A new laptop or desktop normally comes with only one hard drive(C: Drive) without any partition. Some computers may come with two partitions namely C: Drive and D: Drive.
Your C: Drive is considered as the main drive for storing all important Operating System Files and other important drivers, hardware and software related information.
The D: Drive is used as a Recovery or Backup storage. You can store all other files such as movies, music, games, and other work-related files in this drive.
The thought of partitioning your hard drive may have come across your mind but you aren’t sure of it because you don’t know if it can cause any harm to your new computer.
Well, partitioning your hard drive is totally safe and you should always partition your hard drive. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a Hard Disk Drive(HDD), a Solid State Drive(SSD), or a Solid State Hybrid Drive(SSHD).
In this article, I’ll explain all the benefits of partitioning your hard drive also a few cons of partitioning your hard drive.
- 1 What Is A Partition Of Hard Drive
- 2 Why Should You Partition Your Hard Drive
- 3 Pros Of Partitioning the Hard Drive
- 4 Cons Of Partitioning Your Hard Drive
- 5 Should You Partition Your Hard Drive On Windows?
What Is A Partition Of Hard Drive
Partitioning the Hard Drive means dividing the hard drive into smaller storage sections. This division is done digitally into logical sections. Partitioning is not done physically because it can destroy the entire hard drive.
A new computer can also come with One Partition. In this case, you’ll see two drives namely C: Drive and D: Drive. This D: Drive is the partitioned drive and it is used as a Backup or Recovery storage.
As mentioned earlier, most new computers come with a single hard drive which is labeled as C: Drive. If you create one partition then you’ll get two drives C: Drive and D: Drive. Creating two partitions gives you three drives C: Drive, D: Drive, and E: Drive.
Most hard drives used in Windows computers are GPT which enables you to create a total of 128 Partitions in your Hard Drive.
You can also create partitions in External Hard Drives.
Why Should You Partition Your Hard Drive
The main benefit of partitioning a hard drive is that it helps you to organize your files and other data in a much efficient way.
All the important Windows Operating System files, drivers, and other data related to hardware as well as the installed files of important softwares are stored in C: Drive.
You can use other partitioned drives to store work-related files and documents, downloaded videos, music, games and movies.
Another benefit of partitioning your hard drive is that you can easily Format your C: Drive without losing other files that are stored in those partitioned drives. This is really beneficial because if you don’t have a partition then you could lose all your important data with a Format.
There is yet another benefit of partitioning your hard drive. You reduce the size of main C: Drive which makes it quicker and easier to Defrag your C: Drive to remove all the disarranged clutter.
Like Hard Disk Drives these benefits also apply to Solid State Drives(SSD) and Solid State Hybrid Drives(SSHD).
Pros Of Partitioning the Hard Drive
There are five main advantages of Partitioning your hard drive.
Better File Organization
Partitions help you to store different files in different drives which makes it easier to organize, store, and access your data.
You can store Operating System files, hardware and software related files in C: Drive while you can store other files such as movies, games, and other work-related files in the partitioned Drives.
Use Two Operating Systems In One Computer
Some people need more than one Operating System for carrying out their work especially programmers, security experts, and ethical hackers.
By partitioning your hard drive you can run more than one Operating System in your computer. You can store the main Windows Operating System in C: Drive while the other D: Drive can be used to store an Operating system like Linux or Ubuntu.
Programmers who need to code in languages that only support Linux such as C or C++ can greatly benefit from partitioning their hard drive. They can install Linux in another drive and easily carry out their work without having to remove the Windows Operating System.
Running Multiple Virtual Machines
If you create several partitions in your hard drive then you can install multiple Virtual Machines in one computer. This method is only viable if your hard disk has a lot of storage preferably over 1 TB.
This is one of the best and cheapest methods to create virtual storage in your laptop without investing in an external hard drive.
Easier Formatting and Recovery
The Windows Operating system has a bad reputation for unusual Crashes. If you partition your hard drive then you have the option of storing the important documents in any other drive other than the C: Drive.
This means you can Format your C: Drive and install the Windows OS again without having to worry about losing your important data which are stored in the partitioned drives.
This makes it very easy to Recover your important files which are safely stored in the partitioned drives.
The partitioned drives act as Backup or Recovery storage for your important important files.
Easier and Quicker Defragmentation
If you partition your hard drive then you distribute the storage space of your hard drive. This means you can easily and quickly defrag your C: Drive or any other partitioned hard drive to remove unwanted clutter.
Cons Of Partitioning Your Hard Drive
There are two main disadvantages of partitioning the hard drive.
Over Partitioning Can Cause Problems
If you create a lot of partitions in your hard drive then you end up distributing the disk space in such a way that some of the partitioned drives have very low space.
This can lead to problems because Windows will constantly show an error like Low Disk Space for the partitioned hard drives.
Over partitioning creates a mess because you won’t remember where you stored a particular file or document. You’ll have to search every partitioned drive to find out the file you were searching for.
Installing Games can be a Pain
If you create a lot of partitions in your hard drive then you end up reducing the disk space of the partitioned drives. This means you cannot install AAA Title games in a single drive because they required a lot of disk space.
This can be real pain if you want to play games that require a lot of disk space for installation.
Should You Partition Your Hard Drive On Windows?
You should definitely partition your hard drive because it makes it very easy to organize your files in different drives. You can easily store and access the data you want without having to search for it in one single drive.
You can format your hard drive without losing your important data, create partitioned drives that act as a backup or recovery storage, install more than one Operating System, and create virtual space using a Virtual Machine.
Some users worry that partitioning can exhaust most of the read/write cycles of SSD but this is not the case. Partitions don’t use up a lot of read/write cycles which means your SSD will work for a long time before it wears out and becomes useless.
You can partition your SSD without any worries. Partitioning of SSD is exactly similar to the partitioning of HDD.
If you’re a normal user who doesn’t need an extra Operating System or Virtual Machines then you should create a maximum of Two Partitions.
If you need to install another OS like Linux or Ubuntu or need to install Virtual Machines then you should create a maximum of Four Partitions.
It is better to create four or five partitions if you have a storage space of 1 TB or above. If your storage space is 512 GB or less then creating two to three partitions is better.
You can also run your computer without partitioning your hard drive but in that case, you need to store backups of your data in an external hard drive.
Lastly, I’ll recommend everyone to partition their hard drive whether you’re using a Windows OS or a MacOS.