When installing an operating system, especially Windows, it is often desirable to partition your HD into smaller logical disks, the process of doing this is called partitioning.

I’m basing this tutorial on the Windows 95b version of FDISK, because that one has support for larger disks (>2GB).

When FDISK starts it asks the user if larger disk support should be enabled. If you have a HD well above the amount of 2 GB storage space and you do not need to access your disk through DOS, it’s best to answer “yes” on the question.

After this a screen comes up displaying four menu items:

  1. to create a partition or logical DOS drive
  2. to set a partition as active (i.e the bootdrive)
  3. to delete a partition or logical DOS drive
  4. to display the partition data

When selecting option one, the following menu appears:

  1. to make a primary DOS partition
  2. to make an extended DOS partition
  3. to make logical drives in the extended partition space

With option 1 you can make you first partition, which will later be the C: drive. If you do not need additional drives, you can assign all available space to this partition. However, when you do need more drives, select the amount of space you need for your Os and extra files on drive C: . After having created the primary partition you’ll be asked which partition to set active. In most cases it is best to set the primary partition as the active one.

By selecting option 2 you can assign the rest of the HD space to additional drives. Firstly you must assign all the remaining space to the extended partition. Then you can divide this amount of space over additional drives. You may do that directly after creating the extended partition (FDISK will ask you) or by selecting option 3 in the menu above.

Going back to the first menu (the one with 4 options). I’ve already discussed the first two options, so I’ll continue with number three, the deleting of partitions. When selecting this option, you must be very careful not to delete the wrong partitions. By just pressing a few buttons, much of your data could be lost.

In most cases you’ll want to erase a logical drive and this can be done immediately. When deleting the extended partition however, you must first delete all logical drives and when erasing the primary partition, the extended partition (and consequently the logical drives also) must be deleted.

After you have partitioned your disk, you may take a look at the result by pressing 4 in the first menu. Remember that after partitioning, your computer will have to be rebooted, then drives will have to be formatted before they can be used.