It's a good idea to have more than one partition on your hard drive. This is a virtual division that Windows regards as a separate drive, and can even be reformatted without affecting the remainder of the drive. We show you how using Acronis Disk Director 11 Home.

Step 1. It makes sense to create separate partitions if you're using a single hard drive for storage, allowing you to deal with storage areas separately. You'll need third-party software to do so if the disk already contains data, however; we've used Acronis Disk Director 11 Home. Launch Acronis and click your drive icon.

Step 2. Click 'Split volume'. A pop-up will suggest a possible partition size; accept this or use the arrows to enter your preferred partition sizes. Click Ok and Acronis will display how the drive will appear following the partition, with two icons. It will complete the partition only when you click 'Commit pending operations'.

Step 3. A Pending Operations dialog box will offer you a final chance to cancel the partition. Click Continue if you wish to go ahead and create the new partition. The process will take a few minutes on a large drive, but Acronis will update you on its progress. Do not attempt to make changes during the operation or switch off the PC.

Step 4. When the process is complete, the new partition will appear as a separate drive and will be assigned its own drive letter. Disk Director formats this drive with the same filing system as the original partition, allowing you to open Computer in Windows Explorer and begin copying across files immediately.