ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Partition Windows Disk Drive Using Windows Setup, Shrink Volume and Easeus Partition Master

Updated on February 5, 2019
amuno profile image

Alfred is a long-time teacher and computer enthusiast who works with and troubleshoots a wide range of computing devices.

If you choose to partition a new disk drive during Windows installation, the process should run flawlessly. If however, you do it months or weeks later, it will be necessary to first transfer accumulated files in the Desktop and Documents folders to an external storage device.

Further still, a disk drive with old Windows installation gradually generates unmovable files across the disk drive surface which will result in undesired partition sizes.

Typical disk drive partitions in Windows
Typical disk drive partitions in Windows

Disk drive partition can be done within Windows operating system or using third party software tools like EASUS Partition Master.

1. Disk Partition During Windows Setup

Using Windows operating system, you can partition the hard disk drive during Windows setup or using the Shrink volume tool.

When you run Windows setup from DVD or USB, choose Custom (Advanced) when you reach that stage in Setup which asks you to select type of installation.

Unlike the Upgrade option, Custom (Advanced) install allows you to configure partitions manually.

Opt for Custom configuration if you wish to partition your hard drive when running Windows setup
Opt for Custom configuration if you wish to partition your hard drive when running Windows setup

Suppose the hard drive is new or unused, you will see Disc 0 unallocated, but different partitions will show up in case the hard drive is partitioned.

Unallocated space implies a hard drive that is not yet formatted
Unallocated space implies a hard drive that is not yet formatted

Click Drive Options (Advanced) and you will see New, in the next window. Click on the option and a new window with partition options will pop up.

Type in the size of partition for Windows and the rest will be part of the new backup partition.

Under the Size text box, you can type in the size of desired partition capacity
Under the Size text box, you can type in the size of desired partition capacity

In Windows 7, C: Windows partition will be labeled partition 2 and a 100MB mandatory System Reserved area will also be created, named partition 1.

A newly partitioned hard drive with two usable partitions
A newly partitioned hard drive with two usable partitions

Go ahead and format the unallocated partition, or you can do this later using the Disk Management tool. If you choose to partition it at this stage, it will read Partition 3.

Finally, highlight Partition 2 and click Next to start installing Windows 7.

NOTE: In this example, I have used 25GB disk drive for illustration purposes only since I was running setup inside a Virtual Box. Your hard drive should be much bigger.

2. Disk Partition Using Windows Shrink Volume

Windows Shrink is available under Disk Management in Windows 7. You can access the Disk Management tool by clicking the Start button and typing diskmgmt.msc in the text box. Otherwise right click Computer icon on the Desktop and select Manage.

When inside Disk management, right click the main partition (usually C: drive) and select Shrink volume from the drop down menu. (see image below) The tool will query the hard drive for available disk space. Shrink will then display the partition size it thinks is good enough, vis a vis the unmovable files.

Click Shrink and the partition process will initiate.

Use  Shrink volume to reduce hard drive size
Use Shrink volume to reduce hard drive size

When the Shrink process is complete, the Disk Management tool will display new partitions as unallocated.

Right-click the new partition and select Format from the drop down menu. Once the format process is complete, the new partition should show in the Computer shortcut.

3. Disk Partition Using Third-Party Software

Third-party software can partition a disk drive disk better than Windows tools because it allows for desirable partition sizes.

Using Easeus Partition Master, you can re-size the disk drive visually by dragging the volume boundary, and unlike the Shrink tool which limits partition size to what is permissible by Windows, Easeus allows you to re-size the partition to any size.


Back up your data before partitioning Windows C: disk drive using any third party software. From user experience, one simple error during the partitioning process can render the Windows installation corrupt. You will have to reinstall Windows in order to use the computer.

EASEUS Partition Master gives better flexibility when partitioning any disk drive
EASEUS Partition Master gives better flexibility when partitioning any disk drive

Precautions While Partitioning Disk Drives

Whereas you are at liberty to effect partitions of your choice, it is important to keep the Windows C: drive partition large enough. At most, Windows 7 installation takes up to 15GB of your hard drive space and it is good practice to give drive space allowance for Program Files and Page File/Swap Partition.

Therefore, a 20GB partition is too small for Windows and Program files while 50GB may fill up quite soon. As a rule of thumb do not partition an 80GB hard drive and when you have 500GB drive installed in your computer, give 100GB to Windows C: drive.

You should also watch out for Recovery Partition which usually goes unnoticed during Windows Setup or in Disk Management. If you delete it, you will not be able to access the preinstalled software when running another Windows setup in future!

You also cannot create more than four primary partitions in a Windows 7 MBR disk. Yes, Windows 7 can handle more partitions using GPT disk system but quite limited when installed on an MBR disk system.

A GPT disk system can handle many primary partitions but not extended partitions and logical partitions. Remember that MBR supports primary and extended partitions, with the latter capable of handling as many logical partitions.

What do you prefer when partitioning your hard drive

See results

© 2015 Alfred Amuno


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)