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How To Use The Windows 7 Disk Management Tool

written by: Brandon Levski•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 9/13/2010

Find out how to use the Windows 7 disc management tool to create, format, extend or shrink disc partitions.

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    Windows 7 disk management

    Windows 7 has a very useful tool for disk management. This tool can come in handy for disk partitioning, resizing of partitions, shrinking, merging and other disk related tasks. In the past, in order to do these things you would have to buy some software solution for disk management because previous Windows versions didn’t have this option except for the Windows Vista. To access this tool right click on the Computer icon and then from the menu select Manage. Then a Computer Management window will open. On the right side of the window click on the Disk Management option and this will start the Windows 7 disk management tool. Wait until the tool searches for partitions and loads basic information for every partition. When the searching and loading of information process is over, the tool will display all of the partitions on your disk and even show the unpartitioned space. Using a right click over a particular partition will revile a menu with actions like Change Drive Letter and Paths, Format, Extend Volume, Shrink Volume and Delete Volume. These are some of the most important options of the Windows 7 disk management tool and here is how you can use them.

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    Shrink Volume of your partition with the Windows 7 disk management tool

    This can be very useful when you have only one partition C: which uses the whole disk. This is very bad because if the Operating System fails you would have to format the whole partition and you will erase all of your files. The simple solution to this problem is to have two or more partitions so that on one partition you can install your Windows 7 and all of your software and on the other partition keep your files. Then, if your system fails you can format the C partition and install Windows 7 leaving D: partition and your files intact. Another use for this option is when you want to make a partition smaller and add the free space to another partition or create a new partition.

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    Extend Volume of your partition with the Windows 7 disk management tool

    When you shrink the volume of a partition you are left with an unpartitioned disk space. You can either create a new partition or add that free space to another partition increasing its free space. This is useful when you have excess of free space you don't need on one partition, and lack of space on another partition. The solution is to shrink one partition and add the free space to the other partition.

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    Format partition using the Windows 7 disk management tool

    This option is very useful when you want to erase all of the data stored on a partition. This process can't be reversed so be careful when formatting partitions. Also, all of the newly created partitions have to be formatted in order for you to be able to use them.

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    Delete Volume or partition using the Windows 7 disk management tool

    Use this option when you want to delete the partition and add the space to another partition or even create a new partition. Be careful not to delete the wrong partition because getting the data back is very difficult and can only be done with special software for data recovery.

    The Windows 7 disk management is a powerful tool that will help you solve disk related problems and tasks. It's very easy to use but please be careful because some actions can't be reversed.