Partition vs. Volume

Difference Between Partition and Volume

A hard disk drive in a computer is divided into a few partitions to store data. Partition of a hard disk drive makes it look like many physical drives on the screen. Partition editor is software which is used to create, delete and modify partitions of the hard disc drives. Hard disc drive may be partitioned in major three partitions. These are called primary partitions. They are also called logical partitions. On the other hand volume refers to a storage area which can be accessed by single file system.


Partitions are several storage units made on a hard disc drive by dividing it into various parts. The main partitions of a drive are called logical or extended partitions. There may be four primary partitions on a hard disc drive in which three are primary partitions and a single extended partition. A primary partition contains one file system. At a given time only one partition is active while other partitions are hidden. A bootable drive is a primary partition. Partition table in a computer include the information about the partitions. This table is located in master boot record. The extended partition can be subdivided into different logical partitions. Logical partitions are contained in the extended partition. Extended Boot Record is used to describe logical partitions. Partitions make it possible to keep the files and data separate from the operating system. Partitions of a hard disc drive make it possible to install different operating systems in different partition drives.


A volume is a storage area which can be accessed by using a single file system. DVDs’ CDs and partitions of a hard drive are volumes. The data in these volumes can be accessed when the operating system recognizes them. Files within a volume can be moved by modifying the file system. There is no need to do physical alteration. But when the data is moved from one volume to the another volume, actual data has to be moved.

The difference between Primary Partition and Extended Partition

Storage units on a hard disc drive are called partitions while the storage area on a partition is called volume. DVDs, Floppy, DVD, Pen Drives are the volume recognizable by computer. A partition which is formatted by using a file system and not recognized by operating system is not a volume. Thus difference between a partition and a volume is clear.


Category: VS  |  Tags: