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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Dec 2009
    Kingston, ON, Canada
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    I have two physical drives in my system. The main drive contains three partitions. The CAcer), the EWorking) and a small Unallocated partition. Both C: and E: are called "Primary" and the Unallocated is called "Logical" type.

    The second drive has 4 Partitions. G:UserBU, I:CurSysImg, Z:PVR and some Unallocated space. Both G: and I: are Primary types while Z: and the Unallocated partition are described as Logical types.

    Everything appears to be working fine including the Z: partition that I use to record TV programs. All are NTFS and the OS is Win 7.

    I have Partition Wizard and it indicate the Status of the various drives as follows:
    C: is Active & Boot & System
    I: is Active
    All others have a Status of "None"
    Disk Management in Win 7 indicates much the same.

    So, what is the difference between a "Logical" partition and a "Primary" partition and how does one switch from one to the other or even create one or the other?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Polk County, Florida
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chet Copeland View Post
    So, what is the difference between a "Logical" partition and a "Primary" partition and how does one switch from one to the other or even create one or the other?
    Basically there are Primary partitions and Extended partitions, and generally a limit of 4 Primary partitions on a physical hard drive in Windows. My preference is to have one small Primary partition and then an Extended partition that takes up the rest of the physical hard drive. Within an Extended partition, you can create logical drives; in fact you can create very many logical drives. But they aren't normally referred to as "logical partitions", but as "logical drives".

    The main differences are in the MBR and MFT structures, and the permitted sector locations for marking partition and logical drive boundaries. And that Windows doesn't really like more than 4 Primary partitions.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
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  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP
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    Dec 2009
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    Generally primary partitions are for booting your OS and logical partitions are for data storage.
    You can only have 4 primary partitions.
    You need an extended partition in which to create logical partitions.

    cheers, Paul

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    This site seens to give a good explanation of Primary, extended and logical partitions. Have a look.
    Have a Great Day! Ted

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