What is Partition?

May 16,2019 • Filed to: Partition Solutions • Proven solutions

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Many computer users often hear system engineers talk about hard drive partitions but they do not know what it is or how it contributes to the smooth running of their devices. In this article, we will throw more light on all there is to know about partitions and what they are used for.

What is a Partition?

Partitions are very vital sections in the hard drives of computers which enable users divide physical disks into logical segments. With the aid of a partition, you can activate different OS on the same computer without one system interfering with the activity of another. Partitions also improves the speed of your device and helps you manage disk space too. Although, it is impossible to have a fully functional hard drive broken into different segments physically as that will ruin your drive permanently but with the aid of software engineering, this is made possible through partitioning the same hard drive into different parts.

What a Partition looks like?

To get a clear picture of how a partition looks,  a disk management tool found in all Windows computers will come in handy. To view a partition in your system, tap Windows key and enter “Disk” as a keyword and press Enter. A picture like the diagram below will display on your screen.

Types of Partition

There are different types of partitions used for different programs but for the purpose of this topic, we preview below some of the commonly used partitions in the world of computer software.

Partition types

Boot: A boot partition contains the startup files of a system. Boot partitions are also referred to as System partition.

Open BSD partition:  This partition is specially meant for BSD operating systems.

AIX Boot Partition: This partition type is meant for partitioning AIX operating systems

DOS extended partitions: An extended DOS partition extends from one partition to several MS-DOS original partitions

12-bit/16-bit partition: Used for older MS-DOS versions.

DRDOS Secured: Created for DOS operating systems.

An Extended partition: This type extends from one or several primary partitions.

Hibernate partition: This is used for older hibernation applications.

HPFS: For IBM and Microsoft systems.

Minix: For partitioning the hard drives in Minix systems

Linux: Linux  or swap partitions for various Linux OS

NON DOS:  This partition notifies the user if a partition is not compatible with Microsoft OS.

Next Step: For Next Step operating systems.

Nec DOC: Used with variants of NEC DOC.

Novell Netware: Used with Novell OS.

Nec DOS: For Nec Dos variants.

NTFS: Created for Microsoft NT, XP and 2000.

Power Quest: For creating Partition Magic for Power Quest

PC Armour: Created by PC Armour with a password attached to it.

Primary Partition: Found in Microsoft OS, this is the original partition used by the system.

Solarix: For Solaris X86 platforms.

System Partition: Contains System 32 directory.

Tandy: This one is used with previous Tandy operating systems.

Unix: For all Unix systems.

VM Ware:   All VM Ware Systems.

Xenix:  For Xenix systems only.

What’s the purpose of a partition

Partitions are created by system designers with several objectives in mind but most importantly, they are created to aid Installation and classification of files in a hard drive. Here are some od the reasons why partitions are very important for the smooth running of your device.

How do you partition a hard drive?

To manually partition your hard disk, follow these steps.

Following this process will help you to partition your hard drive within minutes but if this doesn’t work for your XP or Vista Windows simply follow a detailed process to complete a successful partition for these operating systems.

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