Partitioning Hard Drives
Regardless of the file system in use, all hard drives must be partitioned before they can be used. Partitioning is the action of dividing the available space on a hard drive into logical chunks, each of which can be formatted with a different file system. A common example of partitioning is in dual-booting situations. Linux and Windows cannot exist together within the same partition, as they expect different file systems to be used (for example, the Linux installation may use the Linux specific file system EXT3 whilst the Windows installation may use FAT32). They can exist on the same physical hard drive though, by partitioning the drive into two partitions. Whilst a partition is not a physical construct, it is a logical separation of data on the disk.
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