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Imagine your refrigerator without any shelves. Whoops! The same thing can happen to a hard disk without any partition.
Everything on one single-giant volume; it’s like a toddler’s way of storing things. Disk partition is necessary for the effective use of your hard drive.
And things could go wrong at any moment. It can get corrupted, taking away all your data, installed applications, and anything stored with it.
So, it’s best to partition your hard drive correctly. It becomes easy to segregate the contents, and a partitioned drive allows easy recovery if anything goes wrong.
What is Disk Partition?
Usually, factory-shipped Windows computers come with just three partitions.
The partition hosting the operating system (OS) is given the letter C, calling it C Drive. And two other small partitions–system reserved and for recovery.
To divide it further, one needs to do disk partition, manually or with a utility.
So, disk partition is a simple process of dividing your hard drive into volumes of a specific size.
Each partition is then assigned a letter within the operating system. For instance, Windows calls its partitions C drive (C:), D drive (D:), E drive (E:), and so on.
The primary aim of disk partition is to point Windows (or any operating system) to a location for system installation.
Besides, you must partition the hard drive if you wish to install multiple OS in it. In addition, partitioning assists in the backup process. You can back up only necessary files, leaving aside the applications and system.
The other advantage of partitioning the hard disk is that if you ever need to reinstall or reset your operating system, you will only lose the data in the partition that has the OS in it. Data on other partitions will be untouched in most cases.
First, let’s check out the traditional way of doing it.
How to Partition in Windows 11 Manually
Open the Computer Management console by pressing Windows key R. Then type compmgmt.msc and press Enter or click OK.
Next, click Disk Management from the right. Afterward, right-click the partition (the one with the extra space) to shrink and select Shrink Volume from the dropdown.
The subsequent pop-up will show the maximum available space to shrink. You can enter the desired capacity for the new volume. Then press Shrink. For instance, I have entered 102400 MB (100GB) to shrink.
Now the shrunk space will be shown as Unallocated volume. Afterward, one has to carve out a partition from this free space. So, right-click the Unallocated space and click New Simple Volume. Subsequently, enter the desired capacity for the to-be-made partition. Click Next.
You can assign a drive letter to the new partition. Further, you can change a few more attributes for the new volume. If you are a regular user, leave those options as-is, they’re fine. However, you can enter anything in the Volume label tab. Click Next.
Finally, click Finish at the subsequent screen. You will be able to see the new volume.
While this process is easy, dedicated software brings much more functionality than the default windows disk management utility. For instance, there is no one-click way to undo a partition operation.
So let’s check out some disk management software for an efficient and safe hard disk partition.
ACRONIS Disk Director
Acronis disk director is a multi-purpose disk management utility. It has plenty of features to get you through any bad day.
Apart from the regular format, delete, shrink, and extend, Disk Director has disk cloning and volume recovery options.
Disk cloning–as you might have guessed it–is a way to copy your entire hard disk into a separate drive. Similarly, volume recovery is capable of recovering partitions (lost or deleted ones) even if your Windows fails to boot.
It can also convert disks from basic to dynamic.
In addition to the auto-optimization of hard disk space, you can combine the left-over space from up to 32 physical disks into one logical volume.
It starts from USD 49.99. One can try Acronis disk director for up to 30-days for free.
AOMEI Partition Assistant
AOMEI partition assistant is a powerful disk partition software.
Similar to Disk Director, this disk management utility can perform all default disk partition functions and then some.
It is powered with system migration, disk, and partition cloning. Besides, it has quite a few conversion options at hand. For instance, it can convert MBR disk to GPT, NTFS partition to FAT32, basic disk to dynamic without any data loss.
In addition, you can change between primary and logical partitions according to need. It has partition recovery options as well.
The USD 53.96 plan comes with lifetime upgrades and technical support. You can also check a free version of this software with some limited functions. All its paid versions come under a 90-Day Unconditional Money-Back Guarantee scheme, so you may try it risk-free.
Paragon Hard Disk Manager
Next on the list of disk partition software is the Hard Disk Manager by Paragon Software.
It has all the basic functioning of the in-built Windows Disk management.
Additionally, it is coupled with advanced partition options like split/merge, logical to primary conversion and vice versa, MBR/GPT conversion, etc.
Beyond this, it can also help in migrating the complete operating system. This can also copy individual partitions or entire disks. You can also automate backups with this hard disk manager.
Finally, it can also notify via email about the success or failure of any operation.
It costs USD 79.95 for a 3 PC license with some discounts available.
Partition Wizard by MiniTool software is a fully-fledged disk management utility. In addition to seven paid versions with varying functions, this also has one free version with limited goodies.
Besides the basic disk partition functions, this one has plenty of other features for just about any case.
For instance, it can move non-contiguous partitions for an extension purpose. This also has a Wipe disk/partition feature that assures permanent deletion and zero recovery chance with any data recovery solution.
And it’s also powered with various conversion cases like FAT to NTFS, MBR to GPT, etc.
The price ranges from $59 per year for the pro version to a $699-lifetime fee for the technician version. Its paid editions come with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Active Partition Manager
Active Partition Manager is a freeware developed by LSoft Technologies.
It has all the usual functions for effective disk management. This can create, format, or resize primary and logical partitions.
In addition, it’s capable of MBR to GPT conversion and vice-versa. This can also undo any partition changes, including creation, deletion, and formatting.
Overall, it seems short on the feature list. Nevertheless, it’s freeware and has all the essential goodies for basic disk partition.
NIUBI Partition Editor
NIUBI partition editor is an all-in-one freemium disk management utility.
It’s capable of all routine disk management operations, including resizing, cloning, creating, and moving partitions.
NIUBI boasts 30-300% faster operations than its peers, thanks to its unique file-moving algorithm. On the security front, it can hide or assign read-only permissions to any partition.
Notably, its 1-second roll-back technology is reserved only for the paid version and other premium functions.
The free version has limited functionality, and the paid variants start with USD 39.
EaseUS Partition Master
EaseUS Partition Master is also a freemium product with a free trial available with all its paid versions. Similar to the software discussed above, this has plenty of tools for disk management.
This tool is coupled with all the features to handle your everyday partition needs. Be it Wipe, Create, Delete, Resize, or conversion of NTFS to FAT32–its free version has everything and more. Just that it can process only 8TB of hard disk storage, but that’s pretty enough for an average user.
Its premium versions have no limits for the hard disk capacity. Adding to its free edition, they support partition recovery, OS migration, dynamic disk management, etc.
Its price ranges from free to USD 259 for server edition with lifetime upgrades.
Apart from the dated looks, the IM-Magic Partition Resizer has many features in its kitty. Starting from the basic shrink, extend, resize to the more advanced like MBR to GPT conversion, this covers most of the ground.
Except for its free version, all others come with roll-back protection. Though missing on some nifty additions, its free edition seems enough for a day-to-day user.
GParted is an open-source partition management tool. It’s free and limited on features.
It can create partition tables (MS-DOS and GPT). Additionally, it can do routine tasks, including creating, copying, moving, resizing, etc.
Closing Lines 👩🏫
Almost all of the above products come with some trial or money-back guarantee. But, they may differ mainly with the overall user experience. So, it would help if you tried the freeware first to get the initial taste before going with the paid versions.
And finally, do note the system requirements, supported file systems, operating systems, etc., before hitting buy.
You may also be interested in Best Data Migration Software for Windows.