Re: Jargon: Splitting hard disks?

Subject: Re: Jargon: Splitting hard disks?
From: Brad Jensen <brad -at- elstore -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 22:31:29 -0600

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ed Gregory" <ed -at- gregorynet -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, March 21, 2002 5:19 PM
Subject: RE: Jargon: Splitting hard disks?

> If the audience is a group that does hardware support, then they know what
> partitioning is. This is very basic stuff for hardware people.
> Semantics are important here. You are not splitting a hard drive. You most
> certainly aren't creating a hard drive.
> You are dividing the storage space available on the hard drive into two or
> more partitions. (Like hanging a curtain across a room.) The end user and
> the operating system might think there are two physical drives, which by
> default are labelled c: and d:, but in reality there is one drive with two
> partitions.

The short version.

We tend to think of a pc hard drive as just being there as raw storage, and
it is the C drive.

Actually, a brand new hard drive has to be intitialized first, then
formatted, before it can be
used by the operating system. Intitializing the disk creates one or more
boot sectors, and
each boot sector can have one or more partitions. In the most common
situation with modern versions of
Windows (98,Me, etc.) there is one boot secotr and it has one partition, and
that shows up as your C drive.

You can use partitioning software to divide up the hard drive into different
partitions. Think of it as taking a file drawer
in a filing cabinet, and reserving the front half for one thing, such as
A/P., and the back for another, such as A/R.

Why would you want to do this?

Suppose the user wants to run Linux part of the time, and Windows at another
time. The user can create two boot sectors with one partition each. One
partition is for Linux, and all of the files that go with Linux. The other
partition is for Windows,
and all the files that go with Windows.

When the user powers on ro resets the PC, they can choose which operating
system to start using.

Another reason you might do this, is to logically separate your system
programs and files, from your user data files. You might create a smaller C
partition for the system files, and a larger D partition for the data files.

I have heard of computer vendors partitiioning drives, to reserve the inner
part of the drive and not use it, and then use the outer part only because
the head movement is faster or settles faster, and gives better performance.
(It's something like that, I read it in a magazine so it suffers from
jouirnalese accuracy constraints.) Of course you give up part of the drive
capacity to do this. This is not a very likely use in your audience, I

Now, my explanation is from technology some years back, and I amm not up to
date on the latest versions of operating system internals, so I hope that
those of you who are will cut my explanation to ribbons and improve it in
the process.

Brad Jensen

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RE: Jargon: Splitting hard disks?: From: Ed Gregory

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