As a safety feature,
Windows does not allow you to format (redo the file system on the disk,
erasing all information) or delete the partition containing the Windows directory
from this management screen, but you can carry out these operations
on any other partition by right clicking on it and selecting
the 'format' or 'delete partition/logical drive' options.
If you have installed an additional hard disk
and wish to partition and format it, the disk will be represented as grey
'unpartitioned space' in the graphical display at the bottom of the
screen, and can be partitioned and formatted by right clicking on
the drive and selecting the partition option to start a wizard
that will guide you through the operation.
have covered the utilities available from the 'properties' menu of individual
drives, such as hard drive defragmentation, backups and sharing in several recent articles, so
for information on these topics try the preceding links.
Mounting drives as folders
One rather interesting option available with the disk manager is the ability
to mount individual partitions as directories in another volume. For example, if you had
a computer with a 20GB disk formatted into a single partition and volume
(drive c:), you could purchase a second drive, partition and format it from disk manager and
then instead of giving it its own drive letter, add it to
your c: drive as a directory.
Any files added to that directory would of
course be stored in the new HD. This can come in extremely handy, as certain applications
(databases come to mind) can grow extremely large, but may not support
storing data on a separate drive.
As far as Windows is concerned, a drive
mounted as a directory is just a directory, so no extra drive letters are
involved. This can also cut down on storage confusion for the average user,
and it's easy to do, though it can only be done with NTFS formatted partitions. Also,
the boot partition cannot be used this way, though other partitions can
be added to the boot partition.
Also note that shuffling
the partition around in this way has no effect on the data stored
in it. You can move an NTFS partition from directory to directory, then give it back
a drive letter if you choose, while maintaining complete access to the
data inside. No reboot is necessary.
One other note: If you have installed software on a partition you plan to mount as a directory, it is best to uninstall and reinstall it, since the move may stop the software from working correctly. Windows will warn you about this...