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hard drive basic disks and dynamic hdd disks & volumes

Updated on June 27, 2012

Hard disks are the main devices for the storage of data in computers. PC Hard disks are fixed storage devices and are connected to IDE or SCSI, or SATA interfaces. USB Hard disks, CD-ROMS, and DVDs are called removable storage devices. Windows can support two types of hard disks for data storage. They are Basic disks and Dynamic disks.

Basic disks.

Basic disks are traditional types of disks that are used in PC systems. Windows treats all the disks as Basic, unless they are converted to become Dynamic. This is done with by using the Disk Management utility. Hard Disks are divided into one or more partitions, with each of them being a logical storage unit accessible by a drive letter. Windows XP Professional can store partition information in a partition table that is not actually a part of the operating system and the benefit of this is that it can be accessed by any operating system. Partitions in Basic disks can also be Primary or Extended.

Primary Partition

Each Basic hard disk can have up to four primary partitions, or three primary and one extended partition. One of the primary partitions is then marked as the Active Partition and is used to boot up the PC operating system. There can be only one active partition on a computer for this reason. The primary partition is formatted using a file system. For windows you would use FAT, FAT32, or NTFS, but there are many more types used by other operating systems.

Extended Partition

Extended Partition is created in an unallocated free space on the hard disk. You can then create logical drives on this partition and then assign them each a drive letter. Extended Partitions cannot be formatted with any filesystem, you have to follow the one that you used for the primary, and you cannot assign them drive letters

Logical Partition

A Logical Partition is created inside an Extended Partition. The Logical drives cannot be marked as being active and cannot be used to boot the operating system. These partitions are used to help organize files and folders on the hard disk, and separate any important data.

Dynamic disks.

Dynamic disks are disks that have been specifically converted from Basic disks using the Disk Management utility. Dynamic disks treat the entire disk as a single partition and you can create volumes on the disk to organize your files and folders. Dynamic volumes can be extended on single or multiple Dynamic disks and offer fault tolerance features.

Simple volume

A Simple volume contains space from all or part of a single Dynamic disk. They are similar to a partition on a Basic disk.

Spanned volume

A Spanned volume contains space from a single or multiple Dynamic disks. You can add unallocated space from 2 to 32 Dynamic disks to create a large Spanned volume. Each disk can be of any size.

Striped volume

A Striped volume combines space from 2 to 32 Dynamic disks to make a single Dynamic volume. Data is stored on Spanned volumes in stripes (chunks of 64 KB) on each diskin turns so that each diskhas an equal amount of diskspace. Striped volumes cannot be extended and are not faulttolerant. If one of the disks in a Striped volume fails, all data is lost.


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    • profile image

      allUneed2know 6 years ago

      ok, thanx a lot :P

    • kaizan28 profile image

      kaizan28 6 years ago from Catsville

      No, but eventually when you balance enough different sizes of plates on top of each other in a bizarre order, then one day a few of them might break while you take one or two out, so defrag your pc regularly, and you'll never have a problem.

    • profile image

      allUneed2know 6 years ago

      yes, it does :P so it doesn't damage anything, right?

    • kaizan28 profile image

      kaizan28 6 years ago from Catsville

      Sure, an easy way to think of it is that when new files are added to your hard drive, they don't normally get stored very effectively. You would think it would be like 1,2,3,4 and so on but its more like 2,4,1,3. When you then defrag your hard drive, all the files are then better organised to be like the 1,2,3,4. That make sense?

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      allUneed2know 6 years ago

      nice hub ;) can you tell me what fragmentation or something like that is? cause I've seen it and i don't really know what it is.