With drives for computers growing ever bigger, dividing the space into partitions for specific purposes makes sense. Use EaseUS Partition Master Free to create, merge and delete partitions.
There is one thing for sure and that is that computer storage will grow larger and the price will fall. It is now possible to buy SSD (solid state drives) and HDD (hard disk drives) in the terabyte range. With prices as low as $60 for 4 TB and just over $100 for a 6 TB HDD, why skimp on drive space?
The thing is, what are you going to do with all that space?
- Photos: Ever-increasing amounts of storage space are required for digital media and some people have hundreds of gigabytes of digital camera or phone photos taken over the last 10 years or so.
- Videos: The rise in popularity of 4 K videos and the ease with which top-end phones can shoot them means that lots of disk space is required to store them and edit them. Again, hundreds of gigabytes of storage is needed.
- Music: Some people like to stream music, but others like to store it on their computers and the best quality takes up the most storage space. More storage is needed for your music library.
- Games: Games are growing in size and complexity and some of them require over 100 GB of disk space. Just five games could require over 1 TB of space.
It is possible to have one big drive and to install everything on it. However, the space can be divided into partitions and each works like a separate disk drive, so instead of one big C: drive, you could have C:, D: and E: or even more.
This enables you to allocate drives (partitions) for specific purposes. For example, you could have one partition for your photos, another for videos, one for music and if you are a gamer, one for games.
You know exactly where your files are, rather than them being buried folders deep somewhere on the C: drive. It is also easier to back them up. Partitions are useful for organizing your media.
Manage partitions in Windows
Windows has a useful tool for creating, formatting and deleting partitions. To see it, press Windows+R and then enter diskmgmt.msc in the Run box. It is pretty good, but it is not the best tool available and EaseUS Partition Master has more features and better tools for managing disks and partitions.
Partition Master is available in Free, Professional and Server editions. The free one has most of the features you need and is recommended for most people. If you need advanced features, and some people will, you can always upgrade to Pro, but for free you can create, format, delete, and merge partitions and a lot more.
If you have a big disk and want to partition it or remove or merge partitions, it is a great tool. There are too many features and functions to cover them all, so let’s just look at a few of them.
Before you do anything, create a backup! You are unlikely to have any problems with Partition Master, but human error is always a possibility, like formatting the wrong partition. It happens, I did that once! EaseUS has a free backup utility, Todo Backup Free that can do the job for nothing. All you need is a USB drive to back up to.
Create disk partitions
The home view of Partition Master lists the drives and partitions. You can see the storage capacity and the amount of free space. There isn’t a main menu and to see what you can do with a drive or partition, right click it to list all the actions. For example, partitions can be resized, moved, cloned, formatted, deleted and so on. The menu that appears depends on what is clicked.
Right click a partition and it can be deleted and the space is classed as unallocated. You can then right click the unallocated space and select Create, which enables you to create a partition and assign it a drive letter to be used in Explorer. A partition can fill the whole space or just part of it. If only part of the space is used for a partition, right clicking the remaining unallocated space enables another partition to be created.
A common situation is that you buy a new computer or external USB drive and it has a single partition, but you would prefer two or more partitions, so you can dedicate them to photos, videos, games or music. Partition Master can do that and there is even a New Disk Guide.
Partition Master can shrink an existing partition and making it smaller leaves unallocated space on the drive. That can then be used to create one or more partitions, each with their own drive letter. You can either type in the partition sizes you need or click and drag a on the ends of a bar to allocate space. It is very easy.
Remove or merge partitions
A new computer may come with two partitions and you prefer just one, or you might create several partitions on a new USB drive that you later decide you do not need. That isn’t a problem and right clicking a partition enables them to be deleted or merged.
The merge function is very useful and normally you would delete a partition and then increase the preceding partition size to use the space. However, this deletes any files on the partition.
Partition Master automatically moves files on the partition being removed to the one being extended. It creates a folder, puts all the files in, then expands the first partition into the space used by the second partition. All the files are still accessible afterwards.
Repair faults on drives
Partition Master has some tools that can repair disk faults. This isn’t its primary function, but I managed to get a drive working that had not worked for some time. After dozens of formats of different types, partitioning, resizing and deleting partitions and similar actions from Windows Disk Management and other partitioning software over the years, the drive had become unusable.
Right clicking the drive and using the Surface Test and Wipe Data functions (it takes hours – the drive’s fault), the drive could be partitioned and used again. It fixed whatever was wrong with it and the drive is now fine.
There is also a Check File System function that can find and fix faults.
More Partition Master functions
There are many more functions and here are just a few of them (some advanced functions require the Pro version): Clone one disk or partition to another even if the destination is smaller, convert a logical partition to primary or primary partition to logical, FAT to NTFS partition, MBR disk to GPT, or GPT disk to MBR. Check partitions for errors, change partition labels, partition recovery, create a boot disk to manage partitions without having to start Windows.
As is usual with partitioning software, commands are not immediately executed, but are added to a queue. This means that you can try different things, such as creating, moving, deleting and formatting partitions until you get what you want. The list of actions to be performed can be reviewed to make sure everything is correct and as you want it, then when you are happy with it, it can be executed.
EaseUS Partition Master is an excellent utility for managing the partitions on disks whether they are SSD or HDD. The free version has all the core functions and is suitable for most people. For those that need more, there is a Pro version with extra features.