Why Partition a USB Flash Drive?

By · Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

Why Partition a USB Flash DriveBeing in the tech world, we continually hear the same questions from customers and other tech users. Most of these questions have a rather basic answer, but when we are asked, “Why would I need to partition my USB drive?” Well this question is not as easy to answer as most, but it is a very valid question that we hear quite often and although the answer is rather technical, partitioning could very well lead to making your backup and transporting much easier to manage.

So first we must understand what a partition is. A partition is a certain amount of allocated space you put aside on a traditional hard drives, Solid State Drive, USB flash drive, and etc. This portion can be set to any size you wish and by default is set to the entire drive. You can create as many partitions as you like, but keep in mind that each partition takes a certain amount away from the default partition.

By default, a storage device has one partition. This is what we are all familiar with and it allows us to store whatever information/files we want up to the capacity of the device. By partitioning, you are effectively cutting a section out of the storage capacity and putting it aside for a particular use. For example, if you have a 4GB retail flash drive and want to partition it into 2 equal sections. You would partition it into (2)2GB partitions. You still keep the maximum amount of space the device has, it is just now split into sections.

What is the point of splitting up a drive? Well there are multiple reasons why someone would want to split up their storage. One of the simplest reasons is that someone would want two or more partitions are to allocate space to different platforms. Despite Windows 7 release, for example, not all programs have become compatible with the new version. This poses a problem because some crucial programs won’t be able to run on the new platform; however, by partitioning the storage device, you can actually run both!

It is possible to create bootable partitions of both Windows XP and Windows 7 on the same storage device. This can be done by opening up your disc management section under computer management in control panel. You then create a new partition of which ever size you want making sure there is enough space for what you want to do with the new partition. It is then as simply installing both version of windows on two different partitions and loading programs to the appropriate partition.

Of course the reasons to partition don’t stop there. Many users have found it beneficial to partition their storage device and use each section for its own use. For example, some users are installing their operating system on one partition, their program files on another, and their backups on a third partition. What this effectively does is in the event one partition became corrupted; you could just format that partition and reinstall the information on that partition without having to do all 3 partitions.

In the case of USB flash drives, especially in the promotional industry, companies partition sections of a USB drive to become inerasable. This allows them to keep their information on the USB without fear of having a client delete their information. This of course does not subtract or take anything away from the drive itself, it just ensures that both parties get what they want out of the promotional USB drive.

Have any of you partitioned a hard drive, SSD, or USB drive? How useful and successful was it?

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