Partition

(v) To divide memory or mass storage into isolated sections. In DOS systems, you can partition a disk, and each partition will behave like a separate disk drive. Partitioning is particularly useful if you run more than one operating system. For example, you might reserve one partition for Windows and another for UNIX.

In addition, partitioning on DOS and Windows machines can improve disk efficiency. This is because the FAT system used by these operating systems automatically assigns cluster size based on the disk size: the larger the disk, the larger the cluster. Unfortunately, large clusters can result in a wasted disk space, called slack space. There is an entire sector of the software industry devoted to building utilitiesthat let you partition your hard disk.

On Apple Macintosh computers, there are two types of partitioning: hard and soft. Hard partitioning is the same as DOS partitioning — the disk is physically divided into different sections. Soft partitioning, on the other hand, does not physically affect the disk at all, but it fools the Finder into believing that the disk is partitioned. The advantage of this is that you can partition the disk without affecting the dataon it. With hard partitioning, it is usually necessary to reformat the entire disk.

(n) A section of main memory or mass storage that has been reserved for a particular application.

Also see “Formatting a Hard Disk Drive” in the “Did You Know…?” section of Webopedia.

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

Top Articles

The Complete List of 1500+ Common Text Abbreviations & Acronyms

Text Abbreviations reviewed by Web Webster   From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 SMS, online chat, and text abbreviations to help you translate and understand...

How to Create a Website Shortcut on Your Desktop

Website Shortcut on Your Desktop reviewed by Web Webster   This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a website shortcut on your desktop using...

Windows Operating System History & Versions

The Windows operating system (Windows OS) refers to a family of operating systems developed by Microsoft Corporation. We look at the history of Windows...

First to Fifth Generations of Computers

Reviewed by Web Webster   Learn about each of the 5 generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the computing devices that...

Heuristic Definition and Meaning

Heuristic, pronounced hyoo-ri-stihk, is a Greek term for individually finding or discovering. In...

Hackerspace Definition & Meaning

What is a hackerspace? A hackerspace, also known as a hacklab, incubator, or hackspace,...

Random Access Memory (RAM)...

Random Access Memory (RAM) reviewed by Web Webster   Random Access Memory (RAM) is a...