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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Disk Management

“Disk management” isn’t just a cool, professional-sounding skill—it’s the name of a built-in Windows maintenance program that lets you perform all kinds of operations on your hard disk. You can open it from the secret Start menu (The Secret Start Menu).

Here’s the cycle of Windows’ improved disk-health system.Top: Most of the time, Action Center will report that everything is happy and healthy.Middle: Windows is worried. It thinks you should scan the disk.Bottom: After the scan, Windows has found some problems that it can fix—if you restart.

Figure 21-3. Here’s the cycle of Windows’ improved disk-health system. Top: Most of the time, Action Center will report that everything is happy and healthy. Middle: Windows is worried. It thinks you should scan the disk. Bottom: After the scan, Windows has found some problems that it can fix—if you restart.

To open this technical database of information about your disks and drives, you can use either of these two methods:

  • In the Control Panel, in category view, click System and Security. Click “Create and format hard disk partitions.” (It’s at the very bottom of the window.)

  • Open the Start screen. Type disk manage and select Settings under the search box. In the search results, click “Create and format hard disk partitions.”

In either case, you arrive at the window shown in Figure 21-4. At first glance, it appears to be nothing more than a table of every disk (and partition of every disk) currently connected to your PC. In truth, the Disk Management window is a software toolkit that lets you operate on these drives.

The Disk Management window does more than just display your drives; you can also operate on them by right-clicking. Don’t miss the View menu, by the way, which lets you change either the top or the bottom display. For example, you can make your PC display all your disks instead of your volumes. (There’s a difference; see page 728.)

Figure 21-4. The ...

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