You need a se­condary (not backup) drive if you want to sep­a­rate data from Win­dows. If you don’t have one, you can par­ti­tion your main drive in two to split Win­dows and your apps from your doc­u­ments, pho­tos, por­ta­ble apps, and any files not di­rectly tied into Win­dows.

It is pos­si­ble to par­ti­tion us­ing the Disk Man­age­ment tool (type “diskmgmt.msc” into the “Run” dia­log box), but if files are sit­u­ated at the end of the drive, you won’t be able to par­ti­tion it to the size you want. In­stead, down­load and in­stall AOMEI Par­ti­tion As­sis­tant ( www.aomeit­­ti­tion-as­sis­tant.html).

As­cer­tain how you wish to split your drive in two—typ­i­cally look to al­lo­cate 64GB or more for your Win­dows par­ti­tion, de­pend­ing on the num­ber of apps and games you use, leav­ing the rest for your data. If space is cur­rently at a pre­mium, tem­po­rar­ily move your data off the drive while you cre­ate the se­cond par­ti­tion.

Launch Par­ti­tion As­sis­tant, select your Win­dows drive (typ­i­cally drive C), and click “Check Par­ti­tion.” Choose “Scan and Re­pair,” and re­boot to let it do its work. Once com­plete, restart Par­ti­tion As­sis­tant, select drive C again, and this time choose “Re­size/Move Par­ti­tion.” Use the slider to shrink the drive by the amount you wish to free up for your data par­ti­tion. Be sure to leave at least 5GB (prefer­ably more) of free space for your sys­tem drive. If par­ti­tion­ing an SSD drive, click “Ad­vanced,” and select “Al­low par­ti­tion align­ment.” Click “OK.”

Next, select the un­used space, and click “Cre­ate Par­ti­tion.” Leave all avail­able space al­lo­cated, and “File Sys­tem” set to “NTFS.” Click “Ad­vanced” to set a la­bel (such as “Data”), but leave all other set­tings alone. Click “OK,” then “Ap­ply.” Re­view the changes, then click “Pro­ceed.” Re­boot when prompted—when done, your new drive shows up in Win­dows, ready for your data.

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