How to partition a removable disk

Written by j.s. copper
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How to partition a removable disk
The Removable Media Bit switch must be flipped in order to partition the drive. (light switch image by Christopher Hall from

You may have noticed that you can't partition a USB flash drive within Microsoft Windows. Windows does not allow the user to partition removable drives. In order to partition the removable media, Windows must be tricked into thinking the flash drive is a fixed disk just like the hard drive. This can be easily accomplished using free utilities. You may then partition the removable media like any other disk drive using Windows' built-in Disk Management utility.

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Things you need

  • Removable Media Bit switch utility
  • USB flash drive

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  1. 1

    Download an unzip a utility that can flip the Removable Media Bit switch. Lexar makes one such utility called BootIt.

  2. 2

    Run the USB utility. Insert the USB drive into an open USB slot.

  3. 3

    Select "Flip Removable Bit." Remove the drive. Exit the utility. Reinsert the drive.

  4. 4

    Open the Windows Start menu and type "diskmgmt.msc" to open up the Disk Management utility.

  5. 5

    Right-click any unallocated space within the USB flash drive in the lower portion of the Disk Management window and select "New Partion..." If there is no free or unallocated space, you must first delete the partion (right-click> "Delete Partition") to free space to create the new partitions.

  6. 6

    Follow the partition wizard to create the new partition. Set the partition as "Primary." Enter the size of the new partition. Set the format to "Fat32."

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to create any additional partitions on the removable drive. Once satisfied, exit the Disk Management utility.

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