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Hard Drive Parts

Here are the physical and logical parts of a hard drive.

A computer may have multiple hard drives. When additional hard drives are added to a machine, the assignment of logical drive letters follows particular rules.


File Allocation Tables are used by the OS to point to and find all the parts of all the files on your hard drive. Here are three Microsoft FATs in historical order:

Here is a recommended layout for utilizing logical drives:

This way if a failure occurs, it will usually occur on drives C: or D:, leaving data on drive E: intact. The FAT drive F: can be used by most operating systems.

For regular user, without multiple drives, RAID, etc. on big C: drive is just fine. Just make sure you back up.

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