When we get a new hard drive, partitioning is an essential step before you create a file system to store applications and files. Each partition you divided on the disk may be controlled independently. In fact, a new hard drive should be divided into three types of partitions: primary partition, extended partition, and logical partition.
▶ Primary partition
The primary partition is the boot partition of the hard disk. It is independent and the first partition of the hard disk. Under normal circumstances, the C drive is the primary partition on the hard disk, also known as the "boot partition". Because the operating system and motherboard identify as the first partition of this hard disk, the C drive will always be in the first position of all disk partitions.
An HDD allows users to create a maximum of four primary partitions. After a user creates four primary partitions, no extended partitions can be created.
▶ Extended partition
In addition to the main partition, the remaining disk space is the extended partition. The extended partition is a concept. When the entire hard disk is divided into one primary partition, there is no extended partition.
▶ Logical partition
The extended partition cannot be used directly, it must be divided into several logical partitions to allow users to perform next operations. So, we can say that all logical partitions are part of an extended partition. If the extended partition is no longer partitioned, then the entire extended partition is a logical partition.
On an MBR disk, if you wish to create 3 primary partitions, then you can only create one logical partition with the rest of the space. The result would be the following picture shows:
• MBR disk can only boot the system from the primary partition. • You cannot boot your computer without a primary partition. • The number of primary partitions depends on your needs but can't be over 4. • You can create many logical partitions to store your data if you need and the disk capacity is sufficient.
Primary partition and logical partition are two different partitions that each has their own roles but both can store data, so we can’t say which is better. Only two types work well, your disk and PC can perform well.
By the way, we should mention an important thing: GPT disk doesn’t need a primary and logical partition. It’s different from an MBR disk. All partitions can be used as primary partitions of the MBR disk.
Check partition type in Disk Management
You can check the partition type of your disk in Disk Management
Step 1. Right-click "This PC" and choose "Manage".
Step 2. Open "Disk Management". You can see the partition information of all partitions on your PC.
How to change primary partition to logical partition (Vice versa)
Users can design disk partition according to their needs via using Command Prompt to convert primary partition to logical partition or logical partition to primary partition. But it will ask you to delete data at first. Therefore, after we show how to use CMD to convert the partition, we’ll show how to use professional software to do the conversion without losing data.
Using Command Prompt (Data loss)
Because changing the logical partition to the primary partition will delete all files on the target partition, we suggest you backup all data on the target partition.
1. Convert primary partition to logical partition
Step 1. Input diskpart on the search box, right-click it, and choose "Run as administrator".
Step 2. Type each command line and press “Enter”.
• list disk • select disk x ( "x" is the disk number that has the target partition) • list partition • select partition * ( " * " is the number of the target partition) • delete partition
• select disk x ("x" is the number of the disk that holds the target partition) • create partition extended • create partition logical • format quick • assign letter= y • exit
2. Convert logical partition to primary partition
Step 1. Click “start” to type “diskpart”, then right-click on “diskpart” and select “Run as administrator”.
Step 2. In the pop-up window, input the following commands and hit “Enter” after each command.
• list disk • select disk n ("n” is the disk number of the disk which contains the logical partition you need to convert to the primary partition) • list partition • select partition x (“x” is the partition number of the logical partition you want to convert) • delete partition (this command will remove everything on the selected partition.)
• select disk x ("x" is the number of the disk that holds the target partition) • create partition primary • format quick • assign letter=n
Tip: If there is no unallocated space on the disk, please create unallocated space before creating an extended partition by shrinking or deleting the existing partitions.
Using a professional converter (Data safe)
As we said, CMD can help you execute the task of conversion, but, it will cause data loss. If you wish to do a data-safe conversion, AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional will be a nice option. Users can convert partition between primary partition and logical partition without cleaning the target partition, and the operations are friendly for all users. Only some clicks can finish the job.
Note: AOMEI Partition Assistant will not allow you to convert a system partition to logical because this will stop your PC from running.
In the example, we’ll show how to change the logical partition to primary.
Step 1. Install and run AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. Right-click the logical partition which you want to convert and then choose “Advanced” and “Convert to Primary”.
Step 2. Click “OK” to confirm the operation in the following pop-up window.
Step 3. Commit the operation by clicking “Apply” on the tool bar.
◤ This process also applies to how to convert the extended partition to primary.
◤ If there are other applications running on the partition which you are going to perform, AOMEI Partition Assistant will notice you to close those applications or to execute this operation in PreOS Mode.
◤ It is also available to convert primary partition to logical.
There’s no good or bad in the primary VS logical partition. Both are important for MBR disk. If you need, you can convert your partition between these two. Another way to avoid the effects of logical and primary partition is to use a GPT disk (we’ve mentioned the reason in the article). AOMEI Partition Assistant can convert MBR disk to GPT disk without data damage, OS disk and data disk are all available.
We also have Server Edition on service for Windows Server, if you need it, you can check more information on our official website.