Everything you need to repartition your drive is supplied with Windows. Fdisk lets you remove and add partitions as you like. It's actually a DOS program, and is designed to be run from DOS. Make sure you have an emergency boot disk, which includes Fdisk and ideally run it from here.
It's not recommended that Fdisk should be used in Windows because, potentially, another program can access the drive while you're trying to partition it, which would cause all manner of problems. (Having said this, if you select Start, Run, type FDISK and press Return, you can use Fdisk within Windows.) It is useful if a drive is connected through a SCSI interface or a USB port because you probably won't have DOS drivers for these devices. So, making them inaccessible under DOS.
The problem with using Fdisk is that it's totally destructive. Using it means that you have to destroy the current partitions on a drive, so losing all the data you may have stored on it. There is an alternative in the shape of Partition Magic by PowerQuest (www.powerquest.com). This great program will let you repartition drives on-the-fly without losing any data. It is able to handle any type of file system you may be using from FAT16 to NTFS or Linux. Well, that's the theory. Potentially, data loss can still occur but only if you're unlucky and have a system crash while the move, size or copy operation is taking place.
Creating multiple partitions
Three partitions is enough for any sensible person. Here's how to do it...
1. Get Fdisk up-and-running. The first thing to do is create a primary partition one third the size of the total drive. From the main menu press 1 and press Return, then click 1 and the drive will be scanned. Select N to use the maximum available size. When asked, enter 30% as the partition size and the partition is created.
2. Next you need to make an extended partition. These are made up of multiple logical partitions. From the main menu choose 1 to create another new partition and choose 2 to start adding an extended partition. When prompted, leave the partition size as it is, at 100 per cent.
3. You now need to start creating the logical partitions. Fdisk will make you create at least one. You currently have an extended partition that's 60 per cent of the total drive. You want to end up with three 30 per cent partitions. When asked, the first logical partition needs to be set to 50 per cent of the extended partition.
4. Fdisk will ask if you want to do with the remaining empty space on the drive. Currently this space is the final third left on the disk and you want it all allocated to the final logical partition, so leave the amount (which is 100 per cent) and press Return. The final partition has been made and all the space allocated.
It's time to fire up Fdisk and zap your partitions.
1. Even though you can run Fdisk in Windows you really should shutdown to DOS, so select Start, Shut Down. Restart in MS-DOS mode and press Return. At the DOS prompt type FDISK and press Return.
2. You'll be asked if we want large disk support, so press the Return key say yes to this. Before you delete any partitions, you have to have the correct drive selected. Press 5 and press the Return key.
3. The next screen shows all the drives recognised by DOS. If the drive you want isn't shown, it maybe a SCSI of USB drive that needs DOS drivers. Otherwise choose the number of the drive you want to partition.
4. Back at the main menu press 4 then press Return. This shows details of the partitions on the current drive. To repartition the drive you'll need to remove all of these so make a note of these and press Esc.
5. At the main menu press 3 and you'll be taken to the main Delete page. From here you can delete Non-DOS, Logical, Extended and Primary partitions. You need to delete these partition types in this order.
6. Enter the type of partition you want to delete and you'll be prompted to enter the exact partition you want to remove, the label name and a final confirmation. With this done the partition will be lost forever!