Partitioning the Hard Drive/9.2

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(Sorry for the inconvenience)

PC-BSD does not come with a built-in partition manager as the installer assumes that the drive is already prepared for an installation. If you are not planning to install PC-BSD onto the entire hard drive, you will need to use a third-party application in order to prepare a primary partition to install PC-BSD into.

NOTE: PC-BSD will not install into a secondary or logical partition, it must be a primary partition.

Before creating or editing your hard drive's partitions, make sure that you first back up your valuable data to an external media such as a removable USB drive!

Shrinking a Drive in Windows 7

If you are currently running Windows 7, it is using the entire hard drive. This means that you will need to first shrink the drive in order to make room to create a new partition. Shrinking is an operation that retains the current data on the partition, while reducing the size of the partition.

To shrink the drive, go to Start menu, right-click Computer and select Manage. Under Storage click Disk Management. Figure 2.5a shows an example of a system running Windows 7. In this example, Windows has created three partitions: a 16GB recovery partition, a 100MB system partition, and a 450GB data partition.

Figure 2.5a: Viewing Disk Layout in Disk Management


NOTE: if you plan to dual-boot with Windows, it is important that you do not choose to install PC-BSD into any of these three partitions when you get to the Disk Selection Screen. It is a good idea to write down the sizes of the partitions so that you will recognize them when the PC-BSD installer displays your current partitions.

Since the three Windows partitions are using the entire disk, the data partition needs to be shrunk in order to create space to install PC-BSD into. To shrink the data partition, right-click the partition, in this example it is called Acer (C:), and select Shrink Volume. Wait a moment as it queries the volume for available shrink space; the results will be displayed as seen in the example in Figure 2.5b.

Figure 2.5b: Available Shrink Space


In this example, 321,089MB of space is available. Since I wish to divide the partition evenly between Windows and PC-BSD, I'll change that number to 230000 and click the Shrink button. When finished, the newly created free space will be displayed, as seen in Figure 2.5c.

Figure 2.5c: Disk Now Has Free Space


You can now format the newly created free space using a utility such as Parted Magic.

NOTE: While the Disk Management utility in Windows 7 indicates that it will let you format a primary partition, in reality it will only create an extended partition which will not allow you to install PC-BSD. This means that you still need another utility such as Parted Magic.

Using PartedMagic to Create a Primary Partition

PartedMagic is a graphical, easy-to-use partition editor that is packaged on a live CD. It can be used to shrink an existing partition (for example on a Linux or BSD system) and to create a primary partition from existing free space.

To use PartedMagic, download the latest file, unzip it, and burn it to CD. Boot a system with the CD and let it boot into "Default settings (Runs from RAM)". Wait for it to boot into the graphical screen, then select the Partition Editor desktop icon.

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