Windows 10 has some great features and customization options for users. All those options provide a great user experience(at least to those who know how to use them). Some of the more advanced users might be familiar with the Windows 10 Disk Management system. For those of you who don’t know this, do not worry, we are going to talk about it in detail. The term Windows 10 Disk Management should be self-explanatory as it does what it is named for.
The Disk Management feature in Windows 10 is used to manage all your hard drives. It is an in-built tool in Windows and allows users to view and makes changes to their hard drive. Not just hard drives on your machine, but you can also manage other optical drives, flash drivers, and any other drives that you connect to your computer. Pretty useful isn’t it?
What Is Windows 10 Disk Management?
Any general user who knows what Windows 10 disk management is, knows that it is mostly used for the partition of drives on a computer. It can be used to partition, delete, and combine the drives. This feature was first introduced in Windows XP, before that, you had to access it through a command prompt function.
Apart from the usual partitioning of drives, you can also initialize and optimize drives, assign driver letters, extend partition, convert MBR to GPT, et cetera. So why use the disk management Windows 10 function? This feature has many advantages for your PC. With disk management, you get better performance for your device as they are less cluttered and organizing files is easier.
In case you want to reinstall your Windows, then this helps too. Since you used disk management to create other drives, your data and system files are now on separate drives. This makes it easier to format the C drive and reinstall the Windows. These are just a few benefits of using Windows 10 Disk Management.
How to Access the Disk Management Windows 10?
There’s just isn’t a single way for you to access this function in Windows 10. Anyone can use multiple ways, but here we are going to provide you with the simple and best way to access this Windows 10 disk utility. Read through all the access options to choose the best one.
The No B.S Option
That’s right! No B.S, and you can access this without much effort.
- On your Windows 10 Start menu icon which is on the task, use the right-click.
- This shows a bunch of options, one of which is the Disk Management. Click it
- This opens up the Windows 10 Disk Management.
The One With Run Window
- Open the run window with Windows+R key.
- In the Run, type “diskmgmt.msc”.
- Hit ok, and Voilà. The DM, uh uhh the Disk Manager(DM) is up.
The Old School Method
- Type cmd in the Start menu of Windows.
- This open the Command prompt window. In there, type “diskmgmt” and hit Enter.
- Disk Manager is now opened.
These methods should suffice to know how to open the DM. So now that you know how to open it, it’s time you know who to use it as well.
How to Use Disk Management in Windows 10?
Managing your internal and external drives is the main function of Disk Management. Though how can you do that? How to partition, optimize, or format hard drive Windows 10? All these questions will be answered from the below tutorials. Just take a look at all the instructions being provided to understand it all.
The Disk Partition Using Shrink, and Volume Creation
First, let us see how to partition a drive in Windows 10. To do that, you first have to select a volume with enough space to shrink it and use the unallocated space in that volume. Partition is required when you have a brand-new device with the OS installed and it only has one drive or maybe you just want another local disk. This one drive has all the hard drive space. Sometimes people also partition a drive to use another OS.
- Open the Disk Management using any of the 3 above-mentioned methods.
- Once it is opened, look for the volume you want to partition.
- The volume that has good amount of storage space should be used to partition. To partition, you should have to first shrink the volume.
- Right-click on the volume and click the “Shrink Volume” option.
- A shrink window opens. Here, you have to allocate certain size for the partition. This size should be in MB.
- When you are done allocating the memory, hit the shrink button.
- With that, you will have a required unallocated space.
- Now, right-click on this allocated space and hit the “New Simple Volume” option.
- When a window opens for the volume creation, follow the steps and assign the required space in MB to create a new volume. It’s better if you assign the whole unallocated space for the new volume.
- Then assign a Drive letter for the volume and on the next screen select format hard drive Windows 10 to create a new volume.
With that, you have a new partition on your drive. Similarly, you can delete, extend a volume, mark volume as active, and change the drive letter in the Windows 10 Disk Management tool.
How to Optimize Different Partitions in Windows 10?
Partitioning does provide better accessibility and usability for your drives, though that it isn’t enough to get the best experience. Users should also optimize their drives once in a while to keep their devices at optimum performance. The best thing is that you don’t have to go on to the internet to find a tool for this because Windows 10 has one.
- Search for “Defragment and Optimize Drives” in the Windows search bar.
- After you open this Defragment tool, it shows all the drives in your device.
- Now select the drive you want to optimize, and click the Optimize button.
- Wait for a few minutes for the Defragment tool to optimize your drive.
- That covers the optimizing partitions in Windows 10 tutorial
I know most of you out there want to more about Windows 10 disk management, and the things that it can do. So, to help you out, we are going to discuss a few more things that this Windows 10 disk utility tool can do for us.
Initialize New Disks
The initialization of a disk is done when a new hard drive is added to your device. It is a simple procedure that is done by using the Drive Manager Windows 10(Disk Management). See the steps below for the procedure.
- Open the Windows 10 Disk Management by right-clicking and selecting the run as administrator option. This can found with a right-click on the Start menu icon on the taskbar.
- When the DM opens, you can see a new disk, make sure it is the right one. This disk should be online to initialize.
- In case the disk isn’t online then right-click on it and select the online option.
- After it is back online, right-click again and select the “Initialize Disk” option.
- Then a window open asking you to select a partition style. Go with the GPT as it is most preferred one for current devices and supports hard drives with large size.
- After that, click Ok to begin the initialization.
- When that is done, hit the right-click on that new initialized drive and select the “New Simple Volume” option.
With that, the initialization of a new drive is successful.
How to Change a Drive Letter?
- On the Disk Management Windows 10 tool, all the drives are visible.
- Select the drive you want to change the name for, and right-click on it.
- Click the “Drive letter and path” option. A small window opens.
- Select the drive letter again and hit the change option.
- In the next window, select a letter from the drop down menu and click ok.
- Then press Ok again if you still want to change the name, even after seeing the warning window.
- This will change your drive letter.
Difference Between Partition Styles Gpt & Mbr
While initializing a new partition or disk, you will notice that the Windows 10 Disk Management tool provides a choice. This is choosing between GPT or MBR for the new drive. We have also talked very briefly about this in the initialization part. Here we are going to add a few more points to their difference to understand them better.
GUID Partition Table(GPT)
You might already know that GUID Partition Table(GPT) is something that is currently the preferred choice for users. That’s because this style supports the new generation of SSD and HDD devices with large sizes. Apart from that. Two other features make it the best partition style for drives.
- The partition and the boot data of your device is stored in various locations as copies. This helps keep the data safe. Even if the data is lost from one place or corrupted, it’s still intact in another location.
- Other feature of GPT is that, it has CRC values to make sure that the data is intact. CRC means Cyclic Redundancy checks. If the data is lost or damaged then it automatically goes for recovery.
Master Boot Record(MBR)
Now, when it comes to MBR, this partition style is like a dumb guy without a backup plan. This style was preferred in old devices and is not the default partition style for Windows 10. Unlike GPT, this one has crucial data stored in only one location. In case the data is lost, then it is lost. It was often used for memory cards.
Also, MBR doesn’t perform CRC. So if the data is corrupted, then you might as well forget about it.
To read more about their different uses, and functionality, check out this howtogeek article on the topic.
How to Move Disks to Another Computer?
The question isn’t about how to move the disks from one computer to another, but how to move the data in a disk to a new computer? Well, it all depends on your requirement, though I’ll try to answer both questions simply. Let us say that you have some data in your disk, and this disk is being added to another computer.
In such a scenario, you probably want to keep the data and add the drive to the new device. Check out some simple steps for that.
- First, I would recommend you to backup all the data in the disk. You know, in case things go south.
- Now take out the disk from the old device and add it to the new one by following proper instructions(if you have any). Turn off the computer when you add this new drive.
- Now turn it on and boot the device. If this new disk is the only hard drive in the new PC then it will automatically load from it. In case it doesn’t, press the boot menu key during start to access the boot order.
- If there’s already a drive in your device and this is an add-on then you need to import the data from this drive.
- To do that, go to Windows 10 Disk Management. Here you can see the new disk.
- Right-click on this disk and in that menu, hit the “Import Foreign Disk” option.
- This will import all the data from the previous disk to the new one.
Troubleshoot Windows 10 Disk Management
While Disk Manager is a really useful function for your Windows 10, it’s not perfect. Meaning, there can be certain issues while using this feature. Do not worry, if you are facing any issues, we are here to help you fix them. Some of the most prominent issues seen by users are a disk not showing up in the disk management, a disk status showing healthy which means it might be at risk, and a few others.
Now to fix the missing disk issue, a dynamic disk can be seen with a missing status in case it goes corrupt or is not currently usable/offline. Things to do in such cases.
- Check if the disk is connected and has power supply.
- In case you can see the missing drive, right-click and select Reactivate disk.
- Sometimes if it’s offline, just select the online option with a right-click on the disk.
When it comes to the healthy status for a volume, which means that it is at risk there is a solution. Even if one of the disk/volumes is at risk that puts the others at risk too. The solution is to bring the volume back online. Just click on the risky disk and select the online option. In case that doesn’t work then replace the disk.
Recovery Options in Windows 10
Well, there isn’t just a single way to use recovery options in Windows 10. Depending on the issue, the recovery options can vary. Let’s say you have recently installed an update that is causing some issues then you should remove the new update and recover the old version of Windows to fix this. Similarly, if your PC is not working properly, and you have a restore point on your device, then you can use it to revert.
These two are just a few of the many recovery options available in Windows 10. While we cannot address them all here, at least let’s talk about the above two options. First, the recovery options for a buggy Windows 10 update.
- Go to “Update & Security” from the Settings, and click the Windows update option.
- Next, click the “View your update history” and select the “Uninstall updates”.
- There, remove the required update with a right-click.
- This reverts the device back to the previous bug-free version.
For the system restore point solution
- Open Control panel on your Windows 10 and search for recovery from the search bar.
- Click “Recovery” and then “Open System Restore”.
- A new window opens. On this new windows, which the “Recovery system file and settings”, click next.
- This shows the available restore point(s). Choose the required one and click “Scan for affected programs”.
- After selecting that, the windows shows all the things that are going to be deleted. If that doesn’t matter then click “Close” and then “Next”, and finally “Finish”.
In case you do not see any restore points, then check out this Microsoft Document (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/) for help. Also, this has many other recovery options for various issues.
Backup & Restore Files in Windows 10
This is a really useful feature and one that is recommended for every Windows 10 user. This helps you keep your data even if something happens to your device. All you have to do is add an external drive and backup all the data to it. You can recover it when required and not lose any important data.
To backup data to any external drive or a network follow the next few steps.
- Open Settings in your Windows and go to the “Update & Security” option.
- Then hit the “Backup” tab on the left menu of “Update & Security”.
- Right on the top of the Backup settings, there is an option “Add a drive”.
- When you click that option, Windows searches for any drives or network to store the data.
- Select the required one to backup your data.
Now to restore this data when required, the next few steps should help.
- In your Windows search bar, enter “Restore your files with File History”. Open it.
- The opened window shows all the files that have been backed up.
- Select the file which needs to be restored along with the required version of the file. The arrows should help to check different versions.
- Just click the Restore option, and the files will be back to its previous location.
- If you want them at another location, then right-click the restore option and choose “Restore to” and assign the desired location to restore the file.
How to Find the Bitlocker Recovery Key?
This can be quite a difficult predicament. We’ve all been here one way or another where we forget a password for an account or any device. In this case, the BitLocker recovery key. To be frank, it’s not like you can remember the 48 digit key, it’s just that you forgot where you saved it. Well, we are here to help you with that, so just take a look at the instructions that follow.
There are multiple ways to recover a Bitlocker key, one such way is to log in to your Microsoft account. The Microsoft account saves your Bitlocker key, so try logging from any other device to find the key. If you were smart, you would have saved the key in a flash drive or maybe taken out a printout. In case you did do those things, then check them out too.
For more information and tutorials on this, check out this Bitlocker Recovery option.
How to Create a System Restore Point?
You never know when some kind of bug or error can cause problems in your Windows 10 device. Sometimes updating drivers, installing new software, or making some kind of changes to your system can cause fatal errors. In cases like that, restore point can save you a lot of time and trouble.
If your device doesn’t have a restore point and you do not know how to create one, then take a look below for instructions.
- Open your Windows 10 Start menu, and type “Create System Restore Point”.
- Press Enter and this open a system properties window for the same.
- See the available drives, select the required one and click “configure” button to turn on system protection.
- Hit Apply and ok. With system protection on, you can create a restore point for that drive.
- Now select the required drive and click the create button to create a restore point.
- You might have to add a description before creating a restore point. That should conclude the restore point creation.
What Are Virtual Hard Disks?
I think most of you can guess what a Virtual Hard Disk(VHD) is. Just take out the term “virtual” and you know what hard disk is. So a virtual hard disk is the same as a normal one, except that all the data is stored on a virtual machine. You can do pretty much everything that a normal hard drive does, and more. With VHDs, there’s even an option to use multiple operating systems in a single machine.
This is mostly useful for testers and developers who require multiple OS in a single device. It can be accessed and modified from a host server which allows for many other features like
- Transfer of files from a host file drive to VHD.
- Recovery options along with backing up of essential data.
- Disk conversion, Image management, patching, and many others.
This VHD can be viewed and managed from Disk Management. Users can also create a VHD, though you need to be one of the Backup Operators or a member of the Administrators group for that.
- Just go to Disk Management and click the “Action” menu.
- Next, hit the “Create VHD” option.
- Then assign location and size on a physical device.
- Finally, either select Dynamically expanding or Fixed size in the Virtual hard disk format.
To find out more info on this VHD management, check out this Microsoft Document – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/disk-management/manage-virtual-hard-disks.
Pros and Cons of Windows 10 Disk Management
- Better handling of data through organization.
- Easy to backup and restore.
- Can facilitate multiple OS.
- Users have a better control on their device.
- First is that, it isn’t for everyone. If you are not careful with certain feature like partitioning then you can harm your device.
- More room for error if you do not know everything.
- If not careful then drive space can be lost while partioning.
Other Windows 10 Disk Management Tools
Even though Windows 10 provide good enough features when it comes to disk management, there is nothing wrong with looking for more and different options. Apart from Windows 10 Disk Management tool, many others in the market are mostly used by advanced users. That doesn’t anyone else cannot try them. So, if you are interested, check some listed below.
The name pretty much gives it away. This tool helps you do pretty everything a disk manager does, so you can create, remove, delete, resize, move, et cetera. It is one of the best tools for Windows 10 as it supports drives up to 4TB.
A partition manager that lets you clone disk, remove/resize, merge, create, delete, move OS to SSD, shred a file, and few other functions. Some of the previously mentioned features along with creating a bootable drive and others make it one of the best and use disk management tools.
Choose between a community edition and a business version depending on your requirement from this amazing partition tool. It allows you to do all the usual functions like create, delete, resize, move, and recover. If you choose the Business edition then there are a few other options to Migrate OS, backup data, and erase disks.
Windows 10 Disk Management is a huge tool as it has many features and uses. Though don’t be intimidated by that, it can be fairly easy to handle if you know what you are doing. So make sure to check out all the tutorials and instructions to have a better understanding of this tool. Just a word of caution, if you go in with half knowledge then any small mistake can cause a fatal error in your device. Just remember that.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
To partition a hard drive on a device, go to Windows 10 Disk Management tool. There select the device you want to partition and select the shrink option from the right-click menu. Assign the size in MB to shrink and an unallocated volume is formed. Right-click on this unallocated space and select “New Simple Volume” to partition.
The Disk Management tool in Windows 10 is also called the Disk Utility.
Formatting a drive can be done from the Disk Management tool. Select the drive and right-click to format.
Yes, extending a drive in Windows 10 is possible using the Disk Management tool.
- 1 What Is Windows 10 Disk Management?
- 1.1 How to Access the Disk Management Windows 10?
- 1.2 How to Use Disk Management in Windows 10?
- 1.3 How to Optimize Different Partitions in Windows 10?
- 1.3.1 Initialize New Disks
- 1.3.2 How to Change a Drive Letter?
- 1.3.3 Difference Between Partition Styles Gpt & Mbr
- 1.3.4 How to Move Disks to Another Computer?
- 1.3.5 Troubleshoot Windows 10 Disk Management
- 1.3.6 Recovery Options in Windows 10
- 1.3.7 Backup & Restore Files in Windows 10
- 1.3.8 How to Find the Bitlocker Recovery Key?
- 1.3.9 How to Create a System Restore Point?
- 1.3.10 What Are Virtual Hard Disks?
- 1.4 Pros and Cons of Windows 10 Disk Management
- 1.5 Other Windows 10 Disk Management Tools
- 1.6 Conclusion
- 2 Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)