25 February, 2008

Partitioning your HDD: Divide and Rule

  • There are a few basic rules to partitioning. Learn them and you'll be able to get the most out of your pc's HDD (Hard Disk Drive).


  • Your HDD is divided into "Logical Drives" and "Primary partitions".


  • "Primary partitions" are limited to 4 per hard disk no matter which partitioning software you use.


  • "Logical partitions" are limited only by the hard disk space you have. i.e., you can have any number of logical partitions.


  • Primary partitions are used as "mount points". That is, these are the partitions, which operating systems use to boot up. A maximum of 4 operating systems can be installed on a single HDD amounting to 4 primary partitions.


  • Logical partitions on the other hand are meant for data storage. These partitions can be used for any other purpose, or just left blank.


For all purposes, the "disk management" feature provided with Windows 2000, XP, and Vista should be enough to meet your partitioning needs. This doesn't recognize Linux and Mac partitions though. These will be shown in a pink colour and labelled "Unknown partition". You can always delete and resize such partitions from within windows.


The disk management window can be accessed from within windows 2k or greater:

Control Panel -> Administrative tools -> Disk Management in XP, windows 2k

Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> Administrative tools -> Create and format Hard disk partitions


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