How To Partition an External USB Hard Drive

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

The Partitioning of an external USB hard drive for different purposes provides the user with a wide-range of options for the installed hard drive. When one partitions the hard drive, this results in the creation of isolated sections with each partition acting as an individual and distinct hard drive. For an example, the user has a 60Gb hard drive computer and wishes to set up a disk drive for a particular purpose such as copying a CD, the user could partition off 4Gb of the 60Gb hard drive that would then be acting as a separate drive. Partitioning is also done to allow the computer to run on two different Operating Systems such as Windows 98 and XP. Partitioning an external hard drive is similar to partitioning an internal hard drive so caution must be exercised by the user to ensure that that drive being partitioned is the targeted hard drive since partitioning a drive can result in the immediate and perpetual removal of all data on the drive.

Materials Needed:
- External USB Hard drive
- Installed External Hard Drive Administrator permissions
Step 1
The user must first check the external hard drive for any critical and important data that has to be saved prior to partitioning. The user must always keep in mind that whatever data is left on the hard drive will be removed and can no longer be retrieved once partitioning of the hard drive had been initiated.
Step 2
The user then runs the Microsoft Management Console in two possible ways. First way is by typing 'MMC' in a command prompt window. The second way is by simply typing 'MMC' in the Windows Start Menu 'Start Search' box.
Step 3
The user than adds the Disk Management snap-in in the MMC by selecting the add snap-in key on the File Menu. The user can choose 'Disk Management' from the menu given.
Step 4
At the bottom portion of the snap-in, right click on the disk in the short-cut menu of disks provided to the user. The short-cut menu provides the user with different choices relating to the partitioning of the hard drive. The user may opt to expand the partition, shrink the partition, remove the partition and even mark the primary partition preferred.
Step 5
The new partitions created can now be formatted by the user by making use of the same short-cut menu previously provided. The user may also program drive letters in order that the Operating System will know which among of the drives the drive letter is.