The Windows 7 Disk Management tool provides a simple interface for managing partitions and volumes. Here’s an easy way to shrink a volume to free up space so you can create a new partition on your disk.

To shrink a basic volume, simple volume, or a spanned volume:

1. Open the Disk Management console by typing diskmgmt.msc at an elevated command prompt.

2. In Disk Management, right-click the volume that you want to shrink, and then click Shrink Volume.

3. In the field provided in the Shrink dialog box, enter the amount of space by which to shrink the disk.

The Shrink dialog box provides the following information: More »

The Windows 7 Disk Management tool provides a simple interface for managing partitions and volumes.

Here’s an easy way to create a new partition on your disk.

1. Open the Disk Management console by typing diskmgmt.msc at an elevated command prompt.

2. In Disk Management’s Graphical view, right-click an unallocated or free area, and then click New Simple Volume. This starts the New Simple Volume Wizard. (Note: If you need to create unallocated space, see the Tip Easily Shrink a Volume on a Windows 7 Disk for information on how to do this.)

3. Read the Welcome page and then click Next.

4. The Specify Volume Size page specifies the minimum and maximum size for the volume in megabytes and lets you size the volume within these limits. Size the partition in megabytes using the Simple Volume Size field and then click Next. More »

If you do not already know it, backups are the most important steps you must take to ensure that your data will not be lost. Despite all the trouble you go through to make sure that your computer is always clean and running at its peak performance, there comes a time when even the best storage solution fails.

What will you do now? There is nothing you can do about it but try to save as much as you can using data recovery tools that, at best, will manage to recover only a fraction of what you had on your hard drive.

The conclusion is that you should perform backups of your system on a regular basis and make sure you keep multiple backups of irreplaceable and important files. If you are as paranoid as me, you should also keep at least one backup copy of all your important files in a different physical location (an “offsite” location as experts call it).

There are many ways you can back up your data but the most popular ones are using the integrated Time Machine and Disk Utility tools. More »

Microsoft has confirmed an issue for customers running Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 in which the platforms can corrupt disk volumes and lead to data loss on computers with HDDs larger than 2 terabytes (TB).

According to the Redmond company, in addition to running either Windows 7 or Windows server 2008 R2 on a machine equipped with hard disk drive with more than 2 terabytes of disk space, users also need to have the operating systems configured to save dump files to a volume on the HDD.

In this context, the results might end up upsetting customers, the software giant warned.

“Some data of the dump file is offset at a disk offset greater than the 2 terabyte address of the hard disk drive,” Microsoft informed. More »

It’s always a bit tricky to beta test a new operating system. Most of us don’t have an abundance of extra hardware just sitting around, and it can be both time consuming and risky to rebuild your production machine with a pre-release version of the next OS.

But with Windows 7, it’s pretty easy to beta test on the machine you’ve already got. Hard drives have gotten much larger and much less expensive, and if you’re running Windows Vista, you already have built-in functionality to help you create a separate partition for testing.

To get started, open the Disk Management section of the Computer Management console on your Windows Vista machine. You can access this by clicking Start | Run and entering compmgmt.msc. Right-click your current system partition, likely labeled C:, and select Shrink Volume. Windows will query the disk for the amount of available space. You’ll probably want at least 20-30gigs of free space so you’ll have enough room for the Windows 7 beta installation, some data, and a few applications. More »