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Everything You Need to Know about Hard Disk Partition

Feb. 18, 2015 02:12 pm / Posted by Jerry Cook to Data Recovery
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Read this article and get everything you need to know about hard disk partition including what is a hard disk partition, why need to partition hard drive and how to create hard disk partitions, etc.

Each entry starts at a predetermined offset from the beginning of the sector, as follows:

Contents Parts:

What is a Hard Disk Partition?

A disk partition is a defined storage space of the hard drive that is separated from other portions of the hard drive. When a hard drive is installed in a computer, it must be partitioned before you can format and use it.

"Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that a different file system can be used on each partition." (From Wikipedia)

Why Need to Partition Hard Drive?

Partitions are necessary because you can't just start writing files to a blank drive. You must first create at least one a partition. After creating a partition, the partition is formatted with a file system - like the NTFS file system on Windows drives, FAT32 file system for removable drives, HFS+ file system on Mac computers, or the ext4 file system on Linux. Files are then written to that file system on the partition.

Moreover, it is highly recommended to create multiple partitions to organize data more effectively. Each partition can be isolated from the others and even have a different file system. For example, many Windows computers will store the OS and applications on one hard disk partition and user data on another hard disk partition. Thus, there is less of a chance of you using up the space on the operating system partition with your data, and thus not causing problems. And even when a problem occurs with Microsoft Windows, the OS partition can be completely formatted and reinstalled without affecting the data partition.

What are the PC Partition Types?

When partitioning, you'll need to be aware of the difference between primary, extended, and logical partitions. A disk with a traditional partition table can only have up to four partitions. Extended and logical partitions are a way to get around this limitation.

Primary Partition: In the current IBM PC architecture, there is a partition table in the drive's Master Boot Record that lists information about the partitions on the hard drive. This partition table is then further split into 4 partition table entries, with each entries corresponding to a partition. These 4 partitions are typically known as primary partitions. (Note: it is only possible to have four partitions.)

Extended Partition: An extended boot record (EBR), or extended partition boot record (EPBR), is a descriptor for a logical partition under the common DOS disk drive partitioning system.

Logical Partitions: An HDD may contain only one extended partition, but that extended partition can be subdivided into multiple logical partitions. By replacing one of the four primary partitions with an extended partition, you can then make an additional 24 logical partitions within the extended one.

How to Create a Hard Disk Partition?

A partition editor software program such as Free Partition Manager can be used to create, resize, delete, and manipulate these partitions on the HDD. A simple guide is listed below:

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