Disk partitioning

What is partition?

When you enter the keywords “define partition” in google.com, you may find that people define partition as “a vertical structure that divides or separates (as a wall divides one room from another)”. In computing, people define partition to be: A partition can be thought of as a division or "part" of a real hard disk drive. When you partition a hard drive, you make it into different rooms for data storage. Multiple partitions on a single hard drive appear as separate drives to the operating system.

disk partition

What is partitioning?

Partitioning is the act or practice of dividing the storage space of a hard disk drive into separate data areas known as partitions.

A newly bought hard disk is a blank paper. Usually we have to separate it into several parts for better data storage. It is just like a large empty room to be made into several segments for different use, and then it can take better hold of different data, some for system info, some for personal privacy, some for working files, some for entertainment. Disk partitioning is to make one large hard disk into several partitions. Today, we are going to use the famous Fdisk and Partition Magic usually called PQ in short to get better understanding of disk partitioning.

What is involved in partitioning?

1, File systems like FAT12/16/32, NTFS/NTFS5 (in Windows) 2, Primary partition, logical partition 3, Partition size

Why disk partitioning?

As we know disk is used for data storage, and it is partitioned for better storage management. That's why we have partitions. We need some partition to store system and stuff necessary for keeping the computer running. And some partitions for personal files, some partitions for working files…

Partition size

As time passed, most of people would encounter the dilemma that larger size of partitions are needed especially the c: drive. Can we adjust the c partition with out data loss with Windows built-in “Disk Management”?

Partition Basics

Primary partition, extended partition, logical partition

Primary partition is used to contain the files and data of operating system. If we want to install operating system, there should be one primary partition. It is made for the system and is often seen as C:/.

Extended partition is partition that is excluded by the primary partition. It can not be used directly unless is divided into several logical partitions. The drives D, E, F etc is what are called logical partitions.

Partition Format

Partition formatting is like dividing a large building into different rooms. The styles of partitions differentiate with each other according to different operating systems. The most frequently used Windows partition formats are FAT 16, FAT32, NTFS. Currently FAT16 is supported by all Windows Operating Systems and FAT32/NTFS are the popular with users. The format of FAT16 blocks its way since its low use percentage of disks.

Adapted 32bit file allocation table, FAT32 improves the management and use of hard disk space and it is supported by Win98/ME/2000/XP/2003/2008/Win7.

Now it comes to the dynasty of NTFS. It is outstanding among the rest since its security and stability. Those who are still sticky to DOS, Win9X should be aware that it is only supported by WinNT/2000 and above.

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