PCWorld Forums

PCWorld Forums: Adding A Partition To External Hard Drives - PCWorld Forums

Jump to content

Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

Adding A Partition To External Hard Drives

#1 User is offline   jacobvengeance 

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 03-February 10
  • Location:Saginaw, MI

Posted 03 February 2010 - 03:57 AM

I was wondering how do I add a partition to an external hard drive, so that i can install windows 7 on it and still use the other partition that has data on it.
It is currently FAT32 format and it is a Western Digital my book essentials 1TB.
0

#2 User is offline   VladTheImpaler1990 

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 816
  • Joined: 04-June 07
  • Location:South Africa

Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:51 AM

Welcome to PC world

#
1

Check your external hard drive to ensure that there is no data on the hard drive that you want. As soon as you start the partitioning process, all data on that drive will be completely and forever erased.
#
Step 2

Run the Microsoft Management Console. This can be started by typing "MMC" in a command prompt window, or just typing "MMC" in the "Start Search" box in the Windows Start menu.
#
Step 3

In MMC, add the Disk Management snap-in. This can be done through the File menu by selecting add snap-in. Select "Disk Management" from the list.
#
Step 4

Right-click on the disk in the list of disks at the bottom of the snap-in. From this short-cut menu, you will have various options related to the partitioning of the drive. You can expand the partition, delete the partition, or shrink the partition. You can also mark it as the primary partition if you like.
#
Step 5

Format the new partitions. Using the same shortcut menu, you should format all the partitions that you wish to use. You can also set their drive letters here if you like, so your operating system will know which drive is which letter.
0

#3 User is offline   jacobvengeance 

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 03-February 10
  • Location:Saginaw, MI

Posted 03 February 2010 - 08:37 AM

View PostVladTheImpaler1990, on 03 February 2010 - 06:51 AM, said:

Welcome to PC world

#
1

Check your external hard drive to ensure that there is no data on the hard drive that you want. As soon as you start the partitioning process, all data on that drive will be completely and forever erased.
#
Step 2

Run the Microsoft Management Console. This can be started by typing "MMC" in a command prompt window, or just typing "MMC" in the "Start Search" box in the Windows Start menu.
#
Step 3

In MMC, add the Disk Management snap-in. This can be done through the File menu by selecting add snap-in. Select "Disk Management" from the list.
#
Step 4

Right-click on the disk in the list of disks at the bottom of the snap-in. From this short-cut menu, you will have various options related to the partitioning of the drive. You can expand the partition, delete the partition, or shrink the partition. You can also mark it as the primary partition if you like.
#
Step 5

Format the new partitions. Using the same shortcut menu, you should format all the partitions that you wish to use. You can also set their drive letters here if you like, so your operating system will know which drive is which letter.


Thank you. Is there anyway that I can do this without losing any data, since I have over 300GB of games that I do not want to transfer and re-transfer. Sorry if I seem annoying and noobish. I am more of a hardware guy.
0

#4 User is offline   smax013 

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 13,139
  • Joined: 28-January 07

Posted 03 February 2010 - 06:08 PM

View Postjacobvengeance, on 03 February 2010 - 03:57 AM, said:

I was wondering how do I add a partition to an external hard drive, so that i can install windows 7 on it and still use the other partition that has data on it.
It is currently FAT32 format and it is a Western Digital my book essentials 1TB.


Greetings! Welcome to the PCWorld forums!

Before you do anything, you will first want to try to determine if you can boot from an external drive with your computer. Not all computers can boot from external drives.

Next thing to factor in is that Windows generally does not like to be booted from an external USB drive, even if you computer can. It can be done, but it is usually not "straight forward". It is possible that Windows 7 has changed this, but I kind of doubt it.

If you really want to try this, then yes, you can add partitions WITHOUT losing your data...in theory. There are certainly "non-destructive" partitioning third party programs out there. Both Vista and Windows 7 can do some limited "non-destructive" partitioning with their built-in disk management...you should be able to "shrink" a partition in Windows 7 using Disk Management and then turn that unused space after the "shrink" operation into your new partition.

Regardless, partitioning a disk is a rather "serious" disk operation. Thus, you should DEFINITELY backup that drive before you do any such operations. While there is a good chance that you could do your partitioning with nothing going wrong, there is still a small chance that it could toast all your data on that drive. Thus, if you care about that data on the drive, back it up even if you are using a non-destructive partitioning method.

If you are still eager to try this with the external drive, then let us know and we can likely walk you through adjusting your partitions on the external drive...and maybe point you to sites with guides that might help you get the drive to boot your computer.

But, I would strongly suggest that if you really want to multi-boot, you need to be doing it with an internal drive. What kind of computer are you using? Laptop? Desktop? How big is your internal drive? If it is a desktop, there is a darn good chance that you could add a second drive for multi-boot purposes.
Good riddance PCWorld.
0

#5 User is offline   jacobvengeance 

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 03-February 10
  • Location:Saginaw, MI

Posted 03 February 2010 - 07:04 PM

View Postsmax013, on 03 February 2010 - 06:08 PM, said:

View Postjacobvengeance, on 03 February 2010 - 03:57 AM, said:

I was wondering how do I add a partition to an external hard drive, so that i can install windows 7 on it and still use the other partition that has data on it.
It is currently FAT32 format and it is a Western Digital my book essentials 1TB.


Greetings! Welcome to the PCWorld forums!

Before you do anything, you will first want to try to determine if you can boot from an external drive with your computer. Not all computers can boot from external drives.

Next thing to factor in is that Windows generally does not like to be booted from an external USB drive, even if you computer can. It can be done, but it is usually not "straight forward". It is possible that Windows 7 has changed this, but I kind of doubt it.

If you really want to try this, then yes, you can add partitions WITHOUT losing your data...in theory. There are certainly "non-destructive" partitioning third party programs out there. Both Vista and Windows 7 can do some limited "non-destructive" partitioning with their built-in disk management...you should be able to "shrink" a partition in Windows 7 using Disk Management and then turn that unused space after the "shrink" operation into your new partition.

Regardless, partitioning a disk is a rather "serious" disk operation. Thus, you should DEFINITELY backup that drive before you do any such operations. While there is a good chance that you could do your partitioning with nothing going wrong, there is still a small chance that it could toast all your data on that drive. Thus, if you care about that data on the drive, back it up even if you are using a non-destructive partitioning method.

If you are still eager to try this with the external drive, then let us know and we can likely walk you through adjusting your partitions on the external drive...and maybe point you to sites with guides that might help you get the drive to boot your computer.

But, I would strongly suggest that if you really want to multi-boot, you need to be doing it with an internal drive. What kind of computer are you using? Laptop? Desktop? How big is your internal drive? If it is a desktop, there is a darn good chance that you could add a second drive for multi-boot purposes.


Well i actually have 3 computers, all desktops. The one i currently am using to do this is a HP a6720y. My Internal Hard drive is 600GB roughly. I partitioned the external while i was googling for an hour. Can you help me with setting up windows 7 on the external, if that is too hard or not possible multi-boot my internal. I just cannot mess up the internal because it has all of my families data backed up on it.
0

#6 User is offline   smax013 

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 13,139
  • Joined: 28-January 07

Posted 03 February 2010 - 09:16 PM

View Postjacobvengeance, on 03 February 2010 - 07:04 PM, said:



Well i actually have 3 computers, all desktops. The one i currently am using to do this is a HP a6720y. My Internal Hard drive is 600GB roughly. I partitioned the external while i was googling for an hour. Can you help me with setting up windows 7 on the external, if that is too hard or not possible multi-boot my internal. I just cannot mess up the internal because it has all of my families data backed up on it.


The base problem is that Windows installer will not "see" USB external drives under typical situations, unless Microsoft has changed that. Thus, the typical way to try to get a USB drive to boot Windows is to install Windows on an internal drive and then clone that to the USB drive.

And even then, I believe booting Windows from an external drive can be problematic.

I have this one link that I had saved, but it is aimed at Windows XP. It is possible that it might work for Windows 7, but it might not.

http://articles.tech...11-5928902.html

As I mentioned before, you would most likely be better off buying a second internal drive and installing it in your HP a6720y. You should have two available 3.5" drive bays and at least two available SATA ports on your HP a6720y. If you want to setup a dual boot with Windows 7, all you would need is a 160 GB or so internal drive. That would cost about $50 or so. You could then add the second internal drive and setup your dual boots with the internal drives.

As an alternative, if you REALLY want it to be an external drive, then you could get a SATA to eSATA bracket and use an eSATA external drive as the alternative boot drive. Such as drive would be treated just like an internal drive and you would have no problem install Windows on it.
Good riddance PCWorld.
0

#7 User is offline   jacobvengeance 

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 21
  • Joined: 03-February 10
  • Location:Saginaw, MI

Posted 03 February 2010 - 09:58 PM

View Postsmax013, on 03 February 2010 - 09:16 PM, said:

View Postjacobvengeance, on 03 February 2010 - 07:04 PM, said:



Well i actually have 3 computers, all desktops. The one i currently am using to do this is a HP a6720y. My Internal Hard drive is 600GB roughly. I partitioned the external while i was googling for an hour. Can you help me with setting up windows 7 on the external, if that is too hard or not possible multi-boot my internal. I just cannot mess up the internal because it has all of my families data backed up on it.


The base problem is that Windows installer will not "see" USB external drives under typical situations, unless Microsoft has changed that. Thus, the typical way to try to get a USB drive to boot Windows is to install Windows on an internal drive and then clone that to the USB drive.

And even then, I believe booting Windows from an external drive can be problematic.

I have this one link that I had saved, but it is aimed at Windows XP. It is possible that it might work for Windows 7, but it might not.

http://articles.tech...11-5928902.html

As I mentioned before, you would most likely be better off buying a second internal drive and installing it in your HP a6720y. You should have two available 3.5" drive bays and at least two available SATA ports on your HP a6720y. If you want to setup a dual boot with Windows 7, all you would need is a 160 GB or so internal drive. That would cost about $50 or so. You could then add the second internal drive and setup your dual boots with the internal drives.

As an alternative, if you REALLY want it to be an external drive, then you could get a SATA to eSATA bracket and use an eSATA external drive as the alternative boot drive. Such as drive would be treated just like an internal drive and you would have no problem install Windows on it.


Okay. Thank you guys for everything.
0

#8 User is offline   VladTheImpaler1990 

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • Group: Members
  • Posts: 816
  • Joined: 04-June 07
  • Location:South Africa

Posted 04 February 2010 - 03:25 AM

Smax always beat me to the reply post even in the old days :P

Glad you are sorted out, as he says no matter what you ever do always back hard drive up. A guy may come say he never done that before, but there can be one time that some thing goes wrong and well wished he had backed it up :)

Good luck hope all works out.
0

Share this topic:


Page 1 of 1
  • You cannot start a new topic
  • You cannot reply to this topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users