Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/184659/beginner-geek-hard-disk-partitions-explained/
Hard disks, USB drives, SD cards — anything with storage space must be partitioned. An unpartitioned drive can’t be used until it contains at least one partition, but a drive can contain multiple partitions.
It's so hard to multi-partition the SD card.
Yes, that's because Windows doesn't allow you to set up multiple partitions on a removable device, and USB drives (including SD readers) are typically seen as removable devices. Even if you do create a second partition, Windows won't see it. Fortunately, the only real reason for multiple partitions on SD cards is for making a system drive for things like the Raspberry Pi or similar devices.
" You can have one partition that contains all the storage space on the
drive or divide the space into twenty different partitions.".
My question is what do I do when I run out of drive letters as there are only 26 of them and I may have several hard drives, SSD's and USB's to be plugged in.
If you open up Disk Management (Start -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management), you can actually assign volumes to directories on another volume.
For a long time, I used to mount my memory card readers under my C drive, like this:
C:\MemoryCards\MS (memory stick)
I have a 1 TB removable HD, that I partitioned into 2 a long time ago. When I use this drive it seems to overheat, and windows struggles or can't read it. Should I make it one again or is there something else wrong with it ?
Can I open it up so more air gets at it or install it internally ?
To answer that- most likely you can open the enclosure & connect it internally. I've done lots- especially when we went through a period where the externals became cheaper than the bare internals!
There are rare exceptions where the manufacturer makes some sort of non-standard connection, but most are simple S-ATA connectors once they're free of their little box. If there are no obvious screws or ways in, check the model number in device manager before you begin. With that info, search an online video of one being disassembled- you might get lucky there...
Now, 1) you void the warranty, & 2) it may be the drive is failing. Still, if the only option is having it un-readable vs. pulling it out, I'd go with yanking it & seeing how it runs internally.
There are so many articles on the joys & pitfalls of partitioning.
RE: separate OS & data-- I was under the impression that this benefitted the health of the OS by only ever having that area "read" vs. written to. Then there's the obvious benefit of data safely separated in the event of OS issues/reinstalls.
There are articles, such as this one which state that performance degrades somewhat-- but how much are we talking in real-world language? Is it anything anyone would notice in the everyday? So many benchies are counting micro/nano-secs & it gets a bit silly.
Well, here's the basic idea: when you have your data in the system partition, the read/write head only has to move a small distance between where the programs are and where the data is. If you have the drive split in to 2 equal partitions, the drive head has to move halfway across the drive in order to read data after loading programs.
As to "reading only": your OS downloads updates regularly, and programs modify the registry.
However, the one true test is what happens in the real world. My work laptop used to be configured in a 2-partition scheme; when I replaced the hard drive, I got rid of the 2-partition scheme and went to a single partition... I didn't really notice a difference.
Good beginner article. Does HTG plan on explaining the differences between a logical, primary or extended partitions in detail?
Exactly my point: in real-world useage, the actual performance difference is going to be so slight as to be unnoticable...so, having data separate from the OS (for reasons mentioned) isn't really a "hit" & is a good way to safeguard (as much as data on any single disk can be) your personal files.
...except for the space management issues I already described. If your partitions never get full, that's not a problem, but for people who are always downloading stuff or installing new programs, that can be an issue.
I guess it's really a matter of preference. We all have things that work for us that would drive other people crazy.
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