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Summary :

how to allocate a hard drive

This post illustrates what does unallocated mean, how to obtain unallocated space, why a hard drive becomes unallocated, and how to allocate a hard drive. Explore the content with MiniTool right now!

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You may see the unallocated space on the hard drive or the whole disk is marked as unallocated. What does unallocated mean? To find the answer, please move to the next section.

What Does Unallocated Mean

Unallocated space is an area where you can’t access the stored data and write new data. It doesn’t belong to a partition, so it is unusable. While you can’t access it, you can view it in Disk Management.

unallocated hard drive

Further reading:

Though unallocated space is also referred to as free space, they are different from each other. Unallocated space is the space that hasn’t been partitioned on the hard drive or other storage devices. It is also the space that possibly holds intact files, remnants of data, or temporary files that have been created and then removed.

As for free space, it is the vacuum of the existing partition. It sometimes refers to the unusable space shown in Disk Management or the usable but unused space on an existing partition.

Recommended reading: Windows 11 Disk Management: Features, Opening, and Alternatives

How to Get Unallocated Space

Although unallocated space is unusable, it is still important. For instance, if there’s no unallocated space on the hard drive, you can’t extend the size of existing partitions. What’s more, you are unable to create new partitions.

How to make unallocated space? Well, you can obtain unallocated space using methods below.

  • A partition will become unallocated after you delete it.
  • After shrinking a drive, Windows will label the unused portion of space as unallocated.
  • The whole disk is shown as unallocated in Disk Management after initialization.
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Why Hard Drive Becomes Unallocated

According to user reports, hard drives sometimes become unallocated. As mentioned before, you can’t write, read, and store data on the unallocated disk. To fix the issue, you need to find out the possible reasons. Here, some potential causes for the unallocated hard drive are summarized as follows.

  • Partitions are created or modified improperly.
  • The hard drive is infected by a virus or spyware.
  • The hard drive is disconnected from the power supply suddenly.
  • An additional hard drive is installed.
  • There’s hardware failure.

How to fix unallocated hard drives? The following content explains that in detail. Please keep reading the post.

Tip: The guide below is also available for devices like SSDs, USB flash drives, SD cards, etc.

Also read: Diskpart Clean vs Clean All: Choose a Way to Wipe Disks

How to Allocate a Hard Drive

As you can’t write, read, and store data on the unallocated disk/partition without allocation, it is vital to allocate hard drive Windows 10. What does it mean to allocate a hard drive? Well, hard drive space allocation means making the drive ready for the purpose of data storage.

During the allocation process, parameters like size, label, and file system for data structure can be configured to the hard drive volume or partition. How to allocate disk space Windows 10?

It can be either used to create a new partition or extend the capacity of an existing partition. You can pick one operation based on your need.

#1. Use the Unallocated Space to Create a New Partition

It is very easy to create a new partition with the unallocated disk space. You can directly do that by using the Windows built-in utility Disk Management. Alternatively, use a third-party tool to create partitions.

Option 1: Create Partitions via Disk Management

Step 1: Right-click on the Windows icon on the desktop and then click Disk Management.

open Disk Management from the Start menu

Step 2: Right-click on the unallocated disk and pick New Simple Volume in the context menu.

click New Simple Volume

Step 3: Click Next in the pop-up window. Then specify the volume size and click Next as shown in the picture below.

Tip: If you don’t want to create a partition with all the available unallocated disk space, input the exact partition capacity in the window.

specify the volume size

Step 4: Assign a drive letter or path from the drop-down menu of the corresponding section and then click Next to continue. If you don’t assign a drive letter, you may encounter drive letter chaos or other issues.

assign a drive letter or path

Step 5: Configure settings like file system, allocation unit size, and volume label for the new partition. Then click Next.

Tip: It is recommended to check the Perform a quick format checkbox. Why? This post shows you the answer.

configure partition settings

Step 6: Click Finish in the elevated window to complete the operation.

Option 2: Create Partitions with MiniTool Partition Wizard

Learning from the above steps, you can see that creating a partition via Disk Management is a little bit time-consuming. Moreover, you sometimes might encounter Disk Management not loading or other confusing issues.

At this time, you need a powerful partition manager. MiniTool Partition Wizard is such a program. It enables you to create/format/delete/wipe/recover partitions with ease. If you want to create partitions with MiniTool Partition Wizard, download and install it by clicking the button below and then following the given steps.

Free Download

  • Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to enter its main interface.
  • Highlight the unallocated disk space and then configure partition settings including partition label, partition type, file system, drive letter, cluster size, size, and location in the next window.
  • Click OK and Apply to save and execute the operation.

create partitions with MiniTool Partition Wizard

#2. Increase the Disk Space of an Existing Partition with Unallocated Disk Space

The unallocated disk space can also be used for extending the existing partitions on the hard drive. To do that, you have two choices.

Choice 1: Use Disk Management

The first one is to utilize the Windows built-in utility Disk Management. Under normal conditions, you just need to right-click on the target partition on the hard drive and click Extend Volume in the context menu. After that, follow the on-screen instructions to finish the operation.

However, you need to note that the unallocated space can only be moved to the contiguous partition on the left. Besides, if the left partition is not formatted to NTFS, the Extend Volume feature in Disk Management would grey out as shown in the following picture.

Tip: Sometimes, the unallocated space is adjacent to the partition to extend. However, in most time, the case is that the unallocated space isn’t contiguous with the target partition. If so, you can’ use Disk Management.

extend partition grey out

In this case, MiniTool Partition Wizard comes into use again. Even though the unallocated space is not adjacent to the partition to extend, it still allows you to use it.

Also read: How to Increase Disk Space for Laptop? Try These Methods Now

Option 2: Use MiniTool Partition Wizard

Like Disk Management, MiniTool Partition Wizard also includes the Extend Partition feature. Differently, partitions or unallocated space are not required to be contiguous to the partition to extend in the latter. It allows you to directly take free space from other partitions or unallocated space on the same hard drive.

Free Download

Step 1: If you are in the main interface of the program, simply highlight the target partition and click Extend Partition in the left panel.

Step 2: Choose unallocated space from the drop-down menu of Take Free Space From.

Step 3: Move the blue block to determine the amount of space you want to take from the unallocated space.

Step 4: Click OK and Apply to finish the operation.

extend partition

In addition to the Extend Partition feature, the Move/Resize Partition feature of MiniTool Partition Wizard also enables you to increase the capacity of existing partitions using the unallocated space.

To to add the unallocated space to a non-contiguous partition as shown in the following picture, you need to move the unallocated space next to the partition and then increase disk space. It means that you need to use the Move/Resize Partition feature twice.

extend partition capacity for the F drive

If the unallocated space is adjacent to partitions to enlarge, expand partitions simply by using the Move/Resize Partition feature. Here, we would illustrate this situation in detail. Get MiniTool Partition Wizard by clicking the given button and then follow the steps below to execute the operation.

Free Download

Step 1: After entering the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard, right-click on the partition to enlarge and click Move/Resize.

click the move or resize feature

Step 2: Drag the left arrow icon leftward to occupy the unallocated space. As an alternative, just type the expected partition size behind the Partition Size section.

Step 3: Click OK to save the changes.

Step 4: Tap Apply to carry out the operation.

add space for the target partition

Compared with the Move/Resize Partition feature, the Extend Partition is more convenient while increasing the disk space of the partitions with the non-contiguous unallocated space on the hard drive.

How to allocate and use Windows 10 unallocated space? This post tells you the answer. In addition, you can obtain some additional information related to unallocated disk space from this post.Click to tweet

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Bottom Line

From this post, you will learn everything about unallocated disk, especially methods to allocate disk space Windows 10. If you have other things associated with unallocated space, please leave your words in the following comment area. We will try our best to help you.

For any questions about MiniTool Partition Wizard, please directly contact us. You can send an email via [email protected]. We will make replies as soon as possible.

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