Should I Partition My Hard Disk?

What are the benefits of a partitioned hard drive, or some practical uses of a partition?

Disk partitioning is one of those topics that generates conflicting opinions.

Some swear that proper partitioning aids performance, makes backing up easier, and is just generally “better”.

Others opt to let Windows sort it all out, believing that improper partitioning might prevent the file system — already optimized for both safety and performance — from operating in the best way.

While I’m certain the truth is somewhere in between, I tend to fall into the latter camp.

I’ll look at some of the pros and cons to partitioning your hard drive, and make a recommendation if, after all is said and done, you’re still not sure.

Read moreShould I Partition My Hard Disk?

How Do I View the Contents of My Hidden D: Drive?

In the past I’ve had what was called a recovery drive on my system, D:. Now, with Windows 10, I no longer have D:, but the recovery partition is still there. How do I view what’s in it?

As we’ve discussed in other articles, machines with Windows 10 installed frequently have multiple partitions. One or more of those partitions is typically labelled as a “recovery partition”.

While in the past you may have seen such partitions assigned a drive letter like D:, there’s no requirement that it always be that letter. In fact, there’s no requirement that it be assigned a drive letter at all.

Recovery partitions not having a drive letter is actually a good thing.

Read moreHow Do I View the Contents of My Hidden D: Drive?

Do I Need All These Partitions?

Is it possible to remove some of the Recovery Partitions from my SSD laptop? I think some of these partitions are not needed but I don’t know which ones. If they can be deleted, how would I add that space to my C: drive?

The short answer is yes, but no.

Yes, you can delete partitions, but no, I would not advise it. As you say, you don’t know what the partitions are, so you don’t know whether or not they’re needed. It’d be a shame to delete one and find out later that this was a serious mistake.

However, if you feel the need, I do have one approach to doing it more or less safely.

Read moreDo I Need All These Partitions?

What’s a Dynamic Disk?


Leo, first, thanks for all I’ve learned from your newsletter and your books. A couple of weeks ago I bought Saved! Backing Up With Macrium Reflect and began learning how to use Macrium Reflect. I registered the book and downloaded the pdf version. A few days ago, I downloaded and installed on my Windows 7 laptop the trial version, version 5.2. Now that I’ve succeeded in creating the rescue CD and booting from it and creating several daily scheduled full backups on a 1 TB external drive, I decided to purchase it.

But when I went to the website to buy a personal version for home use, I found that there are two options. A standard version 5 or a professional version 5. The web page explains that the professional license offers the features of the standard license plus “Dynamic disk support” and “Restore images to new hardware using Macrium ReDeploy”. I think I understand why Macrium Redeploy might be very helpful sometime in the future but dynamic disk support begs a few questions. What is a dynamic disk? Does my Windows 7 laptop have a dynamic disk? What is dynamic disk support? Does a home user, like me, need dynamic disk support for a Windows 7 laptop?

It seems like a disk would be a really simple thing. You put some data on it, add a little organization around it to find that data and your done. Right?

Dynamic disks are a little more complex, but the good news here is that most folks really don’t need to worry about dynamic disks. But they are kind of interesting, and I’ll go into some detail on the different things they can do.

Read moreWhat’s a Dynamic Disk?

Can I Make My C: Partition Bigger by Taking Space from D:?

I have a laptop that somebody partitioned so that the small section is C: and the large (and mostly empty) section is D:. No matter how I try to get programs loaded into D: instead, everything goes to C: and therefore C: is full, while most of the hard drive, namely D:, is empty. Is there any way other than starting fresh that I can change to size of C? I tried renaming C: to D: and vice versa, but of course that didn’t work.

Yes, I wouldn’t expect that rename to work. There are simply too many places, such as within the system registry, that have recorded the fact that things are on “C:”. If you rename C: to D:, the system wouldn’t be able to find them.

What you’re looking for is partitioning software.

And there’s a good chance you already have what you need.

Read moreCan I Make My C: Partition Bigger by Taking Space from D:?