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Primary partition vs Extended partition

Posted on 2004-08-19
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On a XP system I had C:(20GB) and D:(60GB).
With Partition Magic (DOS ver.) I can split D into E,F,G each one with 20GB as follow:
1. All as primary partitions NTFS.
2.E,F,G as logical partitions of an extended partition.

Which one are more convenient(advantages and disadvantages)

Thanks
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Question by:omegabeta
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by:knollbert
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I was in a Paq (still looking for it) with 3+ experts and it was decided that more than 2 partitions is a bad idea
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by:rid
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The standard (old-fashioned) way is to make one primary partition and one extended to fill up the disk. Inside the extended partition you create logical units. Unless you start shuffling the drive letters around and other experimental activities, there are no problems with more than two logical drives ("partitions").
/RID
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ralonso earned 30 total points
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you can only have a maximum of 4 partitions
only one of them can be extended (the others will be primary, and there's nothing against having all four as primary).

The benefits of having an extended partition are that you can create more logical volumes inside the partition.

The main benefit of a primary partition is that you can boot the system from it. Only primary partitions can be boot partitions (beware: microsoft has always called system partition to the boot partition and viceversa).

Boot partition (the one that contains the boot sector)
If you are using any windows nt flavour (nt, 2000, xp, 2003), that's where the system will expect to find a file called NTLDR

in DOS (windows 95/98/ME) it's IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS (I can't remember which one)

Some systems may require the system to be in a primary partition as well, but it's not common.

I'd go for 1 primary and 1 extended. That will give you more flexibility and it's highly unlikely that you really need more than 1 primary anyway.

Having a large number of partitions is very useful from W2K onwards, because instead of assigning drive letters to them (some stupid DOS invention), you can map them to directories.

Say, you have a folder that you don't want to let grow over a given size and compromise the stability of your system (imagine some folder where you keep logs, for instance). You would map this folder to a different volume.
The obvious benefit is that you don't need to tell some stupid application to store things in a different folder.

I hope my 5c help.
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