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Meaning of hard disk drive software partitions ?

What is the technical reason behind this? Also why can a hard disk can have only 1 extended partition. Is there any limit to the number of logical partitions that can exist on an extended partition?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Jul 18 '11 at 6:12

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marked as duplicate by Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, Kez, Sathya Jul 18 '11 at 8:35

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this question not relates here i think this should be moved to other SO sister sites ? –  Devjosh Jul 18 '11 at 5:41
    
See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_Boot_Record#Disk_partitioning . Also this is off-topic :-) –  Nemo Jul 18 '11 at 5:42
    
You are talking about a particular partitioning scheme used by PCs with an age old BIOS. That does not apply to all computers. Anyway, this question may be better suited for Superuser. –  deceze Jul 18 '11 at 5:43

2 Answers 2

Keep in mind this is the same MBR that was used in FLOPPY disks. I'll let you look up how big they are.

From there you can figure out why there are only four. . .

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The boot record of a PC diskette does not have a partition table. –  sawdust Jul 18 '11 at 8:50

Actually, the default is 4. No one ever thought that anyone would need more than that.

But there is really a nearly unlimited number that can be made with a little tweaking. BootItNG, for example, can make more than 4 (not sure on upper limit).

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Technically, the Extended partition can its own table. Thus the number of partition you can have inside the extended partition is theoretically limitless. This pretty much how GUID works. –  surfasb Jul 18 '11 at 7:58
    
I think we are talking about primary partitions and not extended ones. –  Abraxas Jul 23 '11 at 11:29