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how and why to split partition a hard drive

Updated on June 27, 2012

A hard drive is the storage facility inside your pc, that holds your data files, and also the files that actually make your pc run, and allow it to connect to other devices. The ides of partition on a hard drive, is as simple to understand as seperating a large folder into 2 folders. One of the most popular reasons for creating a hard drive partition on your pc, is to separate the functional part of your pc, from the data.

Is it really required that you do this? Well the answer is up to you really. The more tech heads will always prefer to do this, and the reason is that if you have a problem on one of the partitions, then it can be isolated to that part only, and shouldn't affect the other part. As an example, sometimes your pc hard drive filing system can be corrupted, either through a power failure, or during an error with a data operation. This can be especially true if you are running software such as bit torrent, which has certainly caught me out. My pc overheated, and crashed. Since i had the bit torrent running, there was changes being made to the file system, and when the pc re stared, the whole filing system was corrupt, and i lost all my data.

I did manage to get most of the data back, but this takes time, and its something you would rather not have to do. This can be the best reason for a hard drive partition. The best type of partition will split your operating system data from your actual stored files. It is quite easy for your operating system to become corrupt, and if your parition is split for example into a c drive and a d drive, then if your corrupt operating system is on c, your d drive should still be fine. This means that the only problem you will have is actually just re-installing the operating system back into the c drive. Once thats done, then things will just be the same again, and your data on the d drive will be accessible as just the same before.

There is another method of parition that is also recommended, which is doing a 3 way split. This involves the operating system on one partition, and the programs you install on a second, and the actual data that you might want to regularly backup on another parition. This is one of the better ideas of using paritions. However, don't forget that although the most likely part of a hardrive that can be corrupots is the operating system, it can happen to any part, so backups are always recommended.

You will be able to find a number of utilities and software online to allow you to partition your hard drive, and most of them will do it really quick, however, if you are partitioning a hard drive that has data on it , it can take upto a number of hours for the partitioning to complete. Its much quicker and easier to partition the hard drive before you install your operating system, and data.


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    • WittyWeddings profile image

      Hayley LaGarce 6 years ago from Kansas City, MO

      I had no idea any of that could happen to my hard drive. My only suggestion would be to organize your hub into sections of the why and how so it would be more user friendly. Good hub!