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Primary Partition, Extended Partition & Logical Drive?


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#1
briz_dad

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I just went through formating a new seagate drive in a NexStar external box... I noticed that it formated as a primary partition, but a 2nd harddrive I have inside the computer case looks to be an extended partition/logical drive.

Is there a wiser way to format the seagate? It has no info right now so this would be the time for me to do it.

TIA,
Greg
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#2
Neil Jones

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Extended partitions can only be created inside a primary partition. Therefore if the drive was unformatted, you would have no option but to format it as a primary partition.

On external drives IMO, its pointless partitioning them. The only real value comes on drives inside the computer when you have a desire to boot more than one operating system.
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#3
peter99

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There are three basic types of partition: Primary, Extended, and Logical. The types that you initially use to divide up a drive are Primary and Extended. Extended partitions can then be subdivided further into Logical partitions. Each hard drive can contain up to four Primary partitions, or up to three Primary partitions and and one Extended partition. When there are multiple primary partitions on a hard drive, only one can be active at any one time.

The other primary partition(s) are hidden. They are physically on the disk, but cannot be "seen" by the OS in any way. The reason is that within the Master Boot Record (the first physcial sector of the hard drive) there is a partition table that tells the OS which is the active partition, and the boot process jumps to the active partition.

An Extended partition can contain multiple Logical partitions, and they will all be visible at once if formatted in an appropriate file system.
You could then have a drive with one Primary partition, one Extended partition, and have the extended partition divided into three Logical partitions. That would give you four partitions total.
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#4
briz_dad

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thank you, both answers help explain... :whistling:
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