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Partition and format a hard disc drive: Web Tech Support: Hard drives can be partitioned to run separate
operating systems on the same disk, or to break down a
disk into manageable chunks for storage. Partitioning
is performed on a new or reformatted drive. You must partition
a drive in order to use it. Even if you're going to give
it all to Windows. The program that we use most often
to partition a hard drive is FDISK, which comes with DOS
& Windows. Nowadays, people partition drives for two
reasons: to support multiple operating systems, and to
use disk space more efficiently.
Microsoft Windows comes with an newer version
of Fdisk.exe, That you can use to partition your drives.
In most cases, the computer manufacturer will have already
set up disk partitions on your hard drive when you get
a new computer or drive. You can use Fdisk.exe to make
changes to your partitions, but you will lose any files
stored on them unless you back them up first.
In most cases, you shouldn't use Fdisk.exe
if your hard disk is already partitioned with a third-party
scheme. Try using the third party's partition tools instead.
You may determine if your hard drive was partitioned with
a third-party product by examining the Config.sys. If
you find references to the following files: Dmdrvr.bin,
Sstor.sys, HarDrive.sys, or Evdisk.sys, you are using
a third-party disk partitioner
Tip: Commercial products,
such as PartitionMagic,
make hard disk partitioning much easier. These instructions
describe using FDISK for PCs using DOS 3 or later. New
the Partition Resizer: The first free program to resize
and move partitions without data loss...more
Warnings: The FDISK procedure
deletes all files on the hard disk. This action is not
reversible. Be sure to back up any files you want to keep.
Note: Be sure to allocate ample disk
space (about 1 GB) on the C drive to hold Windows software
and temp files created by other software programs. If
you use FDISK from a Windows 98 start-up disk, the computer
will ask if you want to enable large disk support. Enter
Y for hard drives larger than 512 MB. Be sure to create
partitions greater than 514 MB.
Note: For Partition in Windows XP: Web Tech Support Partition a Hard Drive in Windows XP Tech Support page. | How to Format a Hard Drive Using Windows Vista
First make a Startup Disk: To create
a Startup Disk, click the Add/Remove Programs icon in
1. First start the computer in DOS. The
screen will show the C:\ prompt. You can use a boot disk
to start your computer, the screen will show the A:\.
2. Now type FDISK
. The partition window will appear with menu options.
3. Enter 5 if you're partitioning a second
drive, and select the drive; otherwise, skip to the next
4. Enter 1 (Create DOS Partition or Logical
5. Enter 2 (Create Extended DOS) to create
6. Enter N when the program asks if you
want to use the maximum available size.
7. Designate the amount of disk space to
allocate to the second partition (the partition will be
assigned the next drive letter).
8. Type a name for the new partition and
press Enter. The partition menu will appear.
9. Repeat steps 5 through 8 to create additional
10. Exit the partition command by Press
11. Now you can Format the newly created
partitions (see "How To Format
a Hard Drive").
Using your C drive Windows Me FDISK to partition
your new hard drive.
1. In Windows click Start > Programs
> MS-DOS Prompt. Type fdisk at the DOS prompt and press
enter. Press enter again to allow the hard drive to be
2. Now press 5 to change the current fixed
disk drive and then press enter. You are going to format
your second drive, your new drive and you want to be sure
that you don't format the first drive. Then press 2 to
format the new drive and press enter.
3. Press 1 and then enter to create a DOS
partition on drive 2.
4. Press 1 again, and then enter to create
a primary DOS partition. You need to create a primary
DOS partition to allow this partition to become the bootable
volume, C: drive.
5. Now press enter to use the maximum available
size of your new hard drive for the primary DOS partition.
Drives less then 8GB will use 4K clusters for file storage.
Press Esc to end FDISK. Now restart Windows, your new
drive will be recognized as the D:. And the second primary
partition is assigned the drive letter D: .
6. You need to format the new drive . Right
click on the D: drive icon in your Explorer, and select
Format, mark the Full and (Copy system files) options
in the Format dialog box and click the Start button, Also
you can click Start > Programs > MS-DOS Prompt,
and type Format D:/s and press enter.
7. If formatting is complete, you have a
hard drive that is ready to accept your files. See Copying
you files to a new hard drive here!.
Note: If your hard drive is already
partitioned you shouldn't use Fdisk. You can determine
if your drive was partitioned with a third party product
by examining the Config.sys. If you find Sstor.sys, HarDrive.sys,
Dmdrvr.bin. or Evdisk.sys references.
Note: If the disk capacity displayed
in the FDISK menu doesn't match your hard drive, then
your system doesn't support larger disk drives. Use disk
management software, such as Disk Manager or EZ-Drive,
to provide support for larger drives.
Warnings: The FDISK procedure deletes all files on
the hard disk. This action is not reversible. Be sure
to back up any files you want to keep. Remember to come
back to WebTechGeek.com for more How to tips!
After the hard drive is physically installed,
the next step is to partition the drive click here.
After you partition a hard drive you need to format your
hard drive click here!
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in the first place and it might very well be a Serious
Criminal Offence in your country to have that data stored
on your computer even if you didn't know it was still
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your 'Recycle Bin' - or even 'Formatting' your disk -
simply will not work, the 'sensitive material' will still
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Tech Support Pages: More
How To's List | How to Format a Hard Drive Using Windows Vista: | Format and Reinstall a Clean Installation of Windows XP. Video How To |