Most laptops come with a single hard drive others come with a hard drive that has two partitions.
The second one being the recovery or back-up partition. Being a laptop or desktop user, you might have thought about if you should really partition your hard drive.
Well, partitioning your hard drive whether a hard disk drive, hybrid or solid state drive is the best thing you could do on Windows. So should I partition my hard drive? Yes, here’s why.
What Is A Partition In Windows?
Most laptops always come with a single hard drive called the C: drive. Partitioning is dividing your single hard drive storage into two or more smaller storages. It is not done physically – that will destroy the hard drive – but rather into logical sections.
Each partition is treated as a separate hard disk which you can then proceed to store your music, movies or even virtual machines if you like.
Some laptops come with an already partitioned hard drive with the second partition being a recovery or back-up. You can also partition external hard drives.
Why Partition A Hard Drive?
Partitioning a hard drive allows you to better organise your data. You can split your hard drive into two partitions where the main or C: drive holds the operating system, important documents and files.
Whilst other partitions hold your music, games, movies etc. The main or C: drive partition is for the operating system and business whiles the second is for entertainment.
Also, for hard disk drives partitions makes it easier and faster to defrag your main C: drive to get rid of clutter. You can also create recovery partitions. In case of any failure or crash, you easily recover your files or roll back to what your operating system was before its fatal crash.
The benefits also carry over to solid state drives. Partitioning solid state drives allows you to better organize your data and keep your operating system on a different partition.
Advantages Of Partitioning A Hard Drive
You Can Use More Than One Operating System
For some people being able to run more than one operating system on the same laptop is a huge advantage for them. Partitions make this possible by dividing the main hard drive into several logical hard drives. This allows you to put another operating system e.g Linux or Ubuntu on the partitions created.
Programmers benefit immensely from this advantage because some programming languages are not compatible with Windows. And so to create another partition or separate hard disk that allows you to install another operating system is a huge benefit.
You Can Multiple Virtual Machines
Because you can create several partitions provided they are large enough you run several virtual machines on your laptop or PC. It’s a very cheap method since you don’t have to invest in another hard drive. This only works if your hard drive has a large amount of storage.
Windows is known to crash often. Partitions make recovery of your documents very easy. Even though partitions are on the same hard drive they logically exist as a separate storage device.
You can create a partition solely for back-up or recovery purposes. Most laptops already have things in case things go wrong.
Also, if your operating system crashes it will only affect the C: drive but not the other partition. You won’t have to format the whole drive. You can easily reinstall a new Windows on the C: drive without affecting the other partitions.
You Can Easily Organize Your Files
Partitions allow you to easily organize your files on your laptop. For example, you can create a partition solely for storing your entertainment – movies, photos and music. Another partition for important files and document. This allows you to know where things are and quickly access them.
Disadvantages Of Partitioning A Hard Drive
Over Partitioning Can Lead To A Mess
You can easily fall into the trap creating numerous partitions on your laptop. By creating a lot of partitions you might create one that doesn’t have enough disk space and might display the error “low disk space”. Numerous partitions can also create a confusing mess on your laptop. It is like sleeping in a messy or overcrowded bedroom. Two to four partitions depending on the size of your hard disk are the sweet spot for most users.
Installations Can Be A Pain
Because partitions have been created you have to consciously remember where you want to install software. Before you could care less but now that you have made partitions you must change the destination folder. Games have to go to the entertainment partition instead of the C: drive lest you run the risk of having “low disk space”. After partitioning the main drive becomes a No Zone area for other files.
Should You Really Partition Your Hard Drive On Windows?
Looking at the advantages and disadvantages it is pretty obvious on why should partition your hard drive. It makes everything easier. Your data/files are better organized, you have a recovery or back-up partition in case something goes wrong and you can use more than one operating system. The use of more than one operating system carries over to Macs because you can create a Windows partition.
Some people worry about partitioning their solid state drives (SSDs). This shouldn’t be a problem. Because solid-state drives are a type of hard drive the benefits and cons apply to them.
There is no difference between partitioning a solid state drive and hard drive. Also, modern SSDs have a huge amount of data to read/write before it wears out. Because by the time it wears out you would have already replaced your laptop.
For every normal user, the sweet spot for the number of partitions is two unless you plan on running more than one operating system or virtual machines. It’s not necessary to partition your hard drive in Windows though partitioning your hard drive is the best thing you could do on not only Windows but on Mac OS as well.
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