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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Managing Drive Volumes (Windows Vista)

This document applies to Windows Vista.
Understanding drives, partitions, and volumes
A partition is an area of a hard disk that can be formatted and assigned a drive letter. On a hard disk, a volume is a formatted primary partition or logical drive. The terms partition and volume are often used interchangeably.
HP and Compaq computers with Windows Vista have hard disk drives that contain two partitions. The first partition, labeled with the letter C, contains the system files, program files, and usable file storage space. The second partition, labeled with the letter D, contains system recovery information in case the information on the C partition is damaged or unusable.
  caution:
When using the steps in this document, do not delete the Recovery or FACTORY_IMAGE partition or use it for file storage. Doing so prevents the HP Recovery Manager from recovering the computer when the information on the C partition is damaged.
Adding a new drive letter
Add a new drive letter to the computer using one of the following methods.
  • Add a new drive - If you need more space for photos, videos, music, or other files, add a new hard disk drive to the computer. The new hard disk can be inside the computer (internal) or can be external, attached to a USB connector on the computer.
      note:
    To add an internal hard drive, the computer must have an empty drive bay. Check the specification for the specific computer model to verify whether there is an empty drive bay in the computer.
  • Partition the existing drive - If you do not need more file storage space but need another drive, create another partition on the existing hard disk. This might be useful if you need to share files on a drive but want to prevent access to your personal files by keeping them on another drive.
    This method does not add more space, but re-allocates some of the empty space on the existing hard disk into another partition. This space is then treated as another drive and labeled with its own drive letter.
Opening the Disk Management utility
Change, add, or remove a drive letter by using the Disk Management utility in the Computer Management console.
  note:
You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.
  1. Click Start , and then click Control Panel.
    Figure : Start menu
    Image of the Start menu.
  2. In the Control Panel, click System and Maintenance.
    Figure : Control Panel window
    Image of the Control Panel window.
  3. In System and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools.
    Figure : System and Maintenance window
    Image of the System and Maintenance window.
    If prompted for permission to continue, click Continue.
  4. In Administrative Tools, double-click Computer Management.
    Figure : Administrative Tools window
    Image of the Administrative Tools window.
  5. In the Navigation pane, click Disk Management.
    Figure : Computer Management console
    Image of the Computer Management console.
    The Disk Management utility displays.
    Figure : Disk Management utility
    Image of the Disk Management utility
Creating a new partition
To create more partitions or volumes, the hard disk must contain unallocated space that is not part of an existing partition. To create another partition, complete the following steps.
  1. Open the Disk Management utility.
  2. To create unallocated space on the drive, right-click the drive you want to partition. For most applications, select the C: drive.
    Then click Shrink Volume...
      caution:
    Do not use the Recovery or FACTORY_IMAGE partition to create a new partition. Doing so might the HP Recovery Manager from recovering the computer when the information on the C: partition is damaged.
    Figure : Disk Management menu
    Image of the Disk Management menu.
  3. Do not make any adjustments to the settings In the Shrink window. Click Shrink.
    Figure : Shrink C: settings window
    Image of Shrink window.
    When the Shrink is complete, the new partition displays in the Disk Management utility as Unallocated space.
    Figure : New partition with unallocated space
    Image showing the new partition.
  4. Right-click the new partition. In the menu that displays, click New Simple Volume...
    Figure : Creating a New Simple Volume
    Image of creating a New Simple Volume.
  5. The New Simple Volume Wizard displays. To continue, click Next.
  6. The Specify Volume Size window displays. Click Next.
    Figure : Specify Volume Size window
    Image of the Specify Volume Size window.
  7. The Assign Drive Letter or Path window displays. Select a drive letter and click Next.
    Figure : Assign Drive Letter or Path window
    Image of the Assign Drive Letter or Path window.
  8. The Format Partition window displays. To name the drive, type a name in the Volume label box. Then click Next.
      note:
    Do not select Perform a quick format or Enable file and folder compression.
    Figure : Format Partition window
    Image of the Format Partition window.
  9. The settings window displays. Click Finish.
    Figure : New Simple Volume Settings window
    Image of the New Simple Volume Settings window.
  10. The Disk Management utility displays showing the formatting progress.
    Figure : Formatting percentage
    Image of Computer Management window with the formatting percentage displayed.
    When the format is complete, the new drive shows in the Disk Management utility.
    Figure : New drive
    Image of the new drive.
Changing a drive letter
To change the drive letter, you can assign the letters C through Z to each drive on the computer. The system partition is usually labeled with the letter C while the letters A and B are reserved for floppy disk drives or removable drives. If the computer does not have floppy disk drives, you can assign A and B to volumes.
  note:
Some MS‑DOS and Windows programs make references to specific drive letters. If you change a drive letter, some programs that you have installed on your hard disk might not work correctly. You cannot change a drive letter if the drive is either a system partition or a boot partition. If you get an error, the partition or drive you are trying to change might be in use. Close any program or window that is using the partition or drive and try again.
Complete the following steps to change a drive letter.
  1. Open the Disk Management utility.
  2. Right-click the partition or drive you want to rename and then click Change Drive Letter and Paths...
    Figure : Disk Management menu
    Image of the Disk Management menu.
  3. In the Change Drive Letter window, click Change.
    Figure : Change Drive Letter window
    Image of the Change Drive Letter window.
  4. In the menu, select the new drive letter. Then click OK.
    Figure : Selecting the new drive letter
    Image of selecting the new drive letter.
  5. The Disk Management caution message displays. Click Yes to continue.
    Figure : Disk Management caution message
    Image of the Disk Management caution message.
Removing a drive letter
  caution:
Deleting a volume erases all the data on it. Back up any data you want to keep before deleting.
  1. On the drive you want to delete, back up any data you want to keep.
  2. Open the Disk Management utility.
  3. Right-click the drive letter you want to remove. Then click Change Drive Letter and Paths...
    Figure : Disk Management menu
    Image of the Disk Management menu.
  4. In the Change Drive Letter window, click Remove.
    Figure : Change Drive Letter window
    Image of the Change Drive Letter window.
  5. The Disk Management caution message displays. Click Yes to continue.
    Figure : Disk Management caution message
    Image of the Disk Management caution message.
    The drive letter disappears. To use this hard drive space again, continue to the next section to remove the partition.
Removing a partition
  1. Right-click the volume or partition you want to delete, and then click Delete Volume...
    Figure : Delete Volume...
    Image of the Delete Volume menu
  2. If you have backed up the data you want to keep, click Yes.
    The drive letter disappears and the partition is labeled as Free space.
    Figure : Free space in the partition
    Image of the free space.
  3. Right-click the free space. In the menu that displays, click Delete Partition...
    Figure : Deleting the Partition
    Image of the Delete Partition menu.
    Now the space is shown as Unallocated.
  4. Right-click the drive to which you want to add the unallocated space. In the menu that displays, click Extend Volume...
    Figure : Extending the volume
    Image of extending the volume.
  5. The Extend Volume Wizard displays. Click Next.
    Figure : Extend Volume Wizard
    Image of the Extend Volume Wizard
  6. The Select Disks window displays. Do not change any settings. Click Next.
    Figure : Select Disks window
    Image of the Select Disks window.
  7. Click Finish.
    Figure : Completing the Extend Volume Wizard
    Image of the Extend Volume Wizard.
    The unallocated space can now be used.

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