When you set up your system or prepare it for easy backups as described here you might want to partition your harddrive(s).
Most systems come with a C drive where your system is installed and a D drive with a restore partition.
That D is a small partition and you should leave it alone.
The best thing is to make an image of it (with Macrium Reflect for instance) and store that on another drive, like an external USB drive.
There is no need to make regular images of this partition, since it doesn't change :)
If you're confused about what the difference is between a drive, a harddrive (HDD) and a partition I'll try to explain that first:
Inside your computer there is a harddrive (the physical thing LOL), also called HDD.
On a HDD there are partitions, which you see in your computer as drives, like this:
You can keep a HDD as a single partition or split it into two or three partitions.
In my case there is no recovery partition and I have three HDD's. Two of them are single partitions and one is split in two partitions.
You see these in the above image as drives C, D, E and G.
You might note you can't see which one consists of a HDD and which one is only a part of a HDD.
To be able to see that or to manage them, you can use the inbuild Windows partition manager. You can read how to do that here under 'Option one'.
I prefer to use the free Minitool Partition Wizard Home Edition, because you can make changes and delay applying them and when done do them all in one go.
After installing the program and opening it, you'll see a list of the HDD's and partitions you have and the driveletters assigned to them.
Note that the drive that contains your OS always should be called C.
A used to be for floppy drives and B for a second floppy drive or zipdrive. We don't use those anymore, so you can assign these letters to any other partition if you like (I have assigned A to my off location backup USB drive, since it's such a noticable name :D).
Here is how to use Partition Wizard:
You get a list with the drives installed and the partitions that are on them.
Note your C drive should always be set to primary. That means it can contain the OS.
Johnathan King explains: "The first 4 partitions can be primary. After that, you need to create a logical drive, which would be your 3rd partition. In the logical dive, you can create unlimited extended partitions. The advantage of a Primary partition is that you can boot from it."
Now if you want to make some changes, just rightclick on the drive or partition you want to change.
NOTE: BEFORE YOU APPLY ANY CHANGES MAKE SURE YOU HAVE BACKED UP YOUR SYSTEM AND YOUR DATA!!!
You can do so by first creating images with Macrium Reflect. Don't worry if you're partitioning exactly because you want to be able to regulate your backups, you can create new images when you're done. But make sure to make an image to a HDD you won't be partitioning, preferably an external HDD that's not connected when changing the partitions.
When restoring an image the partition you restore it to should be the same size or bigger as the one you made the image of.
So note how big the partition is you've backed up before changing it!!!
Ok, so you rightclick a partition or drive and you see this list of options:
If you choose 'delete' a partition it will become unallocated:
From an unallocated drive you can make partitions, just rightclick and choose 'create':
You can also resize that partition. If you make it smaller than the unallocated space available, you can create another partition of the unallocated space that is left.
Brink explains: "By default on a MBR disk, you can create a maximum of 3 Primary partitions and 1 Extended partition with up to 128 logical volumes in the extended partition on a single hard disk."
We're not dealing with extended partitions in this tutorial, this one is just to get you started. If you're feeling up to that you probably don't need this tutorial to start with ;)
When you create a partition it automatically get's a drive letter. In this case H. If you'd like another letter, rightclick the drive and select 'Change Letter'. A dialogbox comes up that offers you the letters to choose from. I chose X :
And here is the result:
When all is set to your liking click the big blue V 'Apply' on the top left and wait patiently! Depending on the size of your drives it may take a long time and when a drive is in use you may have to restart your computer.
In this case I've only shown internal HDD's, but the same applies to external USB drives. You can assign letters to them and partition them just as easily :)