Your computer holds a wealth of irreplaceable information. Individuals who use their computer for work will often have files regarding private company information, downloaded from a database. Home-based users save everything electronically, including their family pictures and important documents. When you have so much information saved to one location, you may be putting yourself at risk for various types of damage. Some users choose to partition their hard drive, dividing the physical hard drive into multiple installments. This programming directs your computer to separate files into these unrelated entities. However, you may be asking yourself why you would want to divide up your files, when your computer keeps everything conveniently in one place.
Protection from Viruses
If you accidentally download malware or a virus on your computer, it immediately plows through any file in its path in attempt to render it useless. If all of your files are saved to one area, it is easy for the virus to corrupt your documents and pictures from multiple folders. By dividing your information between various physical hard drives, you limit the amount of access a virus can have to your information, giving you more control over the potential damage.
Planning for an Emergency
There are some situations you cannot plan for, like the random crash of your computer. With hard drive partitioning, you can create a large enough partition to contain a basic operating system and a few diagnostic tools, allowing you to salvage your computer. Keep this file as a backup, in case of a weather-related or virus-related emergency.
Try Out Another OS
Partitioning your hard drive allows you to try out other operating systems, if you are thinking of converting your computer. With a single-volume hard drive, you are only able to run the operating system your currently have. If you divide up your hard drive, you can have a different operating system on each volume, allowing you to hook up your computer to test out different programs to compare.
How to Partition the Hard Drive
After backing up your data, you are ready to partition your hard drive. The process includes attention to detail, requiring you to access the Control Panel and select “Disk Management.” To partition the disk, right-click on a drive with free space available and select “shrink volume.” After you create the space you need, you only need to right-click on the unallocated space for a new volume, and let the setup wizard do the rest. If you need additional assistance, contact your computer’s manufacturer or a local computer technician.