Have you ever wondered what a computer hard drive partition is? And have you ever wondered how to unpartition a hard drive? Let’s learn about this issue through our article. From there, you will get the basics of the subject.
When using the computer, you will have a partition for the hard drive, USB, and SD card. You cannot use any of the storage devices before they have been partitioned, and it is certainly important to understand the process.
What is a “Partition” on a Hard Drive and Storage Devices?
Now, most of the external storage devices such as USBs, SD memory cards, and external hard drives are partitioned right out of the factory, but most computer hard drives are usually not pre-partitioned. When installing the operating system to format the internal hard drive of laptops and desktops, you need to partition these hard drives.
Before partitioning, the hard drive consisted only of unallocated free memory areas. After partitioning the hard drive, each partition will hold some or all of the space available on the hard drive. The partitioning process is very important because you will not be able to read or write data on an empty hard drive that does not have a partition.
Each partition can be thought of as a “box” of an information system file (file system) such as NTFS or FAT32. You can divide your hard drive into five or six different partitions, and you can also create only one partition on the hard drive. Whatever your choice, you must have at least one partition on your hard drive to be able to use it.
The format process creates a file system on the hard drive and external storage device. Windows hard drives now generally use the NTFS file information system, while memory cards and USBs use FAT32. Macbooks use the HFS+ file information system and Linux uses ext4. Once you have a partition on your storage device, you can read and write files.
Unpartitioning the Hard Drive
After a period of use, you may want to extend a hard drive partition or rearrange the hard drive partitions. What you must do first is to unpartition the hard drive.
When do you Need to Unpartition the Hard Drive?
In the following cases, you need to unpartition the hard drive:
- You do not want to partition the hard drive the same way anymore.
- You do not want all the data on that hard drive partition forever.
- You want to combine one partition with another, but they are not contiguous.
- You want to extend the hard drive partition.
If you have multiple partitions on your hard drive and you do not need them anymore, but you do not want to delete hard drive partitions one by one, you can delete all these partitions at once. This function is applicable in all operating systems Windows 7, 8, Windows Server (including Server 2012 R2), and Windows SBS (Small Business Server). Then, your driver will be completely empty and you can use it again by repartitioning it.
Before you perform a hard drive partition wipe, make backup copies of your important data so it cannot be lost. If there are other applications running on the partition that you perform, the AOMEI Partition Assistant will notify you to close those applications or to perform these operations in PreOS Mode. You will not be able to delete the Windows partition you are logging on to. The only way is to delete it at startup or during Windows installation.
Deleting all Hard Drive Partitions
Step 1: Select the drive you want to delete in the main window, right-click on it, and select “Delete all Partitions” to open the required dialog.
Step 2: Select the deletion method in the dialog box and there will be two options for you:
- Option 1: Just delete all partitions on the hard drive (deleted data can be recovered if you choose the first option in this situation).
- Option 2: Delete all partitions and wipe all data on the hard drive. If you choose this way, even data recovery software can not recover data on partitions. You should think carefully before performing a hard drive partition delete. Or you should make a backup of the data before deleting as mentioned above.
Step 3: Click “Apply” to perform the operation if you are satisfied with the results viewed by the listed image displayed on the main interface. Then, a few minutes later, all the partitions on the drive will be permanently deleted and the hard drive partition erasing is complete.
Please do not delete all partitions on the system drive, boot partition, or any partition containing virtual paging memory files. Because Windows needs this information to start correctly. Doing that makes your computer unbootable the next time you want to start it.
If you delete a primary partition, the free space you get is called unallocated disk space. If you delete a logical partition in a drive, the resulting expansion of free space is called free space. Then, you will need to delete the free space again to have it as partition space. You can now use the free space to create additional volumes.
How to Unpartition a Hard Drive: Conclusion
Unpartition a hard drive partition is a fairly simple thing to do. However, if you do not want to lose all the important data that you need in the process of deleting the hard drive partition, you need to be very careful in your operations.
Written by: Chau Truong