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Partitioning a Disk

In Chapter 9, I showed you how the size of a hard disk can have a tremendous effect on storage efficiency, thanks to a phenomenon called cluster overhang. Generally speaking, the smaller the hard disk, the more efficiently it stores data (provided, that is, that most of your data exists in relatively small files).

Here, “hard disk size” really means partition size, a partition being just a subset of the total hard disk storage space. For example, a 1200MB hard disk could be broken up into four partitions, each one 300MB in size. In FAT16, this partitioning would reduce the cluster size from 32KB for the full disk to 8KB for each partition. (Remember, though, that Windows 98's new FAT32 file system reduces cluster overhang by supporting smaller cluster sizes on larger hard disks.)


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