Change a Primary Partition to Logical

About Disk Partitions Types

In order to store data more reasonably and more effectively, a hard disk is divided into several partitions. There are three types of partitions: primary partition, extend partition and logical partition. Theoretically speaking, a MBR disk can be divided into four primary partitions at most or three primary partitions plus one extended partition which can be further divided into many logical partitions.
First of all, let’s take a look at these three partition types.

Primary partition:
Primary partition can be used to start an operating system. If you want to install operating system on a hard disk, you must create a primary partition.
Extended partition:
If you want to create more than three partitions, the fourth partition should be created as an extended partition. Extended partition cannot be put into use directly before it is divided into one or more logical partitions.
Logical partition:
Logical partitions function like primary partitions except that they cannot be used to start an operating system.

How to Partition a New Disk

Use Disk Management:
“New Simple Volume” > “Shrink Volume” > “New Simple Volume” > “Shrink Volume”…
Note: The first three partitions created by Disk Management are primary partitions, while the fourth one is logical partition by default.
Use cmd:
Win + R > diskpart > list disk > select disk X (X stands for the disk number)> clean > create partition primary size=X (MB) > active > format quick > create partition extended > list partition > select partition X (the extended partition) > create partition logical size=X(MB) > format quick > exit

Why Set Partition as Logical

Due to the restrictions of MBR hard disk, either you can create up to four primary partitions or up to three primary partitions plus an extended partition. So if you want to create more than four partitions, you need to change a primary partition to logical partition firstly.

How to Convert Primary Partition to Logical Partition

Although in some cases you really need to make the conversion, Windows built-in Disk Management prevents you from converting a primary partition to logical partition or vice versa. When you right click a primary partition, there is no corresponding option for the conversion. Then how can you break the limit without damaging data?

In this circumstance, if you don’t want to delete all partitions on the disk and execute a long line of commands listed in the previous content, a partition magic should be the best choice.
MiniTool Partition Wizard Free is such a magical tool that deals with all kinds of disk/partition issues. After years of innovation and development, this powerful partition wizard has gained great reputation all around the world. Next, let’s see how it works on this issue.
Run MiniTool Partition Wizard, and then you can see all your disks listed on the middle panel. Right click the target partition and choose “Set Partition as Logical“. But it is not finished, because you should click “Apply” to execute this operation.

See, it is much easier to change a primary partition to logical by using MiniTool Partition Wizard than using “diskpart” command. Also, you can convert a logical partition to primary partition as long as the MBR disk allows. Right click the target partition and choose “Set Partition as Primary“. Finally, press “Apply“.


Copyright © 2012 - 2014, All Rights Reserved.
Partition Magic® is a registered trademark of Symantec Corporation.