Recently I've bought a Toshiba L850 laptop (i7, 8gb, 1tb). It has only one partition (c:).

So what is the difference between single partition and multiple partition?

  • 2
    Hello deepu, welcome to SU. Please read the faq to discover how to write a "good" question for this site. As the difference between a single partition and multiple partitions is simply the number of them, this question will probably be closed as "not a real question". – Paul Apr 17 '13 at 9:53
  • 1
    @Paul I am asking about the performance issue! – deepu Apr 17 '13 at 10:02
  • @Paul Yes, gone are the days when all were interested in the performance, reliability and convenience. Now consider issues such nonsense. So quite as can be.) – STTR Apr 17 '13 at 10:08

On a standard laptop with an average sized drive the multiple partition scheme only makes things more complicated. And generally makes performance worse.

On very large drives it may be impossible to allocate the entire drive to a single partition (this was a big problem with the old FAT file systems), so you must use multiple partitions. Also, in some very specific cases using multiple partitions (placing "bulk" data on the second partition) can improve performance (but if you do it wrong performance gets worse).

Multiple partitions may be used to isolate critical data into a separate partition, on the theory that if the main partitions file system gets "hosed" the data can be recovered, but this doesn't protect you from physical drive failure, and it's a difficult scheme to manage. (Plus quite a few applications cannot handle the concept of data in a different partition from the program.)

(The main reason why you still might want to have multiple partitions is to be able to install Linux or some other OS, in addition to Windows.)

  • 1
    Based upon my experience, then the partition data recovery disk on a few primary partition, I can say otherwise. This is due to the fact that the number of files with more overhead. You can make an analogy - a disk with a single partition is like a big mirror to break it easier than 4 four times smaller. – STTR Apr 17 '13 at 11:37

I suggest you to read this introductory guide to Hard Drives and Partitions. It's main aim is to provide help for installing Fedora Linux, but the basic concepts about Hard Drives and Partitions are universal, not OS-related, concepts.

The Disk Partitioning article on Wikipedia also has some explanations and pros/cons about partitioning.


Several primary partitions increases the survivability of your information. Especially if you use a primary partition. At least you can separate the operating system from its data. To do the reconstruction using their own logical drives. Also, place the reserved MFT to NTFS under reduced at partitioning.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.