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Computing Terms

Partitions -

When you partition something in a computer, you divide it into isolated sections. For the most part, when you're talking about partitions, you're talking about hard drive partitions, so we'll take a closer look at those.

First off, when you partition a drive, each partition will act as an individual hard drive. Here's an example.

Let's say you have a 20 gig hard drive sitting in your computer. Now let's say that you want to set up a disk drive for files that you're going to copy to a CD. You could partition off 700 meg of the 20 gig hard drive and it would act as it's own drive (probably drive D).

With the above example, you would have a 19.3 gig drive and a 700 meg drive. You still only have the one physical hard drive, but the computer treats it like two hard drives.

One thing with partitioning though. It erases EVERYTHING on your hard drive. So don't do it unless you have a real need to and are prepared to re-install all your software.

Also, there are third party software packages that are able to do partitions without erasing your hard drive. I think the one is called Partition Magic. I've not used it, so I can't give any kind of personal recommendation.

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