Radified FDISK Guide   Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions

Radified FDISK Guide Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions

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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive PartitionsRadified FDISK Guide to Partitioning a Hard DriveDoc's Über FDISK Tutorial on How to Create & Delete PartitionsThis FDISK Partitioning guide tutorial comes compliments of the Doc (who lives in Germany). It explains how to create &delete hard drive partitions using FDISK: Microsoft's DOS-based partitioning utility. The 'F' is FDISK stands for Fixed. The'Create' screen for FDISK looks like this:Before partitioning your hard drive, you may want to look at some strategies on the best way to partition a hard drive. Partitioningis best when it's done correctly the first time. You can always repartition your hard drive at a later time, but that can causeproblems.Doc's guide is referenced by (at least) two universities: [University of Alaska and Morehead State]. It has become surprisinglypopular since search engine's found it. Try searching for FDISK tutorial in either Google or Yahoo & you'll see what I mean.Before we begin, I want to to mention a few other Radified guides that you might find helpful. For example:l The [Norton Ghost Guide] is the site's most popular feature.l The [ASPI Drivers Guide] is ranked #2, and is translated into more languages than any other guide.l The [Guide to Ripping CD Audio & MP3 Encoding] receives more kudos than any other.l The [Guide to Booting from a SCSI Hard Drive] is my personal favorite, espousing a hybrid approach to disk ...

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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions Radified FDISK Guide to Partitioning a Hard Drive
Doc's Über FDISK Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Partitions ThisFDISK Partitioning guide tutorialcomes compliments ofthe Doc(who lives in Germany). It explains how to create & delete hard drivepartitionsusingFDISK: Microsoft's DOSbased partitioning utility. The 'F' isFDISKstands forFixed. The 'Create' screen forFDISKlooks like this:
Before partitioning your hard drive, you may want to look at somestrategies on the best way to partition a hard drive.Partitioning is best when it's done correctly the first time. You can always repartition your hard drive at a later time, but that can cause
Doc's guide is referenced by (at least) two universities:[University of AlaskaandMorehead State]. It has become surprisingly FDISK tutorialin eitherGoogleorYahoo& you'll see what I mean.
Before we begin, I want to to mention <shameless plug> a few other Radified guides that you might find helpful. For example: lThe[Norton Ghost Guide]is the site's most popular feature. lThe[ASPI Drivers Guide]is ranked #2, and istranslatedinto more languages than any other guide.
lThe[Guide to Ripping CD Audio & MP3 Encoding]receives more kudos than any other. lThe[Guide to Booting from a SCSI Hard Drive]is my personal favorite, espousing a hybrid approach to disk storage.
lThe[Asus CUSL2 Motherboard User's Guide]received more reader input than any other. lThe newest addition is an article on the[Intel Northwood Pentium 4 CPU], which takes a look at the upcoming.13micron processor from Intel.
lThe[Guide to the Best Software Programs & Applications]is growing the fastest. lThere's also a page containing a sample of[PC Benchmarks]for making comparisons, including links to benchmarking programs.
lAnd[several others]. </shameless plug>
TheReferralspage contains a sample of sites recommending this & other Radified guides. TheKudospage contains a selection of flattering comments from the Radified mail box.
Let's get busy.
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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions The Basics Generally, the firstpartitionof a hard drive is a *Primary*, normally theC: drive, when it's the primarymaster drive. There is normally only *one* Primarypartitionper hard disk (but more with special tricks). The maximum number of Primarypartitionsallowed per hard disk is4. Again, you will normally only have *one* Primary partitionper hard disk. If you only haveonehard disk in your system, then you will *need* a Primarypartitionon that drive.
But, if you havemore thanone hard disk (two, three, four, etc.) in your system, youdon'tneed any Primarypartitionson the second, third, fourth (etc.) disks. lExtended partitionsare required for hard drives withmore than one partition. Only *one* Extended partition is allowed per hard disk. You can't do anything with an Extended Partition, without first creating aLogical DOS drive*in* the Extended Partition .. which leads to our next point.
lLogical DOS drivesare createdinExtended partitions. They are handy, since you (normally) can have only one Primary & one Extended partition per hard disk, giving you the ability to create more than two partitions per hard disk.
These would be yourLogical DOS drives. For example, they would be yourD: drive, yourE: drive, etc. EachLogical DOS drivegets its own (drive) letter. You can create moreLogical DOS driveson a hard drive than you'll ever have need for.
For example, you could useFDISKtopartitionan18GB hard drive like so: lone6GB Primary partition =C: drive lone12GB Extended partition, containing two6GB Logical drives (D+E)
Before going any further, it might help for you toseeagraphical representationof what partitions look like .. especially if you are a visually oriented learner. Seeherefor a screen shot taken fromPartition Magic, a wonderful Windowsbased partitioning utility. This might be a good place to discuss why we don't use other partitioning utilities, such asPartition Magic, which can be easier to use, with itsgraphicaluserinterface .. or the utilities offered by hard drive manufacturers.
The answer isnotcost. While Partition Magic is not free, and FDISK is (free), the real reason iscompatibility. No other FDISK. It's the closest thing there is to astandard.
Other partitioning utilities may be prettier, or easier to use, but hard drives partitioned with Microsoft's FDISK are less likely to generate any weird, quirky compatibility issues.
Also note that you can format a drive directly from Windows .. by rightclicking on a drive and selecting 'format' from the context menu. I don't use this (Windowsbased) method.
The more programs that are loaded into memory while you're formatting increase the potential for quirky problems to arise .. which is why it's best to format from DOS, where you have a minimum system configuration loaded in memory.
Some people format *twice* .. once inDOS, and then again inWindows. While this sounds rather thorough, I have never done it this way, and have never had a problem.
To make a Startup boot disk, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. There you'll find3tabs at the top, one of which is for making a Startup floppy disk. Put a brandspanking new, formatted floppy into yourA: drive and follow the directions. To make things easy for you, I zipped the contents of a Startup floppy disk (from Win98) and posted ithere.
It's labeledFDISK.zip(738kb). To use, simply extract the contents of the zipped file to a floppy disk. This is the same disk that I use to partition & format my drives (all trouble free). More boot discs can be found postedhere(bootdisk.com).
To partition a hard drive withFDISK, reboot with Startup floppy disk inserted in the floppy drive. Once the system has booted, and the floppy disk drive is no longer making any noises, type "FDISK" (without quotes) at theA: prompt, and hit the <Enter>
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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions key. Here we go. The program will ask you if you wantLarge Disc Support. Answer: 'Yes' by typing the letter 'Y'. Large disc support =FAT32, which allows you to create partitions larger than2GB.
If you answer 'No,' you will getFAT16, which limits your partitions to2GB each. If you have a60GB drive, you will be creating many partitions, and use many drive letters.
The FirstFDISKscreenlooks like this: 1.CreateDOS partition or Logical DOS Drive 2. Setactivepartition[Your C: drive is usually your active partition] 3.DeletePartitions or Logical DOS Drive 4.Displaypartition information[Use this option to verify your work] 5.Changecurrent fixed drive[For systems with more than one HDD] If you have four IDE/ATA hard disks in your system,FDISKwill report them is the following order: lDrive1= Primary Master lDrive2= Primary Slave lDrive3= Secondary Master lDrive4= Secondary Slave The thing to remember is that thePrimary Slaveis always listedbeforetheSecondary Master. The other two are easy to remember. Hopefully you've alreadybacked upany data, if the drive is not brand new. You will*lose*any data contained on the drive.
Assuming this isnota new drive, we first need to useFDISKto remove the existing partitions. So go to item #3. (If you have a
access the desired drive.
5Change current fixed drive, to
If you have more than one physical hard drive, you need to be *absolutely* certain that you're working with the drive you *think* you're working with. I cannotstressthis strongly enough. If you partition and/or format the wrong drive, you will cry.
Some people even physically disconnect all other hard drives before partitioning and/or formatting. While I feel that this isn't necessary, it's not a bad idea, especially forFDISKnewbies, or if you're not sure which drive you're working with. The nextFDISKscreenlooks like this: 1. DeletePrimaryDOS Partition[Delete this partition last] 2. DeleteExtendedDOS Partition[Delete this partition next] 3. DeleteLogicalDOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition[Delete these first] 4. DeleteNonDOSPartition[These can be difficult to delete with FDISK] Alwaysdeletepartitions in the *reverse* order that you create them. In other words, like so: First deleteLogical DOS drives(all of them) > next delete the Extended partition > lastly delete the Primary partition.
FDISK can have problems deleting nonDOS partitions. If you're having trouble deleting partitions, for any reason, see here: [Problems deleting Partitions].
After allpartitionshave been removed/deleted, return to the first screen. Now we'll create our new partitions. Go to item #1: Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive. The nextFDISKscreenlooks like this: 1. CreatePrimaryDOS Partition[Create this first]
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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions
2. CreateExtendedDOS Partition[Create next, use *all* remaining space] 3. CreateLogical DOS Drive(s) in the Extended DOS Partition[Create last] Createpartitionsin the following order: Primary > Extended > Logical DOS Drives (in the Extended DOS partition). don'tnecessarily have to create aPrimary partition. Your drive will work fine withnoPrimary partitions, as long as it's not the only hard drive in your system. You need only one Primary partition persystem. All other drives can be comprised entirely ofLogical DOS drivesinExtendedpartitions. With that said, normally, each hard drive has one Primary partition.
Creating aPrimary partitioncan change your driveletter designations on preexisting hard drives, which can cause problems. I'll discuss problems associated with driveletter changes later, and give you ways to solve the issues. Primary partition. If asked to use *all* space, answer 'No' and enter the amount you wish for theC: drive (or whatever) .. unless you only want a singlepartition hard drive. In that case, you would answer 'Yes'.
The first partition on your first hard drive should automatically be set toActive partition. If not,FDISKmay ask you, or you may have to select item2:Set active partitionfrom the main menu.
The active partition is usually theC: drive. Even if you don't install youroperatingsystem(s) to yourC: drive, your O/S(s) will still install key boot files (such asboot.ini) to your active partition. While it is possible to have (up to)4 Primary partitionsper hard disk, only one of them can be active (at any one time). You can change whichpartitionis active, altho you probably will never have a need to do this.
Extended partition. Recall that each hard drive can only have oneExtended Partition. Use *all* remaining space. Repeat, useallremaining space to create yourExtended partition. If you don't, you'll wind up withunused spaceon your hard drive (a common newbie problem). FDISKshould automatically advance to the next step > creatingLogical DOS drives. It should give you a message that says (something like),This drive has no Logical DOS drives. Would you like to create some now? Enter the amount for thesizeyou want to make the firstLogical DOS drive/partition. Think for a minute about the size your want. This will be your newD: drive, if you only have one hard disk in your system.
After you create the firstLogical DOS drive, enter the remaining space for the thirdpartition or make it however big, and add however manyLogical DOS drivesyou want.
Pay attention to thedrive lettersthatFDISKindicates for your newpartitions. You will need to know what the new drive letters are when you laterformatthese newly createdpartitions(in the next step). If you format thewrongpartitions, you're screwed. You willloseall data in the partitions you format.
As mentioned earlier, some people disconnect all other drives whenpartitioning& formatting. This makes it impossible to mistakenlypartitionor format the wrong drive. I don't use this safeguard and have never had a problem.
Another method to avoid formatting the wrong drive is to usedrive labels. At the completion of formatting, the formatting
If you don't, it will automatically assign some arbitrary, meaningless label for you. Better that you label each partition yourself. You could use a labeling system as simple as:C_drive, orD_drive, etc. Or an elaborate one such asATA_0101, which might designate the the1st (01) partition on the1st (01) ATA drive.
The problem with using letterbased labeling systems is that drive letters can change when you add more hard drives. A partition that is now yourF_drive, for example, might become yourG_drive orH_drive when you add another hard drive in a few months.
Personally, I tape a3x5 cardto the side of my monitor. It contains all partitioning info, in one quick glance.
A third trick to keep from formatting the wrong drive is to make all you partitionsunique sizes. For example, if you have two 60GB drives, and you want to make3 partitionsper hard disk, don't make them all20GB each. This would make it easy to confuse your partitions.
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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions For example, on the first disk, you could create partition sizes of:18GB,20GB &22GB. On the other disk, make them17GB, 19GB,24GB. This will make it more difficult to mistake one partition for another.
If you need to reformat a particular drive, and that drive is supposed to be18GB, but it's reported as22GB, you know something isn't right.
Lastly, you should *always* have abackup imageof your boot partition(s) on hand. You can create a backup image with an imaging utility such as Symantec'sNorton Ghost, or Powerquest'sDrive Image.
If you need help with creating an image of your boot drive/partition, check out the official, worldfamous RadifiedUser's Guide to . It's the site's mostpopularfeature.
This way, if you ever accidentally wipe out (format) your boot partition, you can quickly & easilyrestoreit .. in a matter of minutes. You shouldn't be without an imaging utility. They can save you from so much grief. We're finished withFDISK, so exit out.
Reboot with the Startup disk still inserted in the floppy drive. All partitions that were created need to beformattedbefore you can use the drive. But first, enterFDISKagain (by typing:FDISKat the command prompt (A:\) and hit the <Enter> key, and *check* the status of the partitions you made.
In particular, check theLogical DOS drivesthat you made. Make sure the number of drives is correct.
I have seen instances where2Logical DOS driveswere created inFDISK, but after rebooting, there was only one. In this case, simply remake the 2nd/lastLogical DOS drive(in theExtended DOS partition) again. Then reboot and check again.
The second time has never failed to work for me. Do this until all drives / partitions look the way you expect (inFDISK).
When/If theLogical DOS driveslook correct after rebooting, it's time toformat the partitionsyou made. Formatting takes much longer than partitioning, especially if you have a bigass hard drive. The bigger your drive, the longer it'll take (to format).
Your drives might end up in any possible combination of drive letters, depending on your particular hard drive configuration and
Say, for example, you want to format yourC: drive. You would type "format c:" (without the quotes) at the command prompt, and then hit the <enter> key. You need tomake absolutely surethat you're formatting the partition/drive that youthinkyou're formatting. You willloseprecious data if you format the wrong partition.
Repeat this outline until you have formatted all the partitions you created. After formatting all the partitions/drives you created, reboot & you're ready to use you new drive. Most people usually install their operating system at this point.
If your system supportsBooting from CD(most newer ones do), insert your Windows CD & reboot. Setup will start automatically. If your system doesnotsupportBooting from CD, follow these steps: 1. Insert both the Startup floppy disk and the Windows CD. 2. Reboot 3. choose2:Boot with CDROM support. 4. Once you're sustem arrives at the command prompt, change to your CDdrive letter (which will be different for each user, depending upon your particular partition setup). For example, if your CD is yourK: drive, type: "cd k:" (without quotes) and hit the <Enter> key. [cdis a DOS command that stands for 'Change Directory'] 5. Type "setup" (without quotes) and hit the <Enter> key. You're there. Follow the instructions.
Miscellaneous information: lLinux usesext2as its native file system. Even tho many Linux distros come with a partitioning utility, I've found that it's best to usePartition Magicto create partitions for Linux. The best place to get answers about partitioning for Linux ishere (Linuxnewbie).
lTry to install Linux to a *Primary* partition. If you first *shrink* your Windows partition, to make room for Linux, instead
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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions
of converting them to ext2 (in their entirety), you'll maintain your current driveletter configuration. If you *convert* a Windows partition to ext2, your Windows driveletter config will change, cuz Windows cannot see/recognize ext2 partitions.
lThe default cluster size increases from4kb to8kb for partitions that exceed8GB. For maximum space utilization, make your partitions no larger than8GB. In general you want *smaller* clusters for the partition(s) where you'll store/load your operating system (Windows), which is full of many small files (less than1KB).
lYou want *larger* cluster sizes for partitions that will be used to archive large media files, such as MP3s, video, and graphics. So, if you want to create a partition that is roughly8gigs to be used to store your MP3s, you'd do better to make it 8.1GB, rather than7.9GB. This would increase the cluster size.
lThe default cluster size increases from8kb to16kb for partitions that exceed16GB. The default cluster size jumps again for partitions that exceed32GBs.
lThere's a knownproblem with (trying to) createFAT32partitions larger than32GBs using Windows 2000 CD. (You will have no such problem is you useFDISKfrom DOS, like described here).
I heard that the reason that Microsoft does this (doesn't allow you to create FAT32 partitions greater than32GB from the Win2K Install CD) is because they want you to useNTFSwith Win2K. I use Win2K withFAT32, cuz I still have WinME installed. Using FAT32 allows me to access all partitions, from all operating systems.
TheNTFSfile system offersbetter securitythan FAT32 .. that the average home user typically doesn't need. I only useNTFSfor drives dedicated for video storage, so take this with a grain of salt. But I've heard from people who use nothing butNTFS. If your PC is located in an office where someone might pry, thenNTFSis the way to go. For example, Eric (from New York City) wrote to say that he encountered problems with the W98 Startup disk postedhere. To be specific, he gets the error:NTLDR is missing Press any key to restart. Pressing 'any key' does no good. The Windows Me boot disk frombootdisk.comallows you to accessFDISK. ButFDISKcould not delete anNTFS partition. A utility calleddelpart.exeis required. You can downloaddelpart.exefrom either myBinaries page, or frombootdisk.com(listed near the bottom under the heading labeledPartitioning).
It's 123KB. Copy it to your boot floppy and execute it from there. DeleteNTFS partitionsas desired. Then reboot and create FDISK. So the combo that works to deleteNTFS partitions(I'm told) is:delpart.exeon a WinMe boot floppy.
Other people who useNTFSprimarily, create oneFAT32partition .. for the sole purpose of receiving (storing)Norton Ghost images. Ghost can create images of (source)NTFSpartitions, but the images cannot be written to (destination)NTFSpartitions. They must be written to FAT32 partitions. This can makeNTFSa little more challenging to work with.
Windows 2000uses the NTFS v5.0file system, whileWindows XPuses the NTFS v5.1file system.
Many utilities, such asPartition MagicandDrive Imagedo not work with hard drives greater than80GBs. Before you do anything with NTFS partitions, readthissupport page from Microsoft.
Back toFAT32. There's a knownproblem with trying to createpartitions(withFDISK) larger than64GB. Seehere. Microsoft has a file for you to download (if you want to create partitions larger than64GB).
I have nopartitionsthis large (yet), so I haven't used this file. I would love to have a monstersized partition like this for myMP3s andlossless audio.ape files. I'll post a note here when I'm able to create a partition larger than64GB, and let you know how it went. lSome older motherboards need aBIOS updateto support partitions greater than32GB.
lWindows doesnothave to be installed to a Primary partition, but Win98/SE/ME are usually installed to Primary partitions. I have both Win2K and WinXP RC2 installed to aLogical DOS drive, so I know that's no problem.
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Radified FDISK Guide / Tutorial on How to Create & Delete Hard Drive Partitions If you plan to install both Win2K and W98/ME, install W98/ME first, then launch the Win2K installer from the CD while you're in Win9x/ME. It will gather system info, and then reboot automatically.
lIf you want to add another physical hard disk, but you don't want yourexisting drive letterto change, donotcreate a Primary partition on your new hard disk. Instead, create one, bigExtended partition, the size of your entire physical disk, and then createLogical DOS driveswithin theExtended partition.
You do this because Windows assigns driveletters toALLPrimarypartitions first.
If you install a new/second/additional hard disk, and create aPrimarypartition in that new hard disk, Windows will assign to it a drivelatter to it that may have previously been assigned to one of youLogical DOS driveson your original hard disk.
This could create problems. If Windows thinks a certain program is installed on a certain driveletter, and then it gets moved
As a matter of convention, Windows typically assigns fixeddisk drive letters like so: l1st > Primary partition of Primary master lNext > Primary partition of Primary slave lNext > Primary partition of Secondary master lNext > Primary partition of Secondary slave lNext > Primary partition on SCSI ID 0 lNext > Primary partition on SCSI ID 1 (and so on, until all Primary partitions for all SCSI IDs are assigned) lNext > All Logical DOS drives of partitions on Primary master lNext > All Logical DOS drives of partitions on Primary slave lNext > All Logical DOS drives of partitions on Secondary master lNext > All Logical DOS drives of partitions on Secondary slave lNext > All Logical DOS drives of partitions on SCSI ID 0 lNext > All Logical DOS drives of partitions on SCSI ID 1 (and so on, until all drive letters are assigned to all Logical DOS drives on all SCSI IDs).
The thing to note here is that *all* Primary partitions receive drive letters before ANY Logical DOS drives do. For more info about drive letter assignments, seehere(annoyances.org). A freeware letterassigner is postedhere(I have not tried it).
Ed K. from Topeka, Kansas writes to mention a free utility namedCOA(ChangeofAddress). He says: PCMag has a great little program that I've used many times under Windows W9x. It modifies registry entries, ini files, etc., so that, when adding a new drive letter, changes the system is updated with changes to previous drive letters. For example, you can tell COA toreplace all D:\ with E:\The program can be found atHotfiles.com, search for COA. They also have a 32bit version available.
One of the tools that comes withPartition Magic, calledDriveMapper, does the same thing. From the Partition Magic Help file: Drive letters can change when you create, delete, hide, or unhide partitions, which can cause applications not to run because application shortcuts, initialization files, and registry entries refer to incorrect drives. DriveMapper is a wizard that lets you easily update drive letter references.
If you are using Windows NT or Windows 2000 as your only operating system, we recommend using the Change Drive Letter operation (Operation Advanced Change Drive Letter) rather than DriveMapper. Change Drive Letter lets you permanently set the drive letters for your partitions so that adding and removing partitions does not affect drive letters.
If you install your OS to a SCSI drive, before installing any OS'es to an IDE drive, and make it your *active* partition, the primary here.
The next (last) page contains agraphical representationof hard drive partitions fromPartition Magicthat might help you understand (see) how partitions work. I found it to be helpful.
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Radified  Doc's Uber FDISK Guide Tutorial on How to Partition a Hard Drive
PowerQuest's partitioning programPartition Magic:
graphicallyBelow is a screenshot taken from
6hard drives. The first3disks are IDE/ATA disks. The last3are SCSI disks.
Notice the lightblue borders. Those areextendedpartitions. Note, too, how multiplelogical DOS drivesare enclosed withinthe extended partitions. Notice also how Disks #3and5haveno primarypartitions. They are comprisedentirely ofextendedpartitions, which each contain threelogical DOS drives.
Extendedpartitions keeps the newly added disks from usurping drive letters from those already installed with primary partitions. (Windows assigns drive letters to primary partitions first.)
datais actually contained (used) in the particular drive, while the white represents free/unused space. The 2,674.9MB partition of my Disk #1 is my LinuxEXT2partition. The tiny partition right after it is my (128MB)Linux swap.
Hdrive is my biggest partition. It's about 20gigs. I use it for nothing but MP3s. Notice how I made it larger than 16GB, to bump up the cluster size to the next larger size (bigger clusters are better for large, media files).
#1. This way I have no trouble reading and writing data from/to any partition from either Win2K, WinME, or WinXP RC2.
2GB Boot Boundary, and the second is the1024 Cylinder Boundary, which equals roughly the8GB spot. Notice how the entire Linux partitions are within the1024 Cylinder Boundary.
has some serious partitions, doesn't he?
Update: 29jun2001: I just ran across anotherFDISKtutorial. This one has pictures. Seehere. Doc's has more detail, but pictures can be nice, too. MrScary also has a similar guide postedhere.
commons problemsto watch for: 1.Not using the entire amount of the disk. For example, after partitioning your60GB drive into3parts (you thought), you find that you're only using40gigs. To avoid this problem:
A. Make sure that you make theExtendedpartition the *whole* size of whatever is left after you create the primary
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B. Make sure that you continue to make logical drives until *all* the space is used. If you only make one, large primary partition, neither of these items apply (obviously). 2.After partitioning, you later discover that one of the partitions didn't 'take' (for whatever reason). As a result, you end up formatting the wrong drive, andlosing data. Obviously this is very bad. To avoid this problem:
A. After partitioning, do not immediately format the partition(s)/drive(s). Instead, go back into FDISK, and view the partitions (Item #4,Display partition information) and make sure the partitions and drive letters look the way you expect them to.
I have had to redo partitions before, because they didn't 'take' the first time. Format only after you arepositivethat all partitions you created (thoughtyou created) look the way you expect them to!
If you *do* screw up and format the wrong partition, there are programs that might help you restore your data: 1.[Directory Snoop] 2.[Fast File Recovery] 3.[Final Data] 4.[LC Technology] 5.[Ontrack] 6.[Restorer 2000]
Sometimes you don't need to need to create, add or delete partitions  you merely need to *resize* the ones you already have. For example, perhaps you have a smallish C: drive. And it's becoming full. And you're starting to get errors about notenufspace.
Suppose you have two hard disk drives in your system. The first has a20GB capacity. This hard disk has3partitions. The C: drive is2GB and is full. The D: drive is6GB and is half full. The last partition, the E: drive is12GB and is also half full (6GB free).
40GB. It is a single40GB partition, which is half full.
1.You could usePartition Magicto resize the partitions.Partition Magicis the only way I know to resize partitions onthefly without losing data.
2.The other is to use Norton Ghost (Symantec). You could image the partitions on the first hard disk drive to the second drive. Then deleteallthe partitions on the first hard disk. You will lose all data on the first hard disk.
walk you through the steps of how to use Norton Ghost. It's posted here >Norton Ghost guide.
Using Ghost would be cheaper. Partition Magic costs about $60, while you could get Norton System works, which contains Norton Ghost, for US$11here(DirectDeals). See mySCSI User's Guidefor more info about this deal (5th paragraph down).
Vondrookwrites to mention that Symantec's version ofFDISK, calledGDISK, (which comes with NortonGhost) has a cool feature. He says:
"After all the good reports about Ghost, I decided to giveGDISKa whirl. Mind you, I've never tangled with anything other thanFDISK (for compatibility reasons), and was reluctant to do so. Symantec toutsGDISKas being far more userfriendly thenFDISK, but it's still a DOS program.
The feature I wanted withGDISKwas theability to hide partitions. You simply enter:gdisk 1 /hide /p:2 (for disk #1, partition #2). It's sweet!
Thus I canunhide myD: partition, dump a backup (Ghost) image to it, then rehide it .. and my office girls never know it's there (let alone mess with it).
You might want to include this on your site at some point. It's slick for this one reason. (And yes, you can still perform "gdisk /mbr" and other FDISKlike functions if you suspect a virus in the master boot record)."
http://fdisk.radified.com/fdisk_02a.htm (2 of 3) [1/20/2002 2:15:32 PM]
Radified  Doc's Uber FDISK Guide Tutorial on How to Partition a Hard Drive
I've never usedGDISK, but did a little research. They have two versions: GDISK.exe is a DOSbased program, and GDISK32.exe Windowsbased. I wouldn't recommend using the Windowsbased version. You can read more about GDISK here. The list of switches are postedhere. Tutorialhere.
If you need to read more aboutFDISK, the boring Microsoft version ishere.
might also help (Upgrade Your Hard Driveby ZDNet). Andthisis a piece by MS about how to add a hard drive without changing drive letters.Here's another FDISK guide I came across. It has pictures, too (pcnineoneone). The ultimate FDISK reference is postedhere(fdisk.com).
I have received several requests from people asking that I mention an alternate partitioning utility calledRanish Partition Manager(RPM). Indeed I have heard many good things about RPM, but I have no personal experience with it.
I'm reluctant to discuss anything with which I have no first hand experience. But since I've heard so many good things about RPM, I'll mention it here. A guide to installing and using RPM is included in this tutorial postedhere(The REAL Multiboot). here.
One reader writes to say:
It might be worth mentioning that the Ranish Partition Manager will confuse Powerquest's Drive Image. Removal and reinstallation of RPM is easy, so the solution when you want to image a hard drive with DI is to remove RPM and do the imaging. Then reinstall RPM.
Funny. It could be that Drive Image checks the MBR or something. Don't know. The workaround is there, so... Except for that I haven't experienced any strange behavior. RPM is highly recommended!
Ranish Partition Manager is free. It has good karma. =)
Again I have no experience with this program. I do however, support freeware, which is why I mention it. Another freeware program isFIPS.
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