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What is a hard disk partition?

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What is a hard disk partition?

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Creating separate sections on a disk is called partitioning. Partitions are analogous to separate physical disk drives and do not depend on each other.To visualize a partition, think of a large cabinet. A cabinet with no drawers would have just one partition everything would be stuffed into the same area. Now think about a cabinet with 3 drawers. You now can separate like items into different drawers. Now consider a disk drive. By creating separate “drawers” or partitions on the disk drive, you now can keep your operating system separate from your applications and data. In fact, each partition can contain its own operating system.

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A hard disk partition is a defined storage space on a hard drive. Most operating systems allow users to divide a hard disk into multiple partitions, making one physical hard disk into several smaller logical hard disks. Reasons to Use Hard Disk Partitions A user may decide to split a hard disk into multiple partitions in order to organize his data more effectively. On Microsoft Windows machines, it is common to store the OS and applications on one hard disk partition and user data on another hard disk partition. When a problem occurs with Microsoft Windows, the OS partition can be completely formatted and reinstalled without affecting the data partition. A user may decide to split a hard disk into multiple partitions because smaller partitions often have smaller cluster sizes. A cluster size is the smallest chunk of data which a partition can store. A large partition might have a cluster size of 16KB. This mens that a file with one character in it will occupy 16KB of space on the disk.

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