Knowledge Base

Glossary

Dynamic Disk
A dynamic storage made out of whole or part of physical disk to increase performance and reliability
Extended Partition
A hard disk may contain only one extended partition; the extended partition can be subdivided into multiple logical partitions. In DOS/Windows systems, each logical partition may then be assigned an additional drive letter.
File Signature
Set of unique file properties, that allows
Virtual partition
A virtual copy of a volume (logical drive) using a defined geometry that emulates a real logical drive or partition
Virtual disk
A virtual copy of a physical disk using a defined disk geometry that uses real physical disk as a source but access it
Virtual RAID array
Software layer that sits above assembled physical disks that were part of a hardware RAID system.
boot record
See MBR.
boot partition
Name commonly used for the partition that contains the start-up files.
boot sector
Part of a hard disc, floppy disc, or similar data storage device that contains code for bootstrapping programs (usually, but not necessarily, operating systems) stored in other parts of the disc.
data storage device
See physical device.
disk geometry
Set of disk attributes that specify format, partitioning etc. of a disk
drive letter
Abstraction at the user level to distinguish one disk or partition from another. For example, the path C:\WINDOWS\represents a directory WINDOWS on the partition represented by C:.
FAT (File Allocation Table)
File that contains the records of every other file and directory in a FAT-formatted hard disk drive. The operating system needs this information to access the files. There are FAT32, FAT16 and FAT versions.
file system
Method in which files are named and where they are placed logically for storage and retrieval in a computer. Under scope of this document, one of the Microsoft Windows file systems, such as FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS.
logical drive
Partitioned space on a physical device.
partition (disk)
Hard disk's storage space divided into independent parts.
physical device
Device for storing data, that can be connected internally (Hard Drive) or externally (USB Flash card, USB Hard Drive).
physical device geometry
see Disk Geometry
MBR (Master Boot Record)
All disks start with a boot sector. When you start the computer, the code in the MBR executes before the operating system is started. The location of the MBR is always track (cylinder) 0, side (head) 0, and sector 1. The MBR contains a file system identifier.
MFT or MFT records (Master File Table)
File that contains the records of every other file and directory in an NTFS-formatted hard disk drive. The operating system needs this information to access the files.
system partition
Name commonly used for the partition that contains the operating system files.
Virtual RAID Virtual Disk Array
Software layer that sits above assembled physical disks that were part of a hardware RAID system.
volume boot record
First sector of a data storage device that has not been partitioned, or the first sector of an individual partition on a data storage device that has been partitioned. It contains code to load and invoke the operating system (or other standalone program) installed on that device or within that partition.
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