Manage Your Hard Disk Space with Disk Management Utility in Windows 7

The principal disk-management tool in Windows 7 is the Disk Management console, Diskmgmt. msc. For those who need to incorporate disk-management tasks in scripts (as well as for those who simply prefer carrying out administrative tasks at the command prompt), Windows also provides a powerful command prompt program called Diskpart. Everything that you can do with Disk Management you can also do using Diskpart; you just have to work harder and more carefully.

If you’ve come to Windows 7 directly from Windows XP and have some familiarity with the disk-management tools in that earlier operating system, you’ll find significant improvements in Windows 7. (These changes were introduced with Windows Vista.) Most notably, you can now shrink partitions as well as expand them from within the console. If you have a writable CD or DVD drive, you’ll also appreciate the Windows 7 support for the Universal Disk Format (UDF). With UDF, you can write folders and files to CDs and DVDs as easily (if not as quickly) as you can write them to a hard disk. And if, like many others, you rely on portable computers or external hard disks (USB, IEEE 1394, or eSATA drives), you will be pleased to know that Windows now supports dynamic disks as well as basic disks on those devices.

Running Disk Management

To run Disk Management, do any of the following:

● At a command prompt, type diskmgmt.msc.
● Right-click Computer and choose Manage. The Computer Management console appears. In the console tree (the left pane), select Disk Management.

● In Control Panel, choose System And Security. Then, under the heading Administrative Tools, choose Create And Format Hard Disk Partitions.

Note : Disk Management requires administrative credentials.

Disk Management provides a wealth of information about physical disks and the volumes, partitions, and logical drives in place on those disks. You can use this utility to perform the following disk-related tasks:

● Check the size, file system, status, and other properties of disks and volumes.

● Create, format, and delete partitions, logical drives, and dynamic volumes.

● Assign drive letters to hard disk volumes, removable disk drives, and optical drives.

● Create mounted drives.

● Convert basic disks to dynamic disks, and vice versa.

● Create spanned and striped volumes.

● Extend or shrink partitions.
Use the Disk Management console to gather information about and manage hard disks and removable disks.

The Disk Management display is in two panes. In its default arrangement, the upper pane lists each volume on your system and provides information about the volume’s type, status, capacity, available free space, and so on. You can carry out commands on a volume by right-clicking in the first column of this pane (the column labeled Volume) and choosing from the shortcut menu.

In the lower pane, each row represents one physical device. In the headings at the left of each row, you see the name by which the device is known to the operating system (Disk 0, Disk 1, and so on), along with its type, size, and status. To the right are rectangles representing the volumes of each device. Note that the rectangles are not drawn to scale.
Right-clicking a heading at the left in the lower pane provides a menu of commands pertinent to an entire storage device. Right-clicking a volume rectangle provides a menu of actions applicable to that volume.

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