Partitioning a hard drive means separating a disk into several drive partitions. Most computers come with a single partition, often called the Drive C. This drive has all the system files saved on it. Once you start using the computer, you can manually create as many partitions as you want, provided the drive has enough space to accommodate that many partitions.
Most people find partitioning a drive a technically involved task. Hence, they do not bother themselves with it. But it is straightforward and simple to partition a hard drive. It is not going to cost you money and will make your computing life more productive and easier. As you partition your hard drive, the drive will be split into multiple drives. The end result is that you will have several drives instead of one.
This blog explores how you can partition a drive and the reasons for doing so.
Steps to Partition a Drive
- On Mac
You can partition your Mac’s hard drive by launching Disk Utility from Applications > Utilities > choosing your hard drive > clicking Partition > clicking the plus icon to create a new partition > naming the partition and specifying its size > clicking Apply.
Similarly, you can partition external hard drive Mac via Disk Utility.
- On Windows
Partition the hard drive on your Windows computer by selecting Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > double-clicking Computer Management > clicking Disk Management under Storage. Then, right-click an unallocated region and select New Simple Volume.
Why Partition a Hard Drive?
- Run different operating systems simultaneously
Dual-booting operating systems are one of the primary reasons why people partition their computer’s hard drive. With two partitions available, they can easily run macOS on one and Windows on the other. As long as both partitions are visible when your computer is booting up, you can choose which operating system to use.
Partitioning the drive is mandatory when running multiple operating systems because every operating system demands an independent partition. In its absence, it may cause misconfigurations of the OS, and then the system will crash.
Thanks to the partition, all the files and applications will be kept separate from one another.
So, if you desire to run more than one operating system on your computer, you can create separate drive partitions.
- Data organization
As you know now, partitioning a hard disk means having several separate drives. This lets you carefully organize your data on different partitions of the drive. You can dedicate one partition to saving work files, another to movies, etc. You can even select one partition for running another operating system.
You can organize the partitions however you want. You can even make changes to them. But if you are running multiple operating systems, you must format the hard drive to remove it.
- Decrease data loss risk
There are many threats and risks to your data when saved on your computer, such as hardware failure, virus infection, software malfunctions, etc. These may result in system failure and then damage data. Once your data is corrupted, you may lose important files and data. This can lead to added expenses and headaches.
Hence, it is better to have two partitions on your computer to save operating system files on one and your personal data on another. This will reduce the risk of losing data. Even if one of the partitions is having an issue, the others will remain functional.
- Ensure data security
Data security is the top concern of most computer users. To ensure data is safe from prying eyes, most users choose to encrypt the drive. Generally, data encryption means encrypting the entire drive. If you have split your drive, you can choose which drive you want to encrypt.
For instance, you might be sharing your computer with someone else. If that’s the case, you can encrypt one of the partitioned drives and keep your important files there. You can let the other partitioned drive be.
- Enhance drive performance
If there are no partitions, the drive heads will vigorously move around to access data. The hard disk will have to work double to read or write a large amount of data. But if you separate the data into several small chunks, it will make it easier for the drive heads to read or write data. This is going to improve the performance of the disk in the long run.
The Bottom Line
So, now you know how to partition a hard drive in Windows and macOS. Also, you know some of the popular reasons why users are partitioning their hard drives. If you want more organization or wish to improve the performance of your drive, follow suit.
If there are other reasons why a disk is partitioned, and they are not mentioned here, feel free to leave a comment.