Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Create new partition - basic questions

  1. #1


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player

    Create new partition - basic questions


    I'm venturing into new areas here, so have some very basic questions to ask before I start.

    Currently my laptop has the following disk structure:



    I want to shrink the C drive so that I can separate out my documents etc. from my OS.

    Once I have done this, I want to install Windows 10 preview in a VM (VMware or Virtualbox as I don't have hyper-V). This is another new area for me and I'm still learning about it, so please take this into account when answering the question that mentions this below .

    I can shrink C to half its current size.



    Should I then create one new partition (D seems to be the usual letter assigned, and Data the name?) , using all the remaining space or is it better to leave some unallocated space? I don't expect to use more than 100gb for documents etc., based on usage over the last year, but I'm unsure how the VM would fit into this - does it need (would it benefit from) its own partition or can it go on either C (there will still be masses of unused space on C after the shrinking) or the newly created partition?

    Once I've got my new partition, how do I get my documents there? Should I actually cut and paste the folders from C to D (or whatever I call it) or would this cause problems? If there is a tutorial I can follow, please point me to it.

    I am also planning to create a Custom Refresh image and want to save it somewhere other than C. Does it make sense to save this on the new partition or (again) would it benefit from its own partition?

    Chances are I may have understood things about the process of achieving what I hope to, so please put me right (using words of very few syllables where possible ).

    Thank you

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Can't see you pictures

    For a VM you needn't put it on another partition. Putting it (or them) on C:\ is fine.

    You can put a custom refresh image on another partition but if you are it makes more sense to put it on another drive (in case the drive fails). Otherwise you may as well leave it on C:\

    I'm not a fan of partitioning really - the only time I use partitions is to dual boot or for different file systems..

    Some people like having a dedicated C:\ just for Windows (so you can backup the OS separately) but I use custom refresh image instead. The problem with partitions is if you make them the wrong size it is really slow to move them around and I find life is simpler to just use the one.

    Sorry if that wasn't really answering your question. If you try to add your pictures again - the question may become clearer
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Hopefully the pictures are here this time. When I previewed the post before, they were shown twice and it looked like I had removed the duplicates. Seems I removed everything . (But just having previewed this post I can see the images repeated again at the bottom. I give up!)



    Thanks for the comments so far @adamf.

    I have considered putting the custom refresh image on a different drive, but it seems that my external drives don't always attach with the same drive letter (does that make sense?) and I was concerned that, if the external hdd wasn't recognized when (if) I needed to use the custom refresh, I would not be able to access it. I don't know if there is a way to ensure that the external hdd always attaches with the same letter?

    Anyway, things have also moved on a bit and I'd appreciate feedback on the following:

    I think I'm going to be doing a new install as I seem to have picked up something nasty (getting strange ads when I play Microsoft games; it happened before and I'm pretty sure it is some sort of infestation).

    So as I have this opportunity, I was wondering about partitioning the drive before I do the new install. What I'm thinking is to create a new partition of around 75gb (if this would be enough for W8.1?) and install a new copy of W8.1 to this partition (which wouldn't be called C: at this stage). Then once I have the new install done, to delete the original C partition and create a new one for data etc. Then ideally to relabel the partition with the OS back to C:

    Would this work, or am I making a huge mistake somewhere?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails diskmgt.PNG   shrinkc.PNG  
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by SaggyMaggyPoo View Post
    I have considered putting the custom refresh image on a different drive, but it seems that my external drives don't always attach with the same drive letter (does that make sense?) and I was concerned that, if the external hdd wasn't recognized when (if) I needed to use the custom refresh, I would not be able to access it. I don't know if there is a way to ensure that the external hdd always attaches with the same letter?
    Wouldn't matter. You can always change the path
    recimg /setcurrent "Full Path of Directory"
    Refresh Windows 8 - Set a Custom Recovery Image as Active

    Actually you can do both. On my Windows laptop I have one on C:/ in case I want to restore when I'm travelling, one on my system image and a couple of old ones. My disk hasn't failed yet so I've only ever used the one on C:/

    Quote Originally Posted by SaggyMaggyPoo View Post
    What I'm thinking is to create a new partition of around 75gb (if this would be enough for W8.1?) and install a new copy of W8.1 to this partition (which wouldn't be called C: at this stage). Then once I have the new install done, to delete the original C partition and create a new one for data etc. Then ideally to relabel the partition with the OS back to C:

    Would this work, or am I making a huge mistake somewhere?
    75GB is more than enough. My install (only Windows, Office, IBM Access and a couple of small utilities) is 16GB. 75GB will be ample.

    If you do the method you propose though you'll end up with a dual boot system. This is OK (you can still delete the old install after). You will not need to rename to C:/ (and nor can you easily). Both installs would think of themselves as C:/ when you boot into them and the other partition would be seen as something else.

    If you want to delete the existing partitions though why not just do it all at install time? It would be simpler. You can make your 75GB partition then. As you have a HDD it might even run marginally faster if you have the OS in the first partition (on the left hand side of your pictures) as it is on the outside of the disk and access is a bit quicker.

    When you get to step 8 in here Clean Install - Windows 8 you can look into Partition the Hard Drive in a Windows 7 Install - Windows 7 Help Forums .

    Delete the existing 400GB partition (leave the little 300MB one) and just make a 75GB partition and install to that. Once the install is complete you can format the remaining 325GB unallocated space to put your data on.

    Edit: Don't forget to back up your data before deleting the partition though
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Thank you @adamf, there is a lot for me to digest here so I will take it slowly.

    Deleting the partition during install sounds the best option. If I do this and make a 75gb partition to install on, will it automatically become the first partition (on the left) or do I need to do anything to achieve this?

    You said to leave the small 300mb partition; I assume the same applies to the other 90mb one also?

    I have a System Image from a few days ago that will be okay for a backup. I haven't made many changes since then (and nothing that can't be repeated). I don't really want to make a new image now I seem to have a bug in there.

    I like your suggestion of having more than one custom refresh. I can tackle this part once I have a new install .
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Yes, sorry, leave both the little partitions.

    What you would do is (following the tutorial) install windows, click on custom install (not upgrade) when you get to that step, delete the 400GB partition and then create a 75GB one. That would be the easiest way (easier than making a dual boot system and then removing one anyway).

    Once it is finished (and you have done all windows updates) you can format the unallocated space and copy your old data there, install your programs, make you custom refresh images and so on.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Thanks for the clarification @adamf.

    Just one other thing (for now ). You say 'Once it is finished (and you have done all windows updates) you can format the unallocated space and copy your old data there, install your programs, make you custom refresh images and so on.'

    Is 'format the unallocated space' the same as making a new partition?

    Should I ignore the Libraries automatically set up on the C drive and just put all my data on the new partition from now on?

    Are you suggesting I should also install my programs on the new partition and not on the C drive?

    I did say I needed simple explanations .
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    When you delete your 400GB partition you will have 400GB of free space. When you make your 75GB partition it will also automatically create the other 325GB partition but leave it unformatted. It is like you ask a baker for 1/4 of a cake. The other 3/4 is still there but the shopkeeper doesn't yet know whether to give it to you in one piece, two pieces or sell it to someone else. In any case if you take a quarter out of a cake you have 2 pieces. You take 75GB out of 400GB you have 2 partitions.

    You will need to format the 325GB partition in disk management (in your second picture) before you can use it.

    Now I'll be more prescriptive than normal (I just think this is what you are trying to do).

    • Install windows on new 75GB C:\
    • Install all windows updates (try a few times to make sure)
    • Install all programs on C:\ (unless they are massive games).
    • Make a custom refresh point.
    • Format your 325GB unallocated space as NTFS.
    • Copy your documents from backup to D:\
    • Update libraries to include the new locations for documents, music etc
    • Right click on "My Music", "My Documents" "OneDrive" etc and change the location to D:\
    • Check it and then make a system image.


    That is all I can think of for now but do ask if you have any questions. And do think again if you want 2 partitions - perhaps there is no need.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Greece
    Posts : 341
    Win8.1 64bit, Windows 10 TP on VMWare Player


    Thank you, it is starting to look much clearer.

    I appreciate your comment about whether I need 2 partitions, but I think I will do this for 2 reasons: so I can back up data more frequently than the OS, and for the experience, which I think will be good for me.

    The only bits I'm not quite clear about are:

    I can see commands to 'format' and 'change drive letter' in Disk Management. When I format the unallocated space will it automatically be assigned a drive letter or do I need to do this manually?

    Currently my CD ROM is assigned D. If I want my Data to be D:, do I have to change this to something else first?

    how to 'update libraries to include the new locations for documents etc.'. Do I simply do this on the empty folder that is created in the C drive (right click/properties/substitute D for C in Location field)?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    You assign drive letters by right clicking on the partition. If you want your data to be D:\ you'll have to change the CD drive first (to E:\ or something like in the picture).

    Click image for larger version

    Then your D:\ will be free and you can assign it to your data partition after you have formatted it (you format by right clicking on the partition too).

    For libraries, right click on the library and take the new option. Then browse to your new documents folder and add it.

    Click image for larger version

    You might want to change the properties of documents, music etc also. Then when you save it will go to the data drive. These are on the location tab of properties of the item under this pc - just change the C to a D

    Click image for larger version
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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