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What does it mean to Partition your hard drive?

Wednesday, November 10th, 2004 by | Filed Under: System Tune-Up Help

What does it mean to Partition your hard drive?

When you partition something in a computer, you divide it into isolated sections. For the most part, when you’re talking about partitions, you’re talking about hard drive partitions, so we’ll take a closer look at those.

First off, when you partition a drive, each partition will act as an individual hard drive. Here’s an example.

Let’s say you have a 40 GB hard drive sitting in your computer. Now let’s say that you want to set up a disk drive for files that you’re going to copy to a CD. You could partition off 2 GB of the 40 GB hard drive and it would act as it’s own drive (probably drive D).

With the above example, you would have a 38 GB drive and a 2GB drive. You still only have the one physical hard drive, but the computer treats it like two hard drives.

Another popular reason for portioning is to run two operating systems—Windows XP and VIsta, for example.

One thing with partitioning though… it erases EVERYTHING on your hard drive. So don’t do it unless you are formatting or re-formatting your hard drive, or you have a real need to and are prepared to re-install all your software. It can, however, be safely done without erasing your hard drive by using third party software that allows you to resize, split, merge, delete, undelete, and convert partitions in a few minutes without destroying any data.

Nothing like a computer with a split personality.


One Response to “What does it mean to Partition your hard drive?”

  1. Fornost says:

    Incorrect. Partitioning is not dividing the drive, it is setting up containers within the drive – every drive *must* have at least one partition.

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