Thursday, March 25, 2010

Disk Management (Maintaining Partition and creating virtual paths)

Disk Management is a tool used to manage system disks, both local and remote. If you've been around personal computers for a number of years you're familiar with Fdisk, the utility that was used in conjunction with the Format command to set up hard disks from the command prompt. Disk Management, with its graphical user interface, goes a long way to eliminating the need for the command prompt utilities and makes it easy to obtain a quick overview of the system and the relationships between installed disks.

Files in Windows XP can be organised on the hard disk in two different ways:-
  •  The old FAT (File Allocation Table) file system was developed originally (when the original IBM PCs came out) for MS-DOS on small machines and floppy disks. There are variants — FAT12 is used on all floppy disks, for example — but hard disk partitions in Windows XP can be assumed to use the FAT32 version, or 32-bit File Allocation Table.

  •  Later, a more advanced file system was developed for hard disks in Windows NT, called NTFS (the “NT File System”). This has matured, through several versions, into the latest one that exists alongside FAT in Windows XP.

The file system used goes with an individual partition of the disk. You can mix the two types on the same physical drive. The Windows XP operating system is the same, whichever file system is used for its partition, so it is a mistake (and source of confusion) to speak of “a FAT disk reading an NTFS partition.” It is the operating system, not the disk, that does the reading.

Actual files are unaffected by which file system they are on; that is merely a matter of a method of storage. An analogy would be letters stored in an office. They might be in box-files on shelves (FAT) or in suspended folders in file cabinets (NTFS); but the letters themselves would be unaffected by the choice of which way to store them, and could be moved from one storage place to the other. Similarly, files can be moved between folders on an NTFS partition and folders on a FAT partition, or across a network to another machine that might not even be running Windows.

How to open  Disk Management:-
Click Start > Run and type diskmgmt.msc in the Open: line and click OK. The Disk Management snap-in will open.

The first thing i want to tell you is that you cannot partition a disk unless you format it completely.Moreover disk partition can only be done for whole disk and not for a previously existing  partition.

Now to create partition Format disc and then delete all existing partitions by selecting delete logical drive.
When it becomes a single partition , then you get the option of creating the partition and selecting the appropriate file system.


The most interesting service provided by this window is to change drive letter and access path.
This can be done by right clicking on the partition and selecting the option "Change drive letter and path"

 Here select change to change drive letter.
Select Add to add a logical path inside other partition to the selected partition.
Ex:- you can have a path to D drive through a folder in C drive .
Many will argue about its usefullness.
Well there are many applications where it might be useful.
Firstly , it logically integrates the two drives even though they are physically seperated.
Also it provides easy access through command prompt without switching the drive. 
It also helps a great deal in file handling through a single drive rather than using multiple drives.
Quota Management:-

Another good feature provided by this service is quota management.
In multi-user system where several users shares same PC ,there is always a problem in sharing the primary disk for software installation.
Now using this service a seperate quota can be defined for each user.
In case he exceeds the defined quota , he is notified and denied the access to more space.
To do this simply right click on primary partition (Which contains windows ,mostly C drive) and select properties.
Then go to Quota tab (the last one) and check enable quota and do the appropriate settings.


  1. nice information!

    there are two types of disk basic and dynamic.plz post the difference in these two.

  2. Thanks for suggestion
    Chk out the new post


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