Unable to find D drive after Windows 7 installation

This article was modified on 2012-03-11 13:06:13


I have recently installed Windows 7 and obviously I have created 2 partitions. The first partition ( C: ) is where the operating system has been installed. The second partition that  I`ve created was larger but I was unable to format it and when Windows 7 was installed, it wasn`t recognized. I was unable to find the second partition on Windows 7. I wanted to assign the well-known “D:” drive letter. I was looking everywhere, in ``My Computer`` and also checking other areas but it wasn`t there, it seems that it was hidden. That`s because I didn`t format the partition and it wasn’t because I forgot about this but Windows didn’t allowed me to format this partition at the time that I was installing Windows.

Anyway, if you will encounter the same problem, here`s what I`ve did in order to create the second partition. First thing to do once that Windows 7 has been installed is to access the well-known ``Control Panel``.

Start - Control Panel in Windows 7
From here, go to the first option called ``System and Security`` and access this area. Here’s how it looks:

Control Panel - System and Security in Windows 7

Once you`re in ``Control Panel - System and Security`` take a look down the page for a section named ``Administrative Tools``. In this section here is a sub section called ``Create and format hard disk partitions``. Make sure that you click on ``Create and format hard disk partitions``.

Create and format hard disk partitions in Windows 7

A completely new window will open: ``Disk Management`` and here you can see all computer volumes such as partitions, Internet sticks, USB flash drives, in one word all devices internal or external that exists at this time. As you can see in the following picture, I have only one system partition ( C: ) and Windows 7 runs from this partition. Pay a little attention here. If I click on ``C:`` ( Volume C: ) you will see that there are 3 partitions.

A small partition of 100 MB and it says that it`s being used by the operation system. You can actually read that it says ``System Reserved`` so we have no interest in this partition…

Another partition called ``C:`` and as we said this is the only partition of our operating system, the one from which Windows 7 currently runs.

Here it is the big partition that we couldn`t see it anywhere. There are 186 GB of space all of them being unallocated. You can see the legend, unallocated has the black color while blue means ``Primary Partition`` or should we say ``allocated`` or ``used``...

Disk Management window in Windows 7
Great, now that we identified this ``hidden/invisible`` partition, let`s carry on. After all, we want to use this partition so we need to create it as a new volume and then to format the partition so that we can actually see it. Let`s continue, first of all perform a right-click with your mouse on the ``Unallocated`` partition and select the first option called ``New Simple Volume``.

Creating a New Volume option from Disk Management
A new window will appear - ``Welcome to the New Simple Volume Wizard. This wizard helps you create a simple volume on a disk. A simple volume can only be on a single disk``. Make sure that you click on ``Next`` button so that we can continue.

Welcome to the New Simple Volume Wizard
Now it`s time to specify a volume size. ``Choose a volume size that is between the maximum and minimum sizes.`` As you can see, you don`t have to change the volume size as this wizard will use the entire size of the unallocated space which is what we want after all. So all we need to do is to leave it as it is and click on ``Next``.

Specify Volume Size
You can assign a drive letter or path. ``For easier access, you can assign a drive letter or drive path to your partition``. You`re being used with the traditional ``D:`` drive letter ( so am I ) but I couldn`t find it so I`ve choosed ``B:``, it really doesn`t matter that much, after you will assign a drive letter make sure to click on on ``Next``.

Assign Drive Letter or PathIt`s time to format this partition. As you can read, you also have an explanation ``To store data on this partition, you must format it first.`` So make sure that you select ``Format this volume with the following settings``, then at the ``File system`` select ``NTFS``, at the ``Allocation unit size`` make sure that ``Default`` is being selected, I didn`t changed the ``Volume label`` and you also may want to select ``Perform a quick format`` for a fast format that will take a couple of seconds depending on the size of partition. Please note that if you don`t select ``Perform a quick format`` it will take a lot more, minutes or even hours depending on size and computer performance. Click  on ``Next`` button, we’re almost ready.

Format PartitionYou should be at the final step called ``Completing the New Simple Volume Wizard`` where you will see the selected settings. If you want to change something hit the ``Back`` button or simply close this window and repeat the entire procedure, otherwise click on ``Finish`` button.

Completing the New Simple Volume WizardAfter the format will end ( usually a couple of seconds ) you will be able to view the new partition in Disk Management window, it will appear like any other partition with the ``Healthy`` status and as a NTFS Primary Partition, just take a look at the following picture:
New Volume created and present in Disk Management windowI was talking about the Disk Management window but now this partition will also appear in ``My Computer``. That`s how it looks like on my own computer.

New Volume appearing in My Computer
Although, I forgot to mention this at the beginning of this article, keep in mind that you can use this tip for other operations such as a new external hard drive added to Windows, a new hard drive added to your computer. Basically you can apply the same information if you can`t see one of your Windows drives such as ``D:`` drive. Theoretically you should be able to fix similar problems with invisible/hidden or unallocated Windows drives/partitions by following the steps from this article. If it doesn`t work it could be a virus ( if we talk about internal HDD partitions ) or if it`s an external device such as an external hard drive it could be broken ( physically damaged ) as it happened to me once with an external hard drive.



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