Hard Disk Partitions (Explained)

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Hard Disk Partitions Explained

A partition is actually just a logical division of a hard disk, but it seems to be divided into multiple physical disks. Some partition-related terms include primary, active, extended, and logical partitions.

Partitions are called disk parts, the term disk-drive is also used, and it usually refers to a partition with an assigned disk letter (eg Drive C: ).

How to share a hard drive?

In Windows, the partitioning of basic hard disks is done through the disk management tool – Disk Management tool.

Advanced partition management, such as partition expansion and reduction, partition joining, etc., cannot be done in Windows but can be done with special partition management software.

What is the purpose of division?

Partitioning a hard disk is useful for a number of reasons, but is primarily necessary to make the device available to the operating system.

For example, when you install an operating system such as Windows, part of the process is to define the partition on the hard disk.

This partition is used to define the area of ​​the hard disk that Windows can use to install all of its files. In Windows operating systems, this primary partition is usually assigned the drive letter “C”.

In addition to disk C, Windows often automatically builds other partitions during installation, although they rarely get the drive letter.

For example, Windows 10 has a recovery partition installed, with a set of tools called Advanced Startup Options, so you can resolve issues that may occur on the main drive C.

Another common reason for creating a partition is that you can install multiple operating systems on the same hard drive, allowing you to choose which one you want to run, which is called dual booting. You might run Windows and Linux, Windows 10 and Windows 7, or even 3 or 4 different operating systems.

More than one partition is an absolute need to run multiple operating systems, because operating systems will see partitions as separate drives, avoiding most problems with each other. Multiple partitions mean you don’t have to install multiple hard drives just to be able to run different operating systems.

It is possible to create hard disk partitions for file management. Although different partitions still exist on the same physical disk, it is useful to have a partition that is only for photos, videos, or downloaded software instead of storing them in separate directories within the same partition.

Although less common, thanks to better user management features in Windows, more partitions can also be used to support users who share a computer and want to keep files separate but also share them.

Another, relatively common reason why you can create a partition is to separate operating system files from personal data. With your precious, personal files on another device, you can reinstall Windows after a crash and without approaching the data you want to keep.

This example of personal data exchange also makes it easier to create a working copy of a system partition with backup software. This means that you can make two separate backups, one for your operating system in operation and the other for your personal data, which can be restored independently of each other.

Primary, extended, and logical partitions

Any partition that has an operating system installed is called a primary partition. The partition boot schedule as part of the master boot record allows up to 4 primary partitions to be booted on a single hard disk.

Although there are 4 primary partitions, which means that four different operating systems can be run on the same hard disk, only one of the partitions is allowed to be “active” at any one time, which means that it is the default operating system on which the computer is running. starts. This partition is called the active partition.

One (and only one) of the four primary partitions can be designated as an extended partition. This means that a computer can have up to four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition. An extended partition cannot store data by itself. Instead, an extended partition is a simple name used to describe a container that contains other partitions that store data, called logical partitions.

There is no limit to the number of logical partitions that a disk can contain, but they are limited to user data only, not to operating systems as on the primary partition. A logical partition is what you would create to store things like movies, software, file programs, and so on.

For example, a hard disk will generally have a primary, active partition with Windows installed on it, followed by one or more logical partitions with other files such as documents, videos, and personal data. And that will vary from computer to computer.

Physical hard disk partitions must be formatted and the file system must be set up (formatting process) before any data can be stored on them.

Because partitions appear as a single disk, each can be assigned its own disk letter, such as C for the partition on which Windows is usually installed.

Usually, when a file is moved from one folder to another under the same partition, it is just a reference to the location of the file being changed, which means that the file transfer is happening almost instantly.

However, because partitions are separated from each other, like multiple hard disks, moving a file from one partition to another requires that the current data be moved and that more time be required to transfer the data.

Partitions can be hidden, encrypted, and password protected using free disk encryption software.

I have briefly explained to you what partitions are, in some future text I will explain to you how to make them.

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