Spare Drive Guide

Partitioning for Drives


This is an example of the internal view of a hard drive.  It has a hidden partition, a primary drive, an extended drive and unallocated space.

The hidden partition is where all the setup files are stored.  It is provided with computers in lieu of restore cd’s.  Following the computer makers instructions on “Factory Restore”, the setup files can be activated to restore the computer programs back to its factory state.  

The primary partition is where the operation system, programs and user folders/files are stored and operate from.  After the primary partition is formatted it is assigned a drive letter.  If your computer only has one hard drive, then it will be assigned the letter C.  It is only after the primary partition is formatted and assigned a drive letter that it can hold data, like the operating system.

The extended partition is Drive D.  Because it is formatted it can be used to store data as well.

The unallocated space is simply raw blank disk space.  It cannot hold data since it is not formatted.  However, after it is formatted it can either have its own drive letter assigned to it “or” the space can be merged with another drive, thus adding more disk space to the other drive.

While most computer users believe that one partition, e.g. Drive C is efficient to store data it is not as  efficient as having multiple partitions nor is it effective in keeping certain types of data safe.   Click here to see a different perspective.



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