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Windows 7: Whats the difference between primary partition and extended partition?

01 Oct 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 
Whats the difference between primary partition and extended partition?

Whats the difference between primary partition and extended partition?

I want to use two partitions on one drive. One for OS and the other for data. Which partition is better for data?

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

As I understand things, a primary partition is needed if you're going to boot an operating system. In Windows 7 you can have a maximum of 4 primary partitions. If you need more than 4 partitions on a hard drive, you'd make one of those partitions an extended partition which could support up to (I think) a maximum of 60 logical partitions (drives). For your purposes, having two partitions (a C: for the operating system and perhaps a D: for data) wouldn't be a problem if both were primary.

What is the Difference Between Primary and Logical Partition?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #3
Microsoft MVP

 

Please post back a screenshot of your maximized Disk Management drive map and listings:

1. Type Disk Management in Start Search box.
2. Open Disk Mgmt. window and maximize it.
3. Type Snipping Tool in Start Search box.
4. Open Snipping Tool, choose Rectangular Snip, draw a box around full map and all listings.
5, Save Snip, attach using paper clip in Reply Box.

Tell us what is on each partition and what you want to do and we will give you the steps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Oct 2012   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

This:
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My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

The way yours is setup is fine for what you are going to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

C: is way to small, you will soon run out of space on it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #7

7 x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by partogi View Post
Whats the difference between primary partition and extended partition?

I want to use two partitions on one drive. One for OS and the other for data. Which partition is better for data?

Thank you.
Neither a Primary or a Logical drive in an Extended Partition is Better or Worse for storing data. They will both work exactly the same.

May I add that if that is the only drive in your system, and you are running Windows 7, you are going to run out of space Real Fast. The C drive, Windows OS drive, is so small I'm surprised Windows even installed on it. I take it that is an SSD, right? The Windows partition should be somewhere around 40+/-GB at least as Windows by itself is going to take up about 12GBs before you install any programs. You should always have at least 15-20 Percent free space on the OS partition/drive. Otherwise Windows, or even Mac OS X, will Choke once you start to go below that percentage. It is even more important to have a good amount of free space on a SSD as otherwise the SSD can't do proper Wear Leveling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Oct 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

 

I agree with AddRAM.

You need an OS partition large enough to install your programs and contain your paging file, possibly hiberfile if you want modern hibernate feature.

So I'd start with 50gb. Then copy your User folders to data drive, link them back to the related Library - Include a Folder - Windows 7 Forums.

This keeps your backup image lean so that if you need to reimage C the data is intact, current and waiting on D.

To extend C now, boot into free Partition Wizard bootable CD, rightclick D to Resize, slide left border to the right to add enough space to C, click OK.

Then rightclick C to Resize, slide right border to the right to take up the space you made, OK, Apply both steps. Partition Wizard Resize Partition Video Help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), Windows XP SP3, Linux Mint 17 MATE (64 bit)
 
 
Too Small

I agree with AddRAM.

My previous Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit) install (I re-installed Windows 7 during September) only had OS files (and programs that auto-installed ) on it.
I also disabled Hibernation and moved the Page File to a separate HDD.
It used ~20 GB of HDD space.

If you plan to use the Windows default locations (Program Files, Program Files (x86) and User), you'll need to work out:
  • How many programs you want to install and their combined size
  • How many games you want to install and their combined size #
  • How much space you'll need for your personal files (documents, music, pictures & videos) plus room for future expansion #
# I'd store these on a separate HDD/partition #

You'll also need to leave some extra free space so that the "Disk Defragmenter" can work efficiently (HDD only).
In XP that used to be 15% (I'm not sure what Windows 7 "demands").

Using my PC as an example:
20 GB - Windows
04 GB - Program Files
04 GB - Program Files (x86)
00 GB - Games #
00 GB - User #
--------
28 GB - Sub-total
04 GB - Extra for defrag (HDD Only!)
--------
32 GB - minimum
You can get away with less if you are using Windows 7 (32 bit).

Given those numbers I made my Windows partition 40 GB.

# I don't have any games installed in Windows 7. #
# I store my Documents, Music, Pictures and Videos on separate HDDs/partitions. #
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Oct 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x86
 
 

Thanks for the reply guys.

I only use my PC to watch movies and play some old games which is stored on D drive.

I'm planning to dual boot with XP but I think I read somewhere says we can't install OS on Logical drive. Is this correct?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Whats the difference between primary partition and extended partition?




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