What do you understand by the term “Disk Partitioning”?
Your Disk drive is a mass of free and unallocated space. This disk can be segregated into several independent partitions. This is nothing but Disk Partitioning. Any physical storage device cannot be used until and unless a partition or partitions are created on it.
Why is it necessary to make partitions and how it is advantageous ?
By default, the systems already have a single partition on their hard drive. It is basically the C drive which you can see inside the 'Computer' window. In order to set up a file system, the drive needs a partition. Once, the file system is set up, new files can be saved there. It is risky to have your Operating System and other files or important data in the same partition. The partition's index file is a critical piece of data. It contains the exact locations of all the data present in your system. If this index file gets deleted or corrupted, the computer won't be able to boot the drive. Due to this, rest of the data on the system will also remain inaccessible. Above everything, one cannot just start writing data on to a blank drive.Partitions are required as these partitions act as carriers for the file system. One advantage of having partitions more than one is, backing up of data is relatively easier. Even if the data is lost for some reason, it can be retrieved with the help of the back up or by simply using an efficient data recovery software to recover lost data from your partitions in no time.
Type of partitions:
Speaking of partitions, they are too are classified according to their roles. Lets have a look at them.
- Primary partition: The Primary partition is the one in which your OS is installed. A disk with MBR partitioning style can have up to 4 primary partitions. Out of these 4 partitions, any one can be set up as an 'Active partition'. The partition which is marked as the active partition contains the boot loader and is used for loading the OS from the disk.
- Extended partition: Since, the primary partition has the limitation of only 4 partitions, extended partition serves the purpose of breaking this limitation. In an extended partition, numerous numbers of logical drives can be created. These logical drives can be further used to store data but they are usually used to store logical partitions.
Drawbacks of having multiple partitions:
- The very first disadvantage is that the data tends to grow until there is no free space anywhere but on the system drive; space that the user would be be able to use if everything was on a single large drive. This is a reason many avoid partitioning non-system disks and generally having too many partitions.
- Set-up inconvenience is another thing one has to face while using multiple partitions.However, there are certain measures one can imply to let the OS use the other partition effectively without impacting the workflow.
- Moving data from partition to another is a painfully slow process.
Here's how you can make partition in Windows.
In order to perform partitioning on Windows, you have to log in through the administrator’s account. Partitioning can be performed while installing the OS and also after an OS is installed. When you are installing an operating system, the installer will present you with a screen through which you can format, delete and resize partitions. If your Operating system is already installed and you wish to make partitions on it, you can use the ‘Disk management’ tool that shall help you resize, format, create and delete partitions. When you make a new partition, you have to specify the amount of space you wish to allot to the new partition. It can be done in the ‘Simple volume size in MB’ section which is present on the ‘Specify Volume page’.
For accessing the ‘Disk management’ tool, all you have to do is, go to ‘Control Panel’ and then search for partitions. You can click on the 'Create and format hard disk partitions'.
After you have clicked on 'Create and format hard disk partitions', a window divided into two section appears, the top section displays the list of all your partitions whereas the bottom section tells the status about the storage devices.
Apart, from this , if you wish to format any existing partition, you can do it by right clicking on it.
Warning: If and when a hard drive partition is lost or accidentally deleted, refrain from making a new partition and writing new data on it. If done so, it will be impossible to get back the lost partition and the data on it. Many times, people lose their partitions while installing a new OS or proceeding with an update. Most recent being the case of Windows 10 Anniversary update. Here's how you can recover your lost partition due to Windows 10 Anniversary update.
Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.
As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.