How to distinguish dynamic hard disk, volume, and partition?


Staff member
Apr 23, 2023

Do you know the difference between basic hard drives and dynamic hard drives?​

Are you confused about what is a primary, extended, or logical partition?​

Are you having trouble understanding what volume is and what the difference is between a volume and a partition?​

The simple distinction between dynamic hard disk and basic hard disk​

Basic Disk: A physical disk accessible by MS-DOS and all Windows-based operating systems. Each partition is an independent entity on the disk.

Basic disks can contain up to four primary partitions, or three primary partitions plus one extended partition with multiple logical drives
Dynamic Disk: Combines unallocated space from multiple disks into a single logical volume, which allows for more efficient use of all space and all drive letters on multiple disk systems.

On a dynamic disk, there is no concept of a partitioned disk, it is named after a "volume".
There is a big gap between volume and partition. The same partition can only exist on one physical disk, but the same volume can span up to 32 physical disks. This is a very practical function on the server. And volumes can also provide a variety of fault tolerance features.

In fact, a general computer is basically a hard disk and a partition is similar to a volume, which is an isolation unit of a hard disk.
Regarding the partitions involved, they are all mentioned in the basic hard disk.

As for volumes, in fact, most dynamic hard disks involve multiple physical hard disks. Commonly used in servers, such as spanned volumes for improving space utilization, striped volumes, and RAID-5 volumes for data backup.

Some other distinctions:​

The primary partition is actually similar to the system boot partition, commonly known as the C drive partition.
The extended partition is a partition on a hard disk other than the primary partition.The extended partition is an abstract concept consisting of many logical partitions.
The logical partition is the D disks and E disks that we often see.


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