Partitioning a single hard drive into two or more partitions is very common now. The use of multiple partitions allows computer users to quickly recover from trojans, rootkits, spyware, viruses, and damaged/corrupt operating systems. Also, for advance users it allows them to have a multiple operating systems. But the truth is many of us partitioned a hardisk because they want their files separate from operating system data. It is very convenient to store and arrange files in separate drives.
How to Partition a hardisk
During the Windows 95 and 98 era, the most accessible program that you can use is Fdisk. Before a hard disk can be used by an operating system on a PC, it must be divided into one or more logical disks called partitions. But the problem in this tool is that if you want a two logical partition in an existing one, you have to delete it first and create two logical partitions. Therefore, destroying your data.There are third party tools that you can used without damaging your data but the problem, it is not free.
This third-party partition management programs such as Acronis True Image, Norton PartitionMagic and Norton Ghost can easily create and resize partitions without destroying an existing data. I have used them for years. So far, no problems.
Recently, when Windows Vista was released. Windows Vista includes built-in Disk Management program which allows for the creation, deletion and movement of partitions. I have used them several times especially Shrink Volume function, for easily creating a partition. The best thing for that it is FREE.
Here's 'Unlock Me!' tutorial on how to use Shrink function.
But what if you are using Windows XP? You want to make a partition so that you can install Windows Vista or other OS? Or Maybe you just want to have a separate drive for your files.
GParted is an Open source software in creating, resizing, moving and copying partitions. I have use this 3 times already but so far no problems in creating a partition. Except, when I use this on my old laptop (Celeron 1Ghz) it hang during the creation of partition after resize. So, I recommend using Windows XP Computer Management tool if your laptop is old. I tried it to a new laptop, it has no problem.
Here's 'Unlock Me!' tutorial on how to use GParted LiveCD.