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Creating a Simple Volume on a Basic Disk

You can create partitions and logical drives on basic disks that are formatted with NTFS or FAT32. Partitions can be created on any unused space on the disk.

You won’t see the word partition anywhere on the disk shortcut menu (when you right-click a disk). Microsoft uses the term simple volume to refer to a partition on a basic disk. So, to create a new partition, you create a simple volume.

By the Way

You can also create a simple volume on a dynamic disk.

Before you can create a simple volume (a partition) on a disk you must make sure that the disk is online (right-click the disk in the lower pane of the snap-in and select Online). You also need to initialize the disk (as either MBR or GPT). Right-click the disk and select Initialize. Select the disk or disks you want to initialize in the Initialize Disk dialog box. Then select either MBR or GPT and then click OK.

After you initialize a disk (either as a MBR or GPT), the disk is a basic disk and can now be partitioned. Follow these steps to create a partition:

1. Right-click the unallocated space of a basic disk (the space is marked unallocated), and select New Simple Volume from the shortcut menu. The New Simple Volume Wizard appears. Click Next to move past the wizard’s introductory screen.

2. The next screen asks you to select the size for the volume, as shown in Figure 6.3. Use the Simple Volume Size in MB box to set the size of the partition. By default, the entire space available on the partition is listed. Click Next.

Figure 6.3. Designate the amount of free space available on the drive that should be used in the new volume.

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4. The next screen enables you to select the drive letter or assign a path for the new volume. Select a drive letter from the drop-down box and then select Next.

5. The next screen enables you to select the file system that you want to use to format the volume (see Figure 6.4). This screen also enables you to set the allocation unit size for the volume and assign a volume name to the new volume.

Figure 6.4. Select the file system for the volume.

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You can format drives on your Windows 2008 servers as FAT32 or NTFS. Microsoft recommends NTFS as the best choice for your server drives. This makes sense because NTFS partitions can be as large as nearly 16 exabytes (a FAT32 partition has a maximum of 2 terabytes), NTFS volumes allow file compression, and NTFS permissions provide additional security to resources on the network.

Select the file system using the wizard’s File System drop-down box. Use the Allocation Unit Size drop-down box to select the allocation unit size you want to use on the drive. The allocation unit size selected determines the cluster size used on the partition (which holds the sectors, the basic units of disk space). Using an allocation unit size of 4096MB creates a cluster size no greater than 4KB, which is the limit for NTFS compressions. In most cases, the default allocation unit size will suffice for your partition.

6. After selecting the file system and allocation unit size (optional) and providing a volume name for the partition (also optional), click the Next button. The last wizard screen appears, providing a summary of the options you chose for the new volume. When you click Finish, the new partition is created (as a primary partition) and formatted.

New volumes are color-coded blue in the graphical display. Your unallocated drive space will appear in black. You can create simple volumes or extend a volume using disk space available on other physical disks installed on the system.

Basic disks are somewhat limited in what you can do with them in the Windows Server 2008 environment (such as RAID implementations). Let’s take a look at how you convert a basic drive to a dynamic drive.

Did you Know?

To delete a volume, right-click the volume and the select Delete Volume. Remember that any data on the volume will be lost if you delete it.

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