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

Huge List Of Texting and Online Chat Abbreviations

From A3 to ZZZ we list 1,559 text message and online chat abbreviations to help you translate and understand today's texting lingo. Includes Top...

How To Create A Desktop Shortcut To A Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Creating a desktop...

The History Of Windows Operating Systems

Microsoft Windows is a family of operating systems. We look at the history of Microsoft's Windows operating systems (Windows OS) from 1985 to present...

Hotmail [Outlook] Email Accounts

  By Vangie Beal Hotmail is one of the first public webmail services that can be accessed from any web browser. Prior to Hotmail and its...

Abacus Definition & Meaning

An abacus, also known as a counting frame, is a mechanical device used...

Legacy Code Definition &...

Legacy code refers to source code that has been inherited from a previous...

Unregulated Power Supply Definition...

An unregulated power supply is a system that transforms input voltage into direct...