HOW TO: Manage Drives and Partitions in Windows 2000

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Article ID: 323967 - View products that this article applies to.
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SUMMARY

Windows 2000 supports two different types of drive assignments. A new drive (or a partition on that drive) is either typically assigned a new, unique drive letter (for example, drive C is used for the startup drive). Alternatively, you can assign a mount point for a drive or a partition in the same way you do if you use UNIX. You can use the path format to easily split up the content of a Web site across multiple drives without using redirection or virtual Web site directories. This article describes how to configure a new disk drive, create partitions, and assign a drive letter or a path to the partitions that you create.

Managing Drives

To manage any aspect of the storage devices on your computer, you must use the Disk Management section of the Computer Management utility. This utility is similar to the Fdisk utility, the Format utility, and the Newfs utility in UNIX.

To open the Disk Management section:
  1. Log on to the Web server computer as an administrator.
  2. Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.
  4. In the left pane, expand Storage, and then expand Disk Management.

    A list of the physical devices that are located on your computer and a description of how they are configured in partitions appears in the right pane.

Managing Partitions

You can use partitions to separate a disk into logical sections. Windows uses the same basic partitioning abilities as UNIX to divide the disk. Any drive on a Windows-based computer can have a maximum of four partitions, which can be made up of up to four primary partitions or which can be made up of up to three primary partitions and one extended partition. You can divide an extended partition into a number of logical drives, which extends the four-partition limit.

To create a new partition on either an empty disk or a disk that does not have all of its space allocated to active partitions:
  1. Open the Disk Management section of Computer Management.
  2. Right-click the disk for which you want to modify the partitions, and then click Create Partition.
  3. After the Create Partition Wizard starts, click Next.
  4. To create a primary partition, click Primary Partition, and then click Next.

    Alternatively, to create an extended partition, click Extended Partition, and then click Next.
  5. Select the size of the partition that you want to create, and then click Next.

    The default size of the partition is all of the remaining space on the drive.
  6. Microsoft recommends that you assign a drive letter or path to the new partition to make it available to Windows programs. To do so, complete any of the following steps, and then click Next:
    • To assign a standard drive letter to this partition, click Assign a drive letter, and then click a letter.
    • To assign the partition to appear as part of an existing path (as it is used under UNIX), click Mount this volume on an empty folder that supports drive paths, and then click Browse to select the folder to use as the mount point.
    • To ignore this step, click Do not assign a drive letter. The drive will not be available to use until you assign a drive letter or a path to it.
  7. You must format the partition before it can be used. This step is the same as using the Newfs tool in UNIX to create a new file system. To format the partition, perform any of the following steps as appropriate, and then click Next:
    • To format the partition now, click Format this partition with the following settings, and then enter the file system type (NTFS file system is the default setting and the recommended setting), the Allocation Unit size, which is the smallest block size a file uses on the disk, and an optional descriptive name for the new volume.
    • You can perform a Quick Format procedure on disks that have been previously used in Windows. Microsoft recommends that you do not use Quick Formatting for new drives or drives that you move from other platforms.
    • Click Enable File and Folder Compression if you want Windows to automatically compress files and folders.
    • If you do not want to format the partition at this time, select Do Not format this partition.
  8. Review the summary of the changes, and then click Back if any of the details are incorrect.
  9. Click Finish to partition and format the drive.

Formatting Partitions

You must format partitions before they are used. To format a partition:
  1. Open the Disk Management section of Computer Management.
  2. Right-click the partition that you want to format, and then click Format.
  3. Select the parameters for the new partition.
  4. Click OK to start the formatting process.

Changing Drive Letters

To change the drive letter of paths that are associated with a partition:
  1. Open the Disk Management section of Computer Management.
  2. Right-click the partition for which you want to change the drive letter, and then click Change Drive Letter and Path.
  3. Click Add to add a drive letter or path to a drive, and then select the drive letter of the path that you want to use.
  4. Click Remove to remove an existing drive letter or path assignment.
  5. Click Edit to update an existing drive letter or path assignment.

    NOTE: You can have any combination of drive letter or path assignments.
  6. Click Close.

REFERENCES

For additional information about how to prepare servers for a UNIX-to-Windows migration, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
323970 HOW TO: Prepare the Target Server for a UNIX-to-Windows Migration

Properties

Article ID: 323967 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 3.4
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Small Business Server 2000 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services 5.0
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB323967

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