Partitioning your hard drive is a great way to more effectively organize your data and improve performance. Partitioning refers to separating the hard disk into separate partitions for data storage, effectively dividing your physical hard drive into multiple virtual drives. You can use each partition for a different purpose. For example, you can have one drive contain all of your programs as well as Windows and another one run another operating system or store all of your movies and music. Partitioning a disk also decreases maintenance time since you need to run utilities such as “check disk” and “disk defragmenter” for one partition at a time. The following are some of the most popular utilities for managing partitions in Windows 7 64-bit.
Windows’ Computer Management Utility
Windows Vista and later natively include a basic partition manager which is adequate for most people’s needs. This can be accessed by navigating to “Computer management” in “Administrative tools” in the control panel. The partition manager is a component of this utility. It allows you to divide your disk into partitions as well as shrink and expand existing ones. Before you can partition your hard disk, however, you will need to defragment the drive.
The best time to partition your hard disk is when you initially install Windows 7. As you configure the installation before Windows Setup starts copying the files to your disk, you can configure partitions as well as choose which partition to install Windows on. Installers for other operating systems also often allow you to do this, allowing you to easily dual-boot multiple operating systems.
Easeus Free Partition Master
For power users, the built-in partition manager in Windows 7 sometimes does not provide enough features. A popular alternative and also a free one is the Easeus Free Partition Manager. You can use this tool for creating a bootable partition, merging all partitions and copy dynamic volumes. The software also works with FAT32 drives.
MiniTool Partition Wizard
MiniTool Partition Wizard is another freeware partition manager which works with Windows 7 64-bit. It provides more features than the basic disk management utility included with Windows. It also provides some hard disk testing and diagnostic features.