How to Partition an External Hard Drive

If you have owned a laptop or a computer before, chances are that you have seen drives labeled C and D. In fact, those two within themselves are partitions or in other words, sections of the single physical drive within your device.

You can shrink those two partitions of the physical drive to create space for additional partitions that you can use for a number of different reasons, which we will explore in more detail below.

But, before we get into how to safely partition an external hard drive, let’s take a look at what partitioning actually is and why you would want to partition your external HDD in the first place.

Note: This article will specifically put an emphasis on partitioning external hard drives using Windows 10 using the free Disk Management tool.

What is Partitioning?

When it comes to external hard drive partitioning, the term refers to segmenting the hard drive as a whole into different storage regions where you can safely store, organize, and optimize your data.

While all these different regions operate under the same hardware, they are completely independent of each other.

Despite having evident benefits, it is a very overlooked tool not just for performance but also for security purposes.

So, if you are wondering why you should partition your external hard drive, continue reading as we explore the topic in more detail below.

Why Would You Partition an External Hard Drive?

When you purchase and begin using an external HDD, chances are that it only has one primary C drive for you to use. This is when users who like to stay organized begin to create on average 2-5 partitions on their HDD.

To put it simply, imagine your external hard drive as a bin. If you add a range of different containers into this bin for different types of rubbish such as plastic, glass, cardboard, and others, all of a sudden, your bin becomes a lot more organized and easy to manage.

It is the same as partitioning your external hard drive. When you create multiple storages (partitions) within your drive, you can easily organize your files from personal to work to travel or whatever you really want to use the drive for.

Here is a list of some of the main benefits of partitioning your external hard drive:

  • Easily organize your data as per your needs.
  • A higher level of data security when you have multiple storage partitions within the same drive.
  • Improved external hard drive performance.

How to Partition an External Hard Drive

For the job, we will be using Disk Management, which is a built-in partition management tool in Windows 10/8/7. It provides all the basic features that you could possibly need, and best of all, it’s free to use.

With the Disk Management tool, you can extend and shrink partitions, create new ones, change drive pathways and letters, convert an HDD to dynamic, and more.

To begin the partitioning process, first, connect your external HDD to your PC, and simply follow the steps below. In this case, we will be doing it on Windows 10.

Step 1) From your desktop, right-click on “My PC” > Manage > Disk Management. Alternatively, press the Windows Logo Key on your keyboard, and type in the search “Disk Management” and click Enter.

Step 2) To recreate a new partition on your external hard drive, right-click on the unallocated space of your external hard drive and select “New Simple Volume“.

If there is already a partition in place, right-click the external hard drive that you want to partition, and select “Shrink Volume

Then, enter the amount of storage space that you want to shrink in MB and click on the “Shrink” button.  Then, repeat the beginning of Step 2 to create a new volume.

Step 3) Then, you need to enter the New Simple Volume Wizzard interface by clicking the “Next” button and specify the size of the volume that you’d like to create.

Step 4) Now, you will need to assign a “Drive Letter or Path“, and set the partition file system as NTFS. After that, you can click on the “Finish” button to complete the creation of the new partition on your external hard drive.

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