If I just want my external hard drive for storing data, is it wrong to be partitioned as primary, NOT as extended? Why?


I think a primary hard drive typically contains the OS or system files. an extended drive is for data. If this doesn't help let me know what you're exactly using it for (other than "storing data" which is what all hard drive do I suppose) and what system you're using if you need help setting it up

  • I'll be grateful, "storing Data" I mean no OS will be there to boot with...I assume to format it as ext3/primary (my OS is Linux) will it be wrong or cause any problems??
    – wisdom
    Jan 3 '12 at 23:14
  • will it cause problems... I don't believe so, assuming that grub or whatever your bootloader is will find the true OS. as is, it is convention and highly recommended to format as extended. a nice step by step guide can be found here: ehow.com/how_1000631_hard-drive-linux.html Jan 3 '12 at 23:20

There's nothing wrong at all with having the disk partitioned as a single primary partition, or with up to 4 primary partitions. Extended partitions are usually only used to overcome the limitation on having only 4 primary partitions dictated by the structure of the partition table in the Master Boot Record. Extended partitions are containers, and always contain one or more Logical partitions. Simplicity is always better, in my view. For some detailed info on extended partitions, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disk_partitioning#Extended_partition.


What partitioning software are you using? Assuming, that the aforementioned are partition types - then yes, it's fine to just create primary partitions on that drive. This will limit you to 4 partitions on a DOS partition table in contrast to an ability to use more with an extension.

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