Can you format an entire hard drive as logical?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by allizomeniz, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Posts:
    906
    I installed an old hard drive that used to be on this computer (Dell Dimension 2400). It has Windows on it and used to be the C: drive. I have a new hard drive now with the operating system on it and wanted to use this one for storage. Would it be possible to format the whole drive as a logical partition, and would that be the best way to go? Interested in your opinions. Here's a picture of Disk Management, it's drive J:.

    Comp.Man.jpg
     
  2. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Posts:
    2,571
    Yes. (except from the first 7-8 mbs). Why do want to do that?
    Logical partitions reside inside the extended primary partition (represented by the green line in disk management) and in case something goes wrong is very difficult to reconstruct their structure.

    Panagiotis
     
  3. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts:
    3,056
    Location:
    The Pond - USA
    It really doesn't make any difference although some under the radar operations require a partition to be PRIMARY rather than LOGICAL. LOGICALs become important on your system when you are trying to break HDDs up into more than 4-partitions. The LEGACY-MBR spec that your system is using says you can only have up to (4) PRIMARY partitions on a given HDD. Since you apparently are not trying to put more that 4-partitions on any of your drives, they can easily all be PRIMARY and probably should be.

    Edit: I notived that drive J: (your old drive) is still marked ACTIVE from its initial use as a BOOT drive. I would deactivate that partition and reFORMAT it as a PRIMARY drive for whatever use you may have for it. I would also make your new SYSTEM partition ACTIVE so if the BiOS is selecting this disk, it will know where the BOOT partition is located. BiOS BOOTing will only BOOT an ACTIVE partition on that HDD (if selected) unless told specifically to do otherwise.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  4. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Posts:
    906
    I thought I read somewhere that a logical partition was the best for storing data. It's been a while and don't remember where I read it.

    I went ahead and did as you suggested Frog. I formatted J: and made it a primary. The active status on it is gone now, but C: still doesn't show as active after rebooting. I assume that it is since it boots from it, and "Mark Partition as Active" is grayed out when I right-click it in Disk Management. It's the only one grayed out.
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,647
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    Not true. See Panagiotis' comment.

    That's standard for WinXP Disk Management.
     
  6. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Posts:
    906
    Good to know. Thanks all, sounds like I'm in good shape now. :thumb:
     
  7. Izibia

    Izibia Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Posts:
    10
    Location:
    cz
    There are scenarios in which you want a logical partition, even if it is the only partition on the disk: a logical partition will obtain a "high" letter and so won't change the letters of (logical) partitions on your system disk.
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2005
    Posts:
    8,647
    Location:
    NSW, Australia
    How does Windows assign drive letters on the first boot after installing an OS? In this order.....

    • active or first primary partition on disk 1
    • active or first primary partition on disk 2
    • active or first primary partition on disk 3, etc.
    • all logical partitions on disk 1, in sequential order
    • all logical partitions on disk 2, in sequential order
    • all logical partitions on disk 3, etc.
    • all additional primary partitions on disk 1, in sequential order
    • all additional primary partitions on disk 2, in sequential order
    • all additional primary partitions on disk 3, etc.

    With the exception of C: you can change any of the drive letters to a letter of your choice. Actually (with special software) you can change the C: letter to whatever you like. So you can have Win7 running as P: drive without a C: drive in the computer.
     
Loading...