How to Partition a Hard Drive Using CMD

By Jim Campbell

CMD is the shortcut command for the Windows command line utility. You can use the command line utility to partition a drive. Partitioning a drive creates a partition table which allows the operating system to look up and save data on the hard drive. You must partition a drive before you can use it on your computer. Use the "fdisk" utility command line tool to partition the drive.

Insert your boot disk into the computer. Reboot the computer with the disk inserted into the drive. The computer detects the boot disk and boots to the system on the disk. If you use a Windows installation CD, press "Esc" to exit out of the installation prompts.

Type "drive:" and press "Enter" in the command prompt. Replace "drive" with the location of your boot disk. This command points the prompt to the drive specified, so you can use the MS-DOS commands.

Type "fdisk" and press "Enter" to open the utility. Press "1" to choose the option labeled "Create DOS partition or Logical DOS Drive." Press "1" again on the second menu options to choose "Create Primary DOS Partition." These two options create a main partition for a new hard drive.

Press "Y" when you receive the question "Do you wish to use the maximum available size for primary DOS partition?"

Press option "2" that's labeled "Set active partition." This setting allows you to boot from the drive. If this is the only drive on the computer, then you must set it as active to boot to your operating system.