Partitioning a hard drive or other storage device involves using software to split it up into two or more virtual drives. These virtual drives or volumes act as separate drives with their own drive letters, even though they are physically only one device. Partitioning hard disks is a great way to organize your data, particularly if you have one very large drive. Computer manufacturers often partition drives by default, using a hidden system recovery partition for storing the factory-supplied operating system and software.
Data recovery is the process of salvaging and handling the data through the data from damaged, failed, corrupted, or inaccessible secondary storage media when it cannot be accessed normally. Often the data are being salvaged from storage media such as internal or external hard disk drives, solid-state drives (SSD), USB flash drive, storage tapes, CDs, DVDs, RAID, and other electronics. Recovery may be required due to physical damage to the storage device or logical damage to the file system that prevents it from being mounted by the host operating system (OS).
The most common data recovery scenario involves an operating system failure, accidental damage etc. (typically on a single-disk, single-partition, single-OS system), in which case the goal is simply to copy all wanted files to another disk. This can be easily accomplished using a Live CD, many of which provide a means to mount the system drive and backup disks or removable media, and to move the files from the system disk to the backup media with a file manager or optical disc authoring software. Such cases can often be mitigated by disk partitioning and consistently storing valuable data files (or copies of them) on a different partition from the replaceable OS system files.