A logical partition is a division of the storage space on a physical disk. For example, the hard drive of your computer can be divided into several drives, each with its own drive letter. In Windows, the hard drive is historically mapped as the C: drive. It may be 300 GB in size, but it is considered best practice to divide the drive into two or more logical partitions, which will give you a C: drive, a D: drive, etc. With two partitions, the Operating System and programs can be installed and run from the C: drive, and your data can be stored on the D: drive.
How to create a logical partition?
- Click on the Start button, then go to "Control Panel" and double-click on "Administrative Tools."
- Double-click "Computer Management," then click on "Disk Management" on the left side of the window, which can be found under "Storage." If the hard drive has never been used, it must be initialized. Click "Next" through the prompts to initialize the drive. Once finished, a black rectangle titled "Unallocated" will represent the hard drive at the bottom of the window.
- Right-click on the "Unallocated" rectangle and choose "New Partition," then click "Next." Select "Primary Partition" and click "Next."
- Specify the amount of space in megabytes (MB) that you want to allocate to the primary partition. Keep this number small if you plan to create many logical partitions.
- Click "Next" through the remaining prompts, then press "Finish." Windows will recommend formatting the partition using the NTFS file system. Usually, you should not change this unless you have a specific reason to do so. The primary partition is now created, and the remaining space of the drive is labeled "Unallocated."
- Right-click the remaining unallocated space and click on "New Partition," then "Next."
- Choose "Extended Partition," then "Next." Windows will automatically assign all remaining hard drive space to the extended partition. You should keep this setting, as all of the logical partitions will be created within the extended partition.
- Click "Next" through the prompts until you reach the end. Then click "Finish." The extended partition is now displayed with a green rectangle labeled "Free Space."
- Right-click the "Free Space" rectangle and click on "New Logical Drive," then "Next" twice.
- Specify the amount of space (MB) that you want to assign to the first logical partition and click "Next" through the prompts until you reach the end. Then click "Finish." The first logical partition is now displayed as a light blue rectangle, while the remainder of the extended partition is still labeled "Free Space."
- Repeat the previous two steps until all of the free space has been subdivided into logical partitions. Finally, close the Disk Manager.
Benefits of creating partitions:
- Creating separate partitions reduces the depth of folder structures and the number of subdirectories, resulting in quicker data access and lower seek times.
- You can easily defragment each drive within a few minutes.
- You can back up all your files to another drive all at once or back up the first half to one drive and the rest to another drive.
- Installing a new OS is safer and won't affect your data.
Also Read: How to Recover Data from A Failed Logical Drive?
Difference Between Logical and Physical Partitions
Logical and physical partitions are concepts related to storage management, particularly in the context of computer systems and data storage. These terms are often used when discussing hard drives and file systems. Here's a breakdown of the differences between logical and physical partitions:
- A physical partition refers to an actual, physical storage device like a hard drive or SSD.
- It represents a separate, physically distinct area on the storage device.
- Physical partitions are created at the hardware level and are typically defined by the manufacturer.
- The creation, resizing, or deletion of physical partitions often requires low-level operations and can result in data loss.
- A logical partition, on the other hand, is a virtual or logical subdivision of a physical partition.
- It is created at the software level and is managed by the file system and the Operating System.
- Logical partitions are used to organize and manage data within a physical partition.
- A physical partition can be divided into multiple logical partitions, each with its own file system and data.
Logical partitions are a versatile and powerful tool for managing resources in the digital age. Whether in data centers or personal computers, their ability to optimize space and resources is invaluable.