Windows 10: Format unused space on primary disk Solved

  1.    11 Jan 2017 #1

    Format unused space on primary disk


    Some time ago I had to format my hard drive (a nominal 1 TB spinner) and re-install Windows 10. At the time I was considering setting up a dual-boot configuration, so I left about 290 GB unallocated for later use by the alternative OS. Since then I have changed my mind, and now I run Linux as a guest within a virtual machine in the Windows 10 host. Thus the 290 GB is still unused and unformatted.
    What is the safest way to bring it back into use, either as an extension to the C: drive or as a new D: drive?
    Disk Management shows a breakdown of the 931.51 GB storage as:
    System reserved 100 MB NTFS,
    638.01 GB NTFS for boot, page file, crash dump & primary partition,
    450 MB recovery partition,
    292.7 GB unallocated.
    I see that if I right click on the last entry, I have the option to create a new simple volume. Presumably this would become my D: drive. Is this the best solution? I am hesitating because this is a feature that I have never used before, and the consequences of a mistake could be most unpleasant.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    11 Jan 2017 #2

    Hi, If you only have one drive, then creating a data partition is an excellent idea.

    Move your personal data away from the OS.

    My Windows partition is about 76Gb on a 256Gb SSD.

    I don't use the default library folders- they get filled with folders some programs create when installed. I have my own 'My Files and Folders' 'Videos' 'Photos' 'Music' on other partitions/disk, also my emails, contacts etc for Thunderbird.

    This means I have relatively good control (as far as one can with the way MS mixes OS and user files etc) of what's on C:, and the space used stays relatively constant.

    I prefer not to relocate the default folders
    a. for the reason above
    b. 'cos I've seen some of the difficulties some have experienced having done so and wish to avoid that.

    Hope that gives some ideas.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    11 Jan 2017 #3

    Adding to dalchina's excellent advice...
    For some time, I have been "telling" all programs to save to, copy to, re-write/edit to, log to -- my created folders on my data partition which is my "d drive" as many call such. I too have never moved Libraries' directories elsewhere.
    This strategy pays off when having to restore an OS partition suddenly; and the data partition could not care less what happens to the OS partition.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 3,534
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, Win7 Home, Linux Mint
       11 Jan 2017 #4

    Ditto on telling programs what to do and leaving Windows defaults alone. I have a month-old computer with 150GB on C: and 750GB on D: for Data.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    12 Jan 2017 #5

    Many thanks to dalchina, RolandJS and Berton for their suggestions which I will certainly follow. However, outstanding is the question in the last paragraph of my first post:
    if I right click on the last entry (shown in Disk Management), I have the option to create a new simple volume ... Is this the best solution?
    I am still hesitating because I have never used this option before, and a mistake in formatting my hard drive could be rather disastrous.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    12 Jan 2017 #6

    If Windows 10 is like Windows 7 -- creating a new volume out of the unallocated space and formatting said new volume is not a bad thing.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    12 Jan 2017 #7

    Hi, yes. A series of prompts follows. Go slowly.

    You would find a properly supported 3rd party partition manager clearer and easier to follow. These let you set up a series of actions, and let you see the changes in terms of an updated picture of your partitions.

    At that point you can choose to cancel or apply the changes.

    Disk Management (MS) is not properly supported with Help - just try it. MS has drastically reduced such support.

    On a different topic: Using disk imaging routinely is strongly recommented e.g. Macrium Reflect (free) + its boot medium + external storage for images. If you have images, you can restore your disk after a disaster, non -bootable PC, failed drive, ransomware....

    That gives a sense of security.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    12 Jan 2017 #8

    Thanks again to RolandJS and dalchina. I have now used a third party partition manager and successfully formatted the unused space on my hard disk. I will also install Macrium Reflect and explore its options.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    13 Jan 2017 #9

    MikeinGrange said: View Post
    Many thanks to dalchina, RolandJS and Berton for their suggestions which I will certainly follow. However, outstanding is the question in the last paragraph of my first post:
    if I right click on the last entry (shown in Disk Management), I have the option to create a new simple volume ... Is this the best solution?
    I am still hesitating because I have never used this option before, and a mistake in formatting my hard drive could be rather disastrous.
    I'm late to the party but just wanted to mention for future use. Always backup your entire hard drive before trying anything you are unsure of. If you haven't been doing backups already, then suggest making it priority 1 on your list of things to do.

    When doing backups, suggest doing "Image" backups and not "Clone" backups. Image backups will allow you to store many backups from one or different computers on the same backup drive. Like if you have a 4TB backup drive, you will be able to store like 10 or more backups on it depending on the size of the "used" space on your source drives. ----- I actually recommend having two backup drives. Then alternate backups on the two drives. If a backup drive should die, (extremely rare if the backup drive is being stored in a safe, rather than left connected and running all the time), you will have the other backup drive to fall back on.

    Clone backups are useful for businesses that have to come back up immediately if a hard drive fails. But only one backup can be saved per backup drive using the clone method. For a home user, it's really not necessary to do clone backups since one has time to wait for a restore of an image backup to complete.

    Just $.02,
    mck
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

Related Threads
Hard Disk Converted to GPT format in Drivers and Hardware
I have DELL inspiron 5558 With windwos 8.1 and upgraded to windows 10. Recently i wanted windows 7 and for that i shrink my E drive and from DVD tried to install Windows 7 on that 50 GB unallocated space. But it was showing me that you cant...
Hi, I get a notification every 10 minutes or so saying "Low Disk Space - You are running out of disk space on backup disk" In the backup settings, I told it to delete files whenever it needs space, yet I'm still getting this annoying message. A)...
Solved Move system partition to primary disk? in Installation and Upgrade
So I recently formatted my Windows 8.1 system and installed Windows 10. But it seems that the setup decided to set my System parition to a separate HDD (G: ) and put the bootmgr and all the boot files there, instead of using the left-over 350MB...
After I free upgraded from 8.1 to 10 a new partition showed up. I just deleted it and it became unallocated space. How can I merge this space with my primary partition. Both are on a 256 SSD. When I right click C: in disk management, the...
Before I learned that VHDX expanding disks do not release space, many of these have swelled way beyond what is used of needed because I did a defrag. Defrag will use temporary space to store files parts being defragged. I expected defrag to make...
Our Sites
Site Links
About Us
Windows 10 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 10" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 15:29.
Find Us