A partition is a way to separate a physical hard drive into two virtual drives. In this way we can have two completely independent spaces (two hard drives in practice) that we can use for whatever we want. For example, in one we can install Windows and in the other we can save our data or install the games. In case a virus (for example) infects Windows, formatting would only have to erase the operating system partition. The other, with its data, would remain intact.
Making a new partition to a hard drive is simple. There are many programs that allow us to do it easily. Even the Windows installation wizard and disk manager allow us to do so. But in the process all data that is stored on this hard drive is lost.
Once the separation is made, it can already be used as if it were two (or more) independent hard drives. However, if we later change our mind, it is possible to merge the two partitions . We can even do it without losing the data as we are going to teach you to do.
Of course, in the process we recommend you always make a backup of the data , just in case. Many things can go wrong. And if this happens, we will lose the data stored in the unit.
Requirements to merge two or more partitions into one
Although we can do this relatively easily, we must take into account a number of factors.
The first one is that both partitions must be followed. If we have any other partition in the middle, or an unpartitioned space, we will not be able to join them. Nor can we have the typical partitions that Microsoft creates when installing the operating system. They must be totally consecutive . In addition, both partitions must use the same file system . Both must be NTFS or FAT32, but they cannot be each in a format.
In case of having a partition in the middle we would have to eliminate it, together with one of the other two adjacent partitions, in order to join the main partition with the unpartitioned space . But deleting a partition deletes all the data we have stored in it. Let’s not forget this.
Some programs, such as EaseUS Partition Master , allow us to join non-contiguous partitions. Of course, data will be deleted from the partitions of the medium. The data from the two end partitions will not be lost.
In addition to this basic advice, it is also advisable to have defragmented partitions. Thus, the more orderly the data is, the faster the process will be.
Finally, if we have space to spare in another unit, it is advisable to move the data to it in a backup plan. This way we will avoid dislikes, since, although the data is not lost (initially), the risk is high.
How to join two or more partitions
The first thing we will need to carry out this task is a partition manager. Although the Windows disk manager itself allows us to do so, we recommend using other partition managers to be simpler, more complete and professional than the Microsoft tool.
Our favorites are two:
Both programs are very similar, we can use them for free in domestic environments and offer users virtually the same options. The main difference is that MiniTool has fewer restrictions in its free version than that of EaseUS. Therefore, we will use this.
Open the partition manager and select the option to join partitions.
We will open an assistant like the one we see below. In the first step we must choose the first partition that we want to join.
We continue with the assistant, and in the next step we will choose the second unit that we want to merge. As we will see, the compatible partitions will appear in blue and those that will not be compatible in gray.
As the data will not appear raw in the new unit, we will also see at the bottom a box where we can choose the name we want to give to the folder where the data of the second partition will be saved.
Click on “Finish” and the task will be added to the queue. If everything is correct, the next step will be to click on the apply button of this partition manager and the fusion tasks will begin. This process can take a long time. Even several hours. And to avoid problems, the best we can do is not use the computer while it is running. The slightest failure would cause us to lose data from both partitions.
When the process is finished we will have a single partition whose size is the sum of the two we have joined. The files of the second partition will also be in the folder that we have specified.