Understand Disk Partition | What Does It Do?

Do you know what part of the system is in charge of preparing the hard drive to install an operating system?

Part 1: What Is a Partition

As it is known, a partition is a separated segment and logical division of a hard drive in personal computers. In other words, the partition is a storage space of the hard drive. You can use the Disk Management tool of Windows computer to get a clear picture of how a partition looks. Tap the Windows key, enter "Disk" as a keyword, and press Enter. A picture like the diagram below will display on your screen.

what does partition mean

The partition is typically used to allow a user to have a different operating system installed on the same computer or give the impression that a second hard drive is installed. This separated segment of a hard drive could prove useful when a computer has multiple users, or the user is going to manage all the files.

All windows operating systems are designed so that their hard disk is divided into different partitions. Hence, it is possible to share a physical hard disk with smaller logical partitions.

There are three different types of partition, which will be explained below.

Features of a Disk Partition

To understand partition better, some of its advantages are mentioned below:

  • Inserting a special drive for personal information
  • In case of Windows failure and replacement, the data will not be damaged
  • Ease of use and easy access to OS

Generally, Drive C on computers running Windows is the first partition.

Part 2: What Is a Disk Partition Used for

Partition is not only good for the optimal and better use of hard disk space, but also you can access easier and faster to classified information. Here are some of the reasons why partitions are very important for the smooth running of your device.

  1. It is crucial to understand that one of the main uses of partition is to prepare the hard drive to install the operating system. When installing an OS such as Windows, installing is the beginning of the windows partitioning. This partition is used to specify a part of the hard drive as storage and installation of Windows files. On the Windows operating system, the primary partition is usually denominated by the letter C, known as drive C.
  2. Another reason for partition­ing is that you can set up different operating systems on one hard drive and select which operating system to boot by using dual or multi­-boot. You can have Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux installed on your computer simultaneously, or even have three or four different types of operating systems installed on your computer.
  3. Managing files better. In other words, hard drive partitions can also be created for better file management. Although all partitions are parts of a physical drive, it is better to consider all partitions with separate drivers for a photo, video, or software download location than to put all the files in one partition in separate folders.
  4. The last reason for hard disk partitioning is to separate operating system files from personal data. By doing so, your personal and valuable information would be saved in case of appearing major issues in windows and reinstalling if it would be needed.

Part 3: Different Types of Disk Partitioning

There are 3 types of partition: primary partition, extended partition, and logical partition. Let's describe each one in detail.

types of partition

Primary Partition

Installing an operating system is only possible on the primary partition. When installing the operating system on the primary partition, it's time for the computer to load the OS. Remember that early versions of Windows allow users to set up a maximum of 4 primary partitions. It means that one MBR (Master Boot Record) hard disk could have 4 primary partitions.

Note: Although there can be 4 primary partitions, only one of the partitions is allowed to be activated at the OS on which the computer boots.

On the other hand, on GPT (GUID Partition Table), users can create up to 128 primary partitions on a hard drive.

Note: on GPT, there is no need to create an extended partition or the logical one. Do not forget that GPT can support an 18 EB hard disk without limitations.

You already know that each partition with an operating system installed on it is called a primary partition.

Extended Partition

Unlike primary partition, there can be only one extended partition on a hard drive. An extended partition is divided into additional logical drives. In other words, to remove the imitations of 4 partitions, there is no way except to use an extended partition.

As mentioned below, storing data occurs on a logical partition. But extended partition responsibility is different. It is interesting to know that it keeps logical partitions together. There is only one extended partition on a hard drive, not more!

Read More:
Convert Logical Drive to Primary Partition

Logical Partition

A logical partition is what you can create to store things like movies, software, application files, and more.

primary partition, extended partition, logical partition

Part 4: How to Partition Hard Drive on Windows and Mac?

Some important factors such as virus attacks may lead to the use of more than one partition on the hard drive. Another reason for using several partitions on a hard drive is that the user can easily recover data when a computer crashes.

When data is stored on various partitions instead of being gathered on only one partition, the user can get it back under better conditions. In this case, you can reinstall or overwrite an OS without missing a data partition.

You have already understood why a hard drive should be partitioned. Partitioning the computer would work more efficiently. Furthermore, all things like program files, operating systems, and data would be separated and do not make a mass in the hard drive.

Here are tutorials to teach how to partition a hard drive on Windows 10/11 and how to create partition on Mac.

Note: To partition a hard drive, there is no need to install a tool or something. There is a built-in tool which is called disk management. This tool helps you to meet your need easily.

Part 5: How to Recover Deleted Partitions in Windows/Mac?

Does partitioning the drive erase data? The action itself doesn't delete data, but you may delete partitions by mistake or lost a partition due to virus attack. If this happened, you can learn 4 Methods to get them back on: Recover Deleted Partitions on Windows and Mac.

Accidentally deleted or lost an important partition?

No worries. Wondershare Recoverit can get back your lost partitions within 3 steps. The ultimate and professional data recovery software is totally reliable and 100% safe.

People Also Ask

It's the better option. Having a separated partition, your personal and valuable information would be saved in case of appearing major issues in windows and reinstalling if it would be needed.

An extended partition is divided into additional logical drives. A logical partition is what you can create to store things like movies, software, application files, and more. Extended partition keeps logical partitions together.

You can use Wondershare software, Recoverit, to recover your deleted partition with all its consisting files. Note that, if you want to recover deleted files from the lost partition, please don't save them back to the lost partition. Instead, use a safe storage device to store them.


A partition, or hard disk partition, is a way for a computer to have different drives. It allows a computer to have different disks. A partition divides the disk drive into several logical storage areas on one disk drive, but functions as multiple disks.

In this article, the importance of partition is explained in detail. Ease of Windows Reinstallation, Simpler Data Recovery, and Better Organization are the benefits of partitioning. In addition, it has been advised to partition hard disks to reduce the minimum sector size and improve performance.

As mentioned above, the disk management tool can help you partition. On the other hand, if your data on a partition is mistakenly deleted, there is no need to worry. By installing Recoverit Partition Recovery software, you can restore data and whatever has been missed.

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