Partition vs Volume
A hard disk drive can be divided in to several storage units. These storage units are called partitions. Creating partitions would make a single physical disk drive appear as multiple disks. Software that can be used to create, delete and modify partitions is called a partition editor. A hard disk drive could be divided in to three main partitions called the primary, extended and logical partitions. In contrast, a storage area that could be accessed using a single file system that the computer can recognize is referred to as a volume. This term is used in the context of operating systems.
What is Partition?
A hard disk drive can be divided in to several storage units called partitions. The main partitions that could be created in a hard disk drive are primary, extended and logical partitions. A disk drive can contain a maximum of four primary partitions or three primary partitions and a single extended partition. One file system is contained in a primary partition. When there are multiple primary partitions in a hard disk, only a single partition can be active at any given time and the other partitions will be hidden. If a drive needs to be bootable, it needs to be a primary partition. Information about the partitions in a computer is included in the Partition table, which is located in the Master Boot Record. The extended partition in a hard disk drive could be subdivided in to several partitions called logical partitions. The extended partition acts as a container for logical partitions. The structure of the logical portions is described using one or more Extended Boot Records (EBR). Creating partitions would allow the user files to be resided separately from the operating system and other program files. Furthermore, partitions would allow the user to have multiple operating systems to be installed in different partitions of the same hard disk.
|Logical Partition 1||Logical Partition 2||Logical Partition 3||Logical Partition 4|
What is Volume?
A storage area that could be accessed using a single file system that the computer can recognize is referred to as a volume. This term is used in the context of operating systems. CDs, DVDs and some partitions of the hard drive can be considered as volumes. When the operating system recognizes a volume, the data within that volume can be accessed. Moving files within a volume is typically done by just modifying the file system (without doing any physical alteration). However, when data is moved between volumes the actual data has to be moved, which would be a costly operation.
What is the difference between Primary Partition and Extended Partition?
Storage units that could be divided within a hard disk drive are called partitions whereas a storage area that could be accessed using a single file system that the computer can recognize is referred to as a volume. Therefore CDs, DVDs and floppy disks could be considered as volumes. Furthermore, if a hard disk contains partitions that were formatted using a file system that could not be recognized using the operating system, such a partition could not be considered as a volume.