The act of dividing a hard disk drive (HDD) into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that a different file system can be used on each partition.
advantages of multiple partitions
Can be used to separate operating systems, separate operating systems from data, and improve performance under specific usage scenarios.
disadvantages of multiple partitions
Can reduce space available, increase fragmentation, and reduce performance under more general usage scenarios.
Master Boot Record (MBR)
A partitioning scheme that supports up to four partitions. All four can be primary partitions, or one can be an extended partition.
A partition type that supports a single file system, and may be used to boot the computer when the given partition is selected as the active partition.
A partition type that is not bootable, but may be subdivided into multiple logical partitions.
The maximum size of an MBR partition.
GUID Partition Table (GPT)
The partitioning scheme that supports partitions larger than 2 TB and supported by UEFI (rather than the legacy BIOS) firmware.
The file system that should be used when maximum portability is desired.
Used to control how data is stored and retrieved.
file system management functions
Space allocation, directories, file names, properties, and access permissions.
A legacy file system originally used with personal computer DOS, and the default file system for removable media (other than optical disks).
The default file system for Windows NT, Windows 2000, and later Windows operating systems.
Improved support for metadata, advanced data structures to improve performance, better reliability and disk space utilization, security access control lists (ACL), and file system journaling.
HFS Plus (or HFS+)
The primary file system for OS X.
The default file system for most Linux distributions, and also the file system used by Android.
Occurs when a file system cannot or will not allocate enough contiguous space to store a complete file as a unit, but instead puts parts of it in gaps between existing files.
Should not be performed on solid state drives (SSDs).
Boot Configuration Data
A firmware-independent database for boot-time configuration data used by Microsoft Windows Vista and later, which replaces the boot.ini that was used by NTLDR.
A computer program that loads an operating system or some other system software for the computer after completion of the power-on self-tests.
A region of a hard disk, floppy disk, optical disc, or other data storage device that contains machine code to be loaded into random-access memory (RAM) by a computer system's built-in firmware.
A division of data in a disk drive, based on concentric, hollow, slices through the platters, collecting the respective circular tracks aligned through the stack of platters.
Allocation units for data on various file systems, consisting of one or more sectors.
A logical disk volume manager used in Microsoft Windows.
A 32-bit value that is intended to uniquely identify a hard disk.
A logical disk volume manager used in OS X.
A logical disk volume manager used in Linux.
GUID (Globally Unique Identifier)
A unique reference number used as an identifier in computer software, typically implemented as a 128-bit value.
A device that reads and writes data in a hard drive by manipulating the magnetic medium that composes the surface of an associated disk platter.:
Logical Block Addressing (LBA)
A common scheme used for specifying the location of blocks of data stored on computer storage devices, generally secondary storage systems such as hard disks, and which replaced physical cylinder-head-sector addressing schemes.
A logical storage unit on a hard disk drive, originally created as a collection of cylinders.
A physical disk inside a disk drive.
The smallest unit of data that can be read or written by a disk drive, traditionally 512 bytes, but 4,096 bytes is becoming more common.
A thin concentric circular strip of sectors.
A single accessible storage area with a single file system, created as a collection of one or more partitions.