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Partioning Drives: Primary, Extended or Logical

Posted on 2004-04-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
There seems to be three ways to create a partition on a drive: primary, extended and logical.

I thought there could only be one primary and the other had to be extended and logical. But Win XP seems to allow you to create several primary partions on the same physical drive. But it is better to divide the drive with one primary, the rest as and extended and then divide the extended into logical

Boy, am I confused!!
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Question by:Issaquah
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Expert Comment

by:jvuz
ID: 10946387
If you want to have a dual boot, you can use 2 primary's. But if you only have one os, use one primary with the OS and the programs and an extended, divided in one or two or...(as you wish) for data.
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by:jvuz
ID: 10946392
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by:jvuz
ID: 10946400
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Expert Comment

by:magus123
ID: 10946421
your logic is correct , but xp os changed everything.
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Expert Comment

by:Phill_upson
ID: 10951082
Are you planning on dual booting, if so between which operating systems?  Also how large is your hard disk and what sort of data do you need to store?

E.g. for just XP and video editing work with a 200GB hard disk, 1 primary, 2 extended - 1 for your applications and 1 for your data/video files.

When sizing partitions however, its worth making sure you get it right as you'll need 3rd party tools to resize them, such as partitionmagic which costs money.

Once upon a time it was worth partitioning disks for the speed and space saving benefits, however, modern hard disks are large enough and fast enough to stop this excercise being so worthwhile.
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Author Comment

by:Issaquah
ID: 10955136
To expand on this question...

What if I have two hard drives? Let's say each is 100 Gb.

Drive 1 I would partition into a Primary of 30BG, and an extended of 70

What happens to drive 2? Does it get set as a primary...or does it become an "extended" of drive one?
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magus123 earned 500 total points
ID: 10955907

first hd 100 gb

1 primary parition  30gb    os partition
2 extended partition 70 gb  data parition

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ what ever parition  you create on the first hd , does not
affect the second drive++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

second hardrive  100 gb capacity

create as many partition as you want primary up to 4
extended what ever.
it does not matter , what does matter is if you create to manny then you will many drives associated with
drive letters.

post people dont create partitons on their second drive , unless they have a specific outlined design they
want to implement , or the drive is big as 100gb. then they create 2  50gb partitions .
it all depends on what your going to store . its all up to you.

i dont think your familiar with the concepts so heres some info

learning paritions

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/file/structPartitions-c.html
http://fdisk.radified.com/fdisk_partition.htm


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Author Comment

by:Issaquah
ID: 10956067
The link to www.radified.com was great. It had a very clear answer for me and the logic behind it.

Thanks,
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