Please can someone advise me if my second storage SATA 320 Gbt HD should be set to have a primary or logical partition as I am somewhat confused about this. My main bootable HD is a SATA 1.5 Tbt which already has 3 partitions. I am using XP SP3. P4 3000 G Hz 3 Gbt RAM.

Also I have another question please. I have played around with partition magic to see various configurations of how the second storage HD mentioned above can be partitioned. I notice that the second SATA 320 Gbt HD always seems to have some unallocated dead space at one end of about 7.8 Mbt. When it is set as a logical drive this dead space appears at the begining of the drive. When it is set as a primary drive this dead space appears at the end of the drive. Is this normal? Does this unallocated dead space contain some useful information or is it due to some odd sectors that won't fit into the normal file structure of the filing system?

Your advice would be appreciated.

Kind Regards


Recommended Answers

All 5 Replies

I know of one partitioning software that says one can only have as much as four basic partitions in one hard drive. Following this logic, therefore, your second sata should be set as a logical partition and not a primary (basic) partition.

The unallocated but hidden 7.8 GB or so of the second SATA is as far as I know a usual HDD feature. This even appears on ATA which I have. Some companies that I know of have their "manufacturing state" of the dektop or notebook stored on this tiny little space. I think VISTA has the same configuration.

You can have four primary partitions on a hard drive. Which means you can have up to four primary partitions on each hard drive.

Thank you both for your replies.

So it seems that a second storage HD can be either primary or logical, right? Is there any advantage in making a storage drive one or the other? I suppose if in the future it will be used to boot an OS then it is better off as primary. However this is not my intention. Are there any disadvantages making it primary? If it is logical I suppose it will work fine as a storage drive.

Your thoughts would be appreciated.

Also regarding the other point, as has been suggested, it seems that the 7.8 megabytes of "dead space" cant be removed and might be used by the drive manufacturer in some way. So maybe I shoulden't worry about that.

Kind Regards



I would say if you want no more than 4 partitions on a drive then format it as primary. Otherwise if you want more than that then format it as logical.

I would advise formating as primary as I think having to many partitions is messy.

commented: Helpful reply. +1

You'll have no problem making the second hdd primary. Plus, if someday you decide to install windows on it, if it's logical, there's a chance it won't work.

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts meeting, networking, learning, and sharing knowledge.