What are a primary partition and a logical partition?
When we buy a new computer or want to reinstall Windows and format the whole disk at the same time, it is concerned to convert between primary partitions and logical partitions. Then, what are a primary partition and a logical partition?
To make it simple, a primary partition is a disk partition where both Windows OS and other data can be stored. If you want to install operating system on a disk, there must be at least one primary partition on the disk. For MBR (Master Boot Record) disk, four primary partitions can be created at most; as for GPT (Globally Unique Identifier Partition Table) disk, up to 128 primary partitions can be created. However, only one primary partition can be set active for the system to boot.
After creating primary partitions, the rest can be used as an extended partition. In general, you can use all the rest space on the disk to create an extended partition, but surely you can choose not to use all. However, an extended partition cannot be used to store data until a logical partition is created in it. An extended partition can be divided into multiple logical partitions. It’s inclusion relation between an extended partition and a logical partition, that is, all logical partitions are parts of the extended partition.
To sum up, a primary partition can be used to install Windows while a logical partition is mainly used to store data. What’s more, a primary partition can be set active for the system to boot while a logical partition cannot.
Why do we need to convert primary partition to logical in Windows 7?
As it is mentioned above, MBR disks allow the maximum number of four primary partitions. Apparently, four partitions are not enough for some users. At this time, it is required to change a primary partition to extended and create logical partitions in it as many as you need. A logical partition acts as a storage medium. It has nothing to do with operating system and other logical partitions or primary partitions. It is “independent”. Changing primary partition to logical in Windows 7 not only makes it convenient to store files by category but also provides a destination path for file backup.
How to convert primary partition to logical in Windows 7 with ease?
To convert primary partition to logical in Windows 7, here are two effortless methods I’d like to recommend:
Method 1: convert primary partition to logical using Diskpart
1. Click Start and type “diskpart”. Right click on diskpart and select “Run as administrator”.
2. Type list disk and press Enter.
3. Type select disk # (ex: disk 1) to select the disk where you want to change primary partition to logical and press Enter.
4. Type create partition extended to create an extended partition using all the unallocated space on the disk and press Enter.
5. Type create partition logical to create a logical partition using all the space on the extended partition and press Enter.
6. Type format quick to format the partition quickly and press Enter.
7. Type assign letter=# (ex: letter=F) to assign a drive letter and press Enter.
8. Type exit to exit Diskpart and press Enter.
If there is no unallocated space on the disk, you should create unallocated space before creating an extended partition either by shrinking or deleting the existing partitions. Before you do any changes to the existing partitions, please make a partition backup.
If you don’t want to use up the space to create an extended partition or a logical partition, you may use the command line create partition extended size=# or create partition logical size=# in Step 4 and Step 5 to specify the size in MB.
Method 2: convert primary partition to logical via a specialized tool
As you see, you cannot convert primary partition to logical directly via Diskpart. Instead, you create an extended partition with the unallocated space first and then create logic partitions in the extended partition. The process is complex and may cause data loss.
Fortunately, with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, the process becomes much easier and the conversion won’t damage your data! I’ll show you how to convert primary partition to logical in Windows 7 with AOMEI Partition Assistant in detail:
Step 1. Launch AOMEI Partition Assistant. Click on the primary partition you want to convert. Drag the scrollbar on the left pane downwards to select “Convert to Logical”.
Step 2. Click “OK” to confirm the conversion in the pop-up window.
Step 3. Click “Apply” to view pending operations and then “Proceed” to commit the operations.
You’re not allowed to convert a boot partition to logical. Otherwise, your computer is likely to stop working.
Since a logical partition is 63 sectors bigger than a primary partition, the location and the size of the primary partition will be slightly changed after converting. However, the change has no bad influence.
If you want to create more than four primary partitions instead of changing primary partition to logical, you may convert MBR to GPT to make it achievable.
When you consider converting primary partition to logical in Windows 7, try the two methods described above. They can also help you to convert primary partition to logical in Windows 10. In addition to changing primary partition to logical, AOMEI Partition Assistant owns more powerful features including fixing MBR2GPT validation failed error, formatting WD Elements for Mac and so on.