Whenever l get a brand new hard disk (internal or external) in my hand, the first thing to do is partition the Hard Disk. Having worked for tech support, I got plenty of opportunities to work on customer’s computer either talking them through the troubleshooting steps or by taking remote access to fix the problem. One thing I noticed in most computers is the presence of only one hard disk partition ie, the C drive. In case if there is another drive, it is usually a CD/DVD drive or a USB storage device. Rarely, I come across hard disks with more than one partition. There is a reason why it is advised to partition hard disk.
Here are 5 reasons to partition Hard Disk
Partition makes it easy to recover data if the OS crash
There are plenty of scenarios where OS may get corrupted beyond the stage where a repair installation can fix it. The usual culprits are malware attack, compatibility issues with other software and presence of bad sectors. If this happens, you will have to re-install OS which means you will have to format the partition that leads to wiping out hard disk clean. This leads to loss of important data. In that case, the solution to retrieve data is to get help from file recovery services which is going to cost a lot.
If the computer have only a single partition, it means formatting will wipe out everything inside the computer. But if you have multiple partitions, for e.g, C and D drive, you can choose to format C drive and install a fresh copy of OS. The data inside the D drive will still be safe. You can see those data as soon as you are able to boot to desktop.
When you have multiple partitions, always save the data files on a partition other than the system partition (which is usually C drive). This will ensure your data is safe even if the OS is wiped out and re-installed
Partitioning hard disk makes it easy on processor to find files
There will be a slight improvement in performance if the hard disk is partitioned. This because of increased efficiency in retrieving file. Instead of searching the entire hard disk for a particular file, the processor is able to go to the partition quickly and retrieve the file. Even though the speed difference is negligible, it adds to the overall performance of a computer.
Partitioning makes it easy to arrange files
Partitioning makes it easy, if you are in the habit of classifying files and arranging it inside aptly named folders. For e.g., From the picture above, you can see multiple drives, each used to store official files, tutorials and entertainment. Whenever a file is created or downloaded, I move it directly to one of these folders, so I can retrieve it easily whenever I need it later.
Some may argue the same can be done on an external drive. Yes, it is true. But if you consider the possibility of losing the external drive to hardware malfunction or getting stolen, having a copy in multiple locations won’t hurt.
Use multiple Operating systems
Operating systems use file systems to save data inside the hard disk. These file systems are different for each OS. For e.g, Windows use NTFS, Linux use ext3. Since these file systems are different and they can’t communicate with each other, they have to be installed on separate drives. Partitioning allows for having multiple OS in the same computer. You can also have different versions of same OS like Win 7 and 8.1 installed in same computer.
Makes it easy for hard disk diagnostics tool
Hard disk diagnostic tools such as chkdsk cannot do disk check on a system partition, when the computer is running. So, you need to schedule chkdsk first, then restart the computer and wait for the disk check to finish and wait till it boot back to desktop. This can be time consuming depending on size of partition, the extent of damage to file system and number of bad sectors.
On the other hand, if the hard disk is partitioned, you can run chkdsk on other drives without restarting computer. Once the disk check for all partitions are finished, you may initiate chkdsk on system partition. Since the hard disk is partitioned and the space allocated is less, the scan will be much quicker. This will save you time.
Also having multiple partitions can help these tools to narrow down and pinpoint the location where the error occurred.
So, are you going to partition your unpartitioned hard disk? Fortunately, it is easy to create new partitions in all versions of Windows starting from Vista. You have to shrink the current volume to make space for a new partition. There are also third party disk partitioning tools available in market for this task.