in order to partition external hard drive, you'd better change the volume size.

Notice-2-Assign Drive Letter

In this window you could assign drive letter, if you select "do not assign a drive letter or drive path" the partition will be created without drive letter, and you could not find it in "My computer", it is hidden.

Notice-3-Format Partition

As you know when we create a new partition, the first step is to format it. In this step we could set the "File System" (NTFS or FAT32) and "Cluster Size" (you'd better leave it as default). Do not forget to tick the box at "Perform a quick format". If you don't do that it may cost a lot of time to format iwhen you create a large size of partition.

Notice-4-Repartition hard drive

When partition external hard drive is complete, the entire partition configuration is setting up. If you want to reparation the hard drive, the operation will not as easy as before. There are two ways to achieve this. Delete all the existing partitions; make the hard disk become initialization or you could download partition magic windows 7-a third-party windows 7 partition tool. And refer to "How to repartition hard drive".

External Hard Drive Nous

Careful users may discover that the volume size of the external hard drive is not conform to the manufacturer's nominal capacity, which is caused by the different computing methods used by manufacturers and computers. Such as a 120GB external hard drive:

  • Manufacturers' computing method: 120GB=120,000MB=120,000,000KB=120,000,000,000 byte
  • Turn to the Computer system computing method: 120,000,000,000byte/1024=117,187,500KB/1024=114,440.91796875MB=114GB.
  • Their difference value between 5%-10% is normal.

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