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Chapter 18. Managing Disks and Partition... > Choosing Partitions and Volume Types

Choosing Partitions and Volume Types

A partition is a section of a basic disk that represents an isolated block of memory. As mentioned earlier, partitions are useful for running multiple operating systems on a single computer, and they can make the computer's memory more efficient. Most people will add a partition to their computer in order to help manage their files, which is definitely one of the best reasons for using partitions.

Partitions come in two varieties, primary and extended. For Windows XP, only a primary partition can be bootable, and will always get “lower” drive letters assigned than other partitions. An extended partition is used to store the logical partitions. In Windows XP, you can have up to four primary partitions on a disk. Additionally, you can use primary partitions to hold different versions of Windows XP or other operating systems such as Windows 2000 or 2002 by assigning a drive letter to each primary partition you create.


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