Partitioning a Windows 7 OS after installation

  tallboy 20:46 11 Nov 2009

My wife has ordered a new Dell Studio 15 PC which will come with 64-bit Windows 7 Professional pre-installed. Dell do not offer the option of specifying how you want the disk partitioned on the order pages of their website and their Customer Services are equally unhelpful saying 'they can't partition the drive'.

Does anyone have any experience of safely setting up a couple of new partitions on a Win 7 PC after installation? I understand that there is a facility within the Control Panel to move existing partitions but I'm not sure if it is possible to create new ones without loosing data - and the last thing I want to loose is a new factory-installed OS!

I have found a free program called 'Partition Wizard' on the web (see click here) and this would appear to be the tool to do the job. Does anyone have any experience of using this program or would I be better to splash out on Partition Magic or Acronis?



  Technotiger 20:50 11 Nov 2009
  JayDay 20:55 11 Nov 2009

Partition Magic is an old piece of software don't think it supports Windows 7. Use the link provided by Technotiger, this software does support Windows 7.

  gigagiggles 01:04 12 Nov 2009

win 7 pro has the capability to shrink the c: volume to create a new partition via control panel/administrative tools/disk management.

i had difficulties initially when i had changed some(?) OS settings which prevented any shrinking. but a fresh install provided the partitioning ability. no loss of data or function.

BUT, as i've read in other threads, if there is a recovery partition, its recovery function may not work on the newly partitioned c: volume. so a cloned image of the current c: volume may be wisely suggested.

  ambra4 04:28 12 Nov 2009


Partition Magic has noting to do with the OS it can be used with any OS it used on computers

hard drives for restructuring the contents of the hard drive.

It does this by allowing you to create, edit, delete and move partitions, which are the basic

elements by which your drive is managed.

For example, if you have two drive letters - C and D - but only a single hard drive, then you

probably have two separate hard drive partitions.

It's the equivalent of dividing up a large room into smaller offices.

Partition Magic 8 is what I used when I install Windows 7 as a dual boot on my computer

Partition Magic 8.0

click here

  gazzaho 05:26 12 Nov 2009

If you type disk management into the search bar of windows 7 it offers "Create and format hard disk partitions" as an option, if you click on this it loads disk management, I think this speaks for itself, you don't need third party partitioning software in order to do it in Vista or windows 7.

To be honest it might be a better bet to contact Dell tech support and ask their opinion on creating additional partitions on their laptops, as you may know, laptops often come with hidden partitions on their drives with recovery software not unlike Acronis in order to reset the laptop if Windows becomes unstable. As gigagiggles says creating additional partitions may disable the recovery partition in some way, Dell would be your best bet for reliable information on this issue.

If I was doing it I would make a full disk backup with Acronis to an external drive, then if things went AWOL I wouldn't need the Dell recovery partition.

  Zeppelyn 09:23 12 Nov 2009

I would not let Partition Magic 8 anywhere near a Windows 7 or Vista partition as it dates back to 2002 and just does not understand the file structures used in the newer operating systems which are different to XP and earlier.

If used as ambra 4 outlines then all will be ok as both Vista and 7 will happily run on these partitions (some Ultimate features will not.If you were to reinstall either and format using Vista or 7 then Partition Magic will report these partitions as invalid because it cant read the newer NTFS file structure.

Use other widely recommended disk managers such as Acronis Disk Director or Paragon Partition. Manager.

  tallboy 15:45 12 Nov 2009

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. The PC hasn't arrived yet, so I don't know if it has a hidden recovery partition - but I suspect it will have.

I'll certainly talk to Dell technical help desk before I make any changes and also create an ISO image of the disk. I already have O&O imaaging software on my desktop, but I'll probably use Acronis on the laptop.

Incidentally, anyone following the link provided by Technotiger to the free EASEUS partitioning software should note that at present it is only for the 32-bit Win7 OS. Partition Wizard (see the link I provided at the top of this thread) is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems.

The only reason I am considering partitioning this PC at all is experience with desktops has taught me that from time to time Windows crashes and if you need to re-format your disk in order to get a 'clean' re-install and haven't got everything backed up, you are really in trouble! Working on the basis of better safe than sorry, partitioning a disk seems a sensible thing to do.

  gazzaho 23:31 12 Nov 2009

"Windows crashes and if you need to re-format your disk in order to get a 'clean' re-install"

While true enough, the ability to create a full disk image in Acronis (or Windows 7's Backup and Restore>Create a system image) is to save you having to reformat and restart from scratch. It allows you to restore the computer to the last disk image with everything as it was at the time of the backup, you don't even have to reformat the drive just insert the Acronis boot disk and it does the rest. If you're considering Acronis True Image Home get the 2010 version it's the only one certified for Windows 7.

Acronis 2010 even has the ability to create a backup of your system constantly at 5 minute intervals. I haven't tried this feature out on my systems yet as my machines aren't used for business and the data on them isn't critical, on a laptop it might be less effective as you would have to have an External hard drive connected at all times.

I thought I'd mention that I haven't tried the Windows 7 Create a system image so I can't testify that it works well or not.

  Migwell 00:45 13 Nov 2009

I find partitioning a total waste of time and effort. I have a laptop which came with a 160gig drive split up as hidden partition a ‘c’ drive and a ‘d’ drive. Programmes like m/s office don’t like to be in any other than ‘c’ drive and it left me with a rather cramped place to store 1000 music tunes and 15000 photographs. So the partition HAD to go. The computer is now working fine with just the hidden and ‘c’ also an external drive for backups.

Partitions were only useful in the old days of operating systems when we used FAT & FAT 32 which could only handle small drives as opposed to the mammoth sizes we use to day.

It amazes me why people bother with partitions.

  tallboy 08:58 13 Nov 2009

Thanks for the comments gazzaho & Migwell. Acronis 2010 sounds like a good product. Since the laptop will be used in one place most of the time, having it connected to an external drive will not be a problem, so that is probably my best option.

Incidentally, I never put operational programs in any other drive than C: for the reason you mention Migwell.

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