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Glossary

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primary partition

A partition referenced in the master boot record (MBR) partition table. Only four primary partitions can exist on a hard disk. One of these may be an extended partition. Only one primary partition on a drive may be active at a time. When one primary partition is active, the other primary partitions are typically not accessible. Data and programs are often placed on a logical partition inside an extended partition. This enables the data to be accessed by all primary partitions.

A volume that is created by using unallocated space on a basic disk. Microsoft Windows NT and other operating systems can start from a primary partition. Up to four primary partitions can be created on a basic disk, or three primary partitions and an extended partition. Primary partitions can be created only on basic disks and cannot be subpartitioned. However, the extended partition can be further divided into as many as 32 logical drives.

A volume you create by using unallocated space on a basic disk. Microsoft Windows NT and other operating systems can start from a primary partition. You can create up to four primary partitions on a basic disk, or three primary partitions and an extended partition. Primary partitions can be created only on basic disks and cannot be subpartitioned. However, the extended partition can be further divided into as many as 32 logical drives.

See also Partition, Extended Partition.