We all know that most computer users have one physical hard disk drive on their PCs and only one partition labeled "C:". Very few people know that you can create more than one partition on a computer and there are several advantages to doing so. For example, if you have two partitions, one for the operating system and one for your personal data, your personal data is less likely to get lost in the case of a computer crash. In this article we would like to convince you of the advantages of using more than one partition on your computer and we have several arguments we would like to share. Let's start the debate:
What Is A Partition?
A partition is simply a way to tell your computer that you want to split your hard disk into a number of logical disks. When you partition a hard disk, you tell the computer to treat each partition as a separate drive.
You can easily recognise the partitions on your computer, by opening My Computer in Windows 7 or This PC in Windows 8.1. In the Devices and drives section you will find all the drives on your computer. By default, you will have at least one partition labeled "C:".
If you need a guide on how to create multiple partitions in Windows, read this article: How to Manage Partitions with the Disk Management Tool, in Windows.
1. In Case Of System Failure, Your Data Is Less Likely To Be Affected
Nowadays, operating systems take backup and recovery seriously, so reaching a state where your system can't be recovered is pretty hard. However, if the system actually fails, maybe because of a hardware failure or a virus infection, you may lose your personal data.
Having at least two partitions - one for the operating system and one to keep your personal data, will assure the fact that whenever your are forced to reinstall the operating system, your data will remain untouched and you will be able to access it.
Also, it's much easier to backup a smaller partition that contains crucial files and it's convenient to store that data in a different place.
2. You Can Use Multiple Operating Systems On The Same PC
Even though not too many people need to use multiple operating systems on their computers, there are some who do. Having two or more partitions on your computer is mandatory in this scenario, because each operating system needs a separate partition of its own.
Also, you want to keep your files separated between operating systems, to be sure that while an operating system is running it doesn't mess with the other's operating system's files.
3. Improved Performance
Hard disk drives usually work better on smaller chunks of data rather than one big partition. You also get a small boost in performance. For example, having a partition that is about 20%-30% the size of the total hard disk allows short stroking, meaning that the number of reading head repositioning delays (a performance consuming process) is greatly reduced, as you can read in this article on Wikipedia.
4. Organizing Your Data Is Much Easier
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, partitioning the hard disk drive is a way to tell your computer to treat a single hard disk as more logical disks. This allows you to precisely organize the data on these partitions, especially on large hard disk drives (1TB or more). For example, you can choose to have a partition for your documents, pictures, music or videos, another for your backup data, one for games and for whatever your need. Of course, you will need at least one partition for your operating system.
In our opinion, the number of users that have multiple partitions is not high enough compared to the benefits you get from using them. All our team uses more than one partition on our computers and we have fewer troubles because of that. Hopefully, our arguments have convinced us to follow our example.