Most newly bought computers comes with a single physical hard drive. A partition can be thought of as a virtual division or “part” of the physical hard drive. A partitioned hard drive will appear as if you have two or more hard drives.
You can install windows without partitioning the hard drive. However, partitioning the hard drive offers some advantage versus the one-drive-one-partition setup.
- BIOS should be set to boot from USB. This is done by setting the #1 Boot Priority to USB.
- A bootable USB flash drive containing Windows 7.
Note: This tutorial applies to a fresh Windows install.
Running the Windows Setup
- Turn off the computer.
- Plug the bootable USB drive.
- Turn on the computer. You should see the windows setup loading screen.
- After setup has finished loading, an initial screen appears. If you are an English speaker, the default settings should be fine in most cases. Click Next.
- Click Install to start the installation process.
- Depending on your installer, this screen might exist or not. Choose Windows 7 Ultimate and click Next.
- Accept the license and click Next.
- Choose Custom (advanced) installation.
Partitioning the Hard Drive
This is the part where we will divide the hard drive into two (2) partitions.
Note: Windows will create a system partition for itself.
- Select the hard drive and click drive options.
- In the drive options, select New. This will create a new partition.
- Enter the size for the partition in megabytes (MB). We will use the 50/50 rule wherein we will divide the two partitions equally. Since the hard drive’s total size is 40 GB, we will give the first partition a size of 20000 MB (20 GB). Type the value and Click Apply.
- Setup will prompt you that it will create an additional partition for itself. Click OK.
- Next select Disk 0 Unallocated Space and click New to create the second partition.
- The setup program will calculate and show the remaining value. Don’t worry if its not exactly 20000 MB. Leave the default amount and click Apply.
Installing Windows 7
Now that we have created the two partitions, we are ready to proceed with the Windows installation.
Note: Disk 0 Partition 1: System Reserved is used by Windows and will not appear in Windows Explorer.
- Select Disk 0 Partition 2. This will become our system drive (C:). Clicking Next will install windows in the selected partition so make sure that you select the correct partition. See picture below for reference. Click Next.
- Setup will now start the installation process. The duration will depend on your hardware specs. Why not grab a coffee or something.
- After the installation is completed, you need to type a user name and computer name.
- Next choose a secure password.
- Then enter the product key. You can also skip this step.
- Next choose a Windows Update option.
- Set your time and date settings.
- Choose your network profile.
- Annd your done!
- Before we forget, you need to format drive D to use it. Go to Computer and double click Local Disk (D:). Click Format disk.
- Leave defaults on the format dialog and click start. Click OK in the warning dialog.
- And voila a sparkling windows desktop!