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Windows 7: Allocating space on new ext. HDD

10 Oct 2014   #11
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. If you right click on the left pane in disk management (where it says Disk2), you can change the format of the whole disk (GPT or Dynamic). But don't do that - especially not Dynamic.

2. You want to work on the right pane - the hatched area. There you can create new simple volumes. Thw wizzard will come up and you can chose the amount of space you want to use for that partition. If e.g. you want 3 partitions of about equal size, allocate 155GB to the first partition. When this is done, you will be left with appr. 310GB of unallocated space.

There again, right click on this unallocated space and create another simple volume. Take again 155GB. That will leave appr. 155GB of unallocated space on which you can repeat the process to create the 3d partition. For that you take what's left which will be 155GB plus change.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Oct 2014   #12
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

@ whs -- (Hi Wolfgang)

Q1:What format should I use (considering FAT32 is limited to 32GB partition)
- I know there are other 3rd party programs that will format partitions >32GB to FAT32.
- GParted, AOMEI,

Having read Difference Between exFAT and FAT32 and a lot of reading over the past 4 weeks,
- it looks like format (for Windows) should be one of ... FAT32, exFAT or NTFS
Q2: Cluster size ?
- I do not have a clue what to use

I was hoping to use one of the partitions with my dedicated Linux PC and the other 2 for Windows PCs.
- Linux partition can be done later (if that is viable?)

Q3: Can I leave unallocated space on the external HDD to be partitioned and formatted at a later date ?
- I am drowning in thumb drives --- I would like to centralize all data onto one external HDD

Presently all data + archived downloads are on one USB powered pocket drive, with a variety of folders.
- the pocket drive is now 7 years old.
- everything is pointing to NTFS or exFAT (considering FAT32 fragments files by default)
- and exFAT is not backward compatible with Win-XP
- I have only one XP machine left and it is a busy AutoCad tool.
- I plan to upgrading the XP to Win-7 as a clean install and be rid of XP forever -- when I get the time
- all other (4) machines are Win7 +Win8

Thank you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2014   #13
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. NTFS

2. That will depend completely on what you want to put into it (amount of data). I would not double boot with Linux. That can be messy. Use a virtual partition for Linux - for an example see here.

3. Yes
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Oct 2014   #14
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

@ whs +1

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs
2. That will depend completely on what you want to put into it (amount of data)
Partition1: Windows data TXT, PDF, HTML, GNumeric (spreadsheet), files (90% TXT files, no Office apps
Partition2: downloaded program files ZIP, 7z, EXE, ISO files
Partition_3: Linux files (optional: not if it is going to make the ext. HDD to compromised)

Q1: How do I calculate cluster size

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs
. I would not double boot with Linux. That can be messy. Use a virtual partition for Linux - for an example see here.
All PCs will be Win7 -- one will have a virtual drive (Win7) for testing/evaluation
One Linux PC will be dedicated Mint-MATE (75GB HDD, an old Acer Aspire 5315)
- for email and browsing only (and learning Linux)

Thank you again for your patience
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2014   #15
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would make one large partition for the stuff you plan for partitions 1 and 2. Then you can make different folders for the diffferent things you want to put into there. That is a more flexible solution than predefining 2 seperate partitions.

The size of partition for the Linux stuff will depend on what you want to store there. For starters, I would think that 50GB is plenty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2014   #16
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

Q1: How many partitions are allowed on a simple volume external HDD ?
- when I open the "wizard the default partition size is 476937 MB (not MiB)
- my ext. HDD is 500GB (nominal)
- I know MS and most storage devices are quoted in a nominal capacity (ie, 1,000s ... not 1024 sizing)
- in other places (I have read) problems can occur if partitions over lap, when defining "start" and "finish"


Q2: In other places I read "4" partitions is maximum ... is that correct ?
Q3: Is it possible to make one of the partitions the "default drive" on the external HDD ?
- I am trying to learn as much as I can
Example:-
Anybody can drive an automatic gearbox car.
I learnt to drive 60 years ago on a manual (tractor) "crash box" (when 9 years old)
And disassembling non-synchromesh and syncromesh gearboxes (in my mid teens) taught me a lot about the "what" and especially the "WHY?"

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2014   #17
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

1. If all partitions are primary partition, a maximum of 4 partitions is the limit in NTFS. Howeber, a primary partition is only required for an active partition (that is the one where the bootmgr resides). All other partitions should be logical partitions. So if a disk has no operating system, it has no bootmgr and does not need any primary partition.

For logical partitions (simple partitions), the maximu is appr. 120. The first logical partition you create is called an extended partition because that is the "umbrella" for all the following logical partitions. If, for whatever crazy reason, you have a mix more than 1 primary and logicals, then there is a maximum of 3 primaries plus 1 logical (which would act as the extended partition under which up to 120 addl. logical partitions can be created.

Note: Brand new OEM PCs often have 4 primary partitions (system partition, OS partition C, recovery partition and tools partition). There is absolutely no good reason for such a setup. Only the system partitiom contains a bootmgr and has to be a primary partition. The other 3 can be logical partitions. Beats me why some OEMs make such a setup. It will only lead to troubel for the layman because if you create a 5th partition in such a setup, all partitions will be converted to dynamic partitions - and those are a real PITA (e.g. the system will not boot any more).

On a GPT disk, the situation is different. Consult the Wiki for that.

And yes, the capacity numbers you see on your screen are in binary. At the GigaByte level the binary number will be appr. 7% smaller than at the decimal number but the actual number of bytes will be the same.

2. See above

3. There is no such thing as a "default drive". What are you trying to accomplish. If anything, the 'active' partition (the one that contains a bootmgr) has a special position. That is the one to which the MBR points when the BIOS is looking for a bootmgr. The MBR (master boot record) is in a fixed position on the disk - the first 512 bytes of each disk. But on disks where no OS is installed, it really has no function. There is nothing to boot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2014   #18
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

Thank you Wolfgang

An excellent overview that I actually understand.
- two weeks ago I would not have got it at all.
- I have read dozens of blogs, wikis and other forum threads. And some very late nights/early mornings.
- my notes (in TXT files) are "tagged" so they are easily found with file-contents-search (using commercial "FileSearchEX") in Win7.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs
Note: Brand new OEM PCs often have 4 primary partitions (system partition, OS partition C, recovery partition and tools partition). There is absolutely no good reason for such a setup... etc
Allocating space on new ext. HDD-hidden-partitions.png

You anticipated and answered my next question .. thank you

I really appreciate your help, details and patience.

Thank you ... Russell

Next post is my solution for other newbies


My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2014   #19
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You are welcome Russel. Looks like you ran out of questions - LOL.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2014   #20
bawldiggle

XP/7x32 & x64/8x64/8.1x64
 
 

Guilty
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Allocating space on new ext. HDD




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