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A)Hard Disk Partitions

Hard disks are usually so large that they can contain more

than one type of operating system. For example, you can have DOS

3.3 manage one part of a disk and UNIX manage another. Each of

these sections is called a partition. You can have from one to

four partitions on a disk.

Partitions are used to make the hard disk, especially a very

large one, a more economical investment. They allow you to

effectively have up to four completely different computer systems

resident in one set of hardware. However, since they do not share

a common software environment, they cannot share data directly.

Two types of partitions can be set up for DOS: a primary DOS

partition and an extended DOS partition. The primary DOS

partition is the partition that contains DOS and is the first

partition on the disk. This is the only partition that must be on

the disk if your disk is no larger than 32 megabytes. The

extended DOS partition is a separate partition that cannot be

used for booting, but can be divided into separate logical

drives.

If you have more than 32 megabytes available on one hard

disk, you will need to create an extended DOS partition, which is

assigned the next logical drive letter. For example, if you had a

60-megabyte hard disk drive, and wanted access to all of it, you

would create a 32-megabyte primary partition and a 28-megabyte

extended partition. The primary partition could be accessed as

drive C, while the extended partition would be called drive D.

You could also subdivide the extended partition into more logical

drives (up to the letter Z).

You must create partitions before using a hard disk drive.

You will probably take the easiest route by simply making the

entire disk into one primary partition. The FDISK program

presented here, however, is necessary in several more advanced

situations. For example, you may plan on using multiple operating

systems from the same disk. FDISK will let you set up unique

partitions for each system. (Each of these would be a primary

partition, but only one could be designated the active partition,

the one that will gain control at boot up.) Then again, you may

be using one of the large hard disks (40 to 70 megabytes) that

are increasingly common. Since DOS can only access a logical

drive of 32 megabyte or less, you'll need to partition a larger

physical drive into multiple logical drives. Only in this way can

you store and retrieve information on the larger hard disk.

Note: If your disk is already being used and you wish to

make a new partition, you will have to first back up all of your

data and then run FDISK from a system diskette. Finally, you'll

need to reformat your disk before restoring your files to it.

------------------------------------------------------------------

[For related topics, press R]

SEE ALSO

Configuration of DOS Partitions

Active Partitions, Changing of

Displaying of Partition Information

Deletion of DOS Disk Partitions

A)Configuration of DOS Partitions

In this section, you will see exactly how to use the FDISK

command. This procedure is very important, and it can have

serious consequences if done incorrectly. However, it can also

make your system more efficient, when done properly. FDISK is

only usable on hard disk systems.

Invoking the FDISK command is as simple as typing

FDISK

and pressing Return. emember to have your path set properly to

include the directory containing the FDISK command file.) After

this command creates the appropriate partition(s), you must then

logically format the disk.

Warning: All data on your disk will be destroyed when you

create partitions with FDISK.

When you first execute FDISK, the screen will clear and the

FDISK Options screen will appear. This contains the menu used to

get around in FDISK, as shown in the screen below.

----------------------------------------------------------------

FDISK Options

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1. Create DOS partition

2. Change Active Partition

3. Delete DOS partition

4. Display Partition Information

Enter choice: [1]

Press ESC to return to DOS

----------------------------------------------------------------

As you can see, there are four choices. If you have a system

with more than one hard disk drive, the number in the Current

Fixed Disk Drive: 1 line would be changed to the number of drives

in your system. Also, a fifth option, Select Next Fixed Disk

Drive, would be displayed on the screen. You can work on only one

hard disk drive at a time, but you can switch from the drive you

are working on to another drive. For now, let's assume you have

one hard disk drive and that the screen below is what you see.

Creating a Partition

The first option on the FDISK Options menu is to create a

DOS partition. Since you are using DOS, and not another operating

system such as UNIX, you can only create DOS partitions. Should

you wish to put another operating system onto the disk, that

system would have its own version of FDISK and could then create

its own partitions next to DOS'.

Tip: If you plan to use your hard disk to support another

operating system, do not partition the whole disk. Leave some

room so that another system can be loaded onto the disk.

Choosing the first option to create a DOS partition results

in the screen below.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

1. Create Primary DOS partition

2. Create Extended DOS partition

Enter Choice: [1]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

If you select option 2 at this point, intending to create an

extended DOS partition before creating a primary partition, DOS

will display a message indicating that you cannot do so, and will

suggest that you press Esc to return to the main FDISK Options

menu. Assuming you are starting from scratch, you would select

choice 1 to create the primary DOS partition. You will then see

the screen shown below.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create Primary DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Do you wish to use the maximum size

for a DOS partition and make the DOS

partition active (Y/N).........? [n]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

If you want to use the whole disk for DOS, then you answer Y

on this screen. Doing so makes DOS use the whole disk. The

computer will allocate the entire disk, and then come back with

the message

System will now restart

Insert DOS diskette in drive A:

Press any key when ready . . .

Since you just created the partition, there is still nothing on

the hard disk. The system must be rebooted from the disk drive.

You can now format the entire hard disk just as you would a

floppy diskette.

If you answer N, you have the opportunity to create a

smaller partition, as shown in the screen below. As you can see,

there are 305 cylinders available on the total disk. A hard disk

consists of several platters, similar to a diskette; each platter

consists of a series of concentric tracks made up of sectors.

Each platter lies above another and is read by a different disk

head. Viewed vertically, a series of tracks (with the same track

number, but on different platters) located one above the other

constitute a cylinder. The brackets in the screen shown below

indicate the place where you may enter a number for cylinders

that is less than the default maximum (305 on this disk).

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create Primary DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Total disk space is 305 cylinders.

Maximum space available for partition

is 305 cylinders.

Enter partition size...........: [ 200]

No partitions defined

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Notice that the second-to-last line on the screen tells you

that no partitions have been defined yet. If you are using your

disk for DOS alone, you should accept the default maximum

cylinder value. All disk space will then be available for DOS and

your DOS files. If you plan on splitting up your disk between DOS

and another operating system, however, you'll have to decide for

yourself what percentage of total disk space is needed for the

other operating system. In this example, you intend to create an

extended DOS partition, so 200 was entered for the number of

cylinders in the primary DOS partition.

Entering 200 results in the screen shown below. This screen

tells you that the first partition on drive C is a primary DOS

partition (PRI DOS) that starts at cylinder 0 and ends at

cylinder 199, constituting a total of 200 cylinders.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create Primary DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Start End Size

C: 1 PRI DOS 0 199 200

Primary DOS partition created

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Pressing Esc at this point returns you to the FDISK Options

menu. If you again try to create a primary partition, DOS will

show the following message on your screen:

Primary DOS partition already exists.

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

Note: There can only be one primary DOS partition. When DOS

boots up, the system files from this partition are loaded into

memory for your operations. In this example, you have only used

200 cylinders out of a possible 305, so you can make an extended

DOS partition. To do so, you select choice 1 (create a DOS

partition) on the FDISK Options menu and then select choice 2

(create Extended DOS partition) on the Create DOS Partition menu.

The resulting screen, shown below, allows you to create an

extended DOS partition. This screen tells you the current

partition information- -that is, that there are 305 total

cylinders available for use- -and also tells you that 105

cylinders remain unused. The 105 value is used as the default

entry at this stage. You only need to type in a number over the

105 to override the default. In the screen below, 55 was entered

for the desired extended DOS partition, leaving 50 cylinders

unused on the disk for another operating system.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create Extended DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Start End Size

C: 1 PRI DOS 0 199 200

Total disk space is 305 cylinders.

Maximum space available for partition

is 105 cylinders.

Enter partition size............: [ 55]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

The screen will now clear, redisplay the partition

information (including that on the new extended DOS partition),

and print the message

Extended DOS Partition created

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

near the bottom of the screen. Pressing Esc will result in the

next step of the process (see screen below).

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create Logical DOS Drive(s)

No logical drives defined

Total partition sized is 55 cylinders.

Maximum space available for logical

drive is 55 cylinders.

Enter logical drive size..........: [ 45]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Since you have just created an extended DOS partition, DOS

wants to know if you want to create logical drives within this

new partition. It tells you the total available cylinders in the

partition and asks you to enter a size for the logical drive. In

this example, you enter 45. The resulting screen will contain the

logical drive information (drive name, starting cylinder, ending

cylinder, and total cylinders used).

Suppose you wanted to create another logical drive, E, using

the remaining ten cylinders. You could again choose option 1 on

the FDISK Options menu. You would go again to the Create DOS

Partition menu, but there would be one new choice displayed:

3. Create logical DOS drive(s) in

the Extended DOS partition

This would bring you back to the screen for defining logical

drives, where you could then enter the information for drive E.

Going through this same sequence again in order to use the

remaining ten cylinders will result in the screen below. Notice

that the cylinder numbers are within the bounds of the extended

DOS partition. You are told that DOS created two logical drives,

D and E, with sizes of 45 and 10 cylinders. Furthermore, you're

reminded that no more available space remains for any other

logical drives. Press Esc, and you will once again be back at the

FDISK Options menu.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Create Logical DOS Drive(s)

Drv Start End Size

D: 200 244 45

E: 245 254 10

All available space in the Extended DOS

partition is assigned to logical drives.

Logical DOS drive created, drive letters

changed or added

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

If you try to create another extended partition, you will

get a partition information screen and the message

Extended DOS partition already exists.

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

------------------------------------------------------------------

[For related topics, press R]

SEE ALSO

Active Partitions, Changing of

Deletion of DOS Disk Partitions

Displaying of Partition Information

FDISK Command

Hard Disk Partitions

A)Active Partitions, Changing of

The active partition is the partition that is used to boot

the system. It is the default partition. Choosing option 2 on the

main FDISK Options menu leads you to a menu like that shown in

the screen below, in which the partition information is displayed

along with the total number of cylinders available on the disk.

FDISK now wants to know the number of the partition that you wish

to make active.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Change Active Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Start End Size

C: 1 PRI DOS 0 199 200

2 EXT DOS 200 254 55

Total disk space if 305 cylinders.

Enter the number of the partition you

want to make active.............: [2]

Partition selected (2) is not bootable,

active partition not changed.

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

If you enter the number 2, as shown in the figure, DOS will

inform you that only the primary DOS partition (1) may be made

active. Type the number 1 so that the primary DOS partition will

have control when the system comes up. Pressing Return will

result in the adjusted partition information display seen below.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Change Active Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Start End Size

C: 1 A PRI DOS 0 199 200

2 EXT DOS 200 254 55

Total disk space is 305 cylinders.

Partition 1 made active

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Notice the letter A on the first line of this display. An A

under Status tells you that partition 1 is the active partition.

Pressing Esc takes you back to the FDISK Options menu.

------------------------------------------------------------------

[For related topics, press R]

SEE ALSO

Configuration of DOS Partitions

Deletion of DOS Disk Partitions

Displaying of Partition Information

FDISK Command

Hard Disk Partitions

A)Displaying of Partition Information

Option 4 on the FDISK Options menu is used to display

information about the partitions. This is useful because no extra

functions will be executed at the same time; you can simply look

at the information. Choosing option 4 yields the screen shown

below.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Display Partition Information

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Start End Size

C: 1 A PRI DOS 0 199 200

2 EXT DOS 200 254 55

Total disk space is 305 cylinders.

The Extended DOS partition contains

logical DOS drives. Do you want to

display logical drive information? [Y]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

The information at the top of the screen is familiar by now.

But what if you want to see information about the logical drives

that have been defined? Look at the bottom half of the screen,

where you are asked if you want to see this information. Replying

with Y results in a display of information about these logical

drives (see the screen below). Pressing Esc at this point will

return you to the FDISK Options menu.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Display Logical DOS Drive Information

Drv Start End Size

D: 200 244 45

E: 245 254 10

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------------------------

[For related topics, press R]

SEE ALSO

Active Partitions, Changing of

Configuration of DOS Partitions

Deletion of DOS Disk Partitions

FDISK Command

Hard Disk Partitions

A)Deletion of DOS Disk Partitions

As with most things, what DOS giveth, DOS can taketh away- -

with a little prodding from you. Selecting choice 3 on the FDISK

Options menu produces the Delete DOS Partition menu, shown below.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Delete DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Choose one of the following:

1. Delete Primary DOS partitions

2. Delete Extended DOS partition

3. Delete logical DOS drive(s) in

the Extended DOS Partition

Enter choice: [ ]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Using this menu, you can delete any of the information

you've already set up. You may want to expand or contract other

partitions, or you may no longer want to use a partition in the

manner you originally designed. In any case, you can only make

changes in a certain order. You cannot delete the primary DOS

partition without first deleting the extended DOS partition. If

you try, DOS will give you this message:

Cannot delete Primary DOS partition on

drive 1 when Extended partition exists

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

In addition, you cannot delete an extended DOS partition

without first ``undefining'' (deleting) the logical drives in

that partition. Trying to delete the extended DOS partition

before deleting the drives in it will simply display the current

partition information with the patient message

Cannot delete Extended DOS partition

while logical drives exist.

Press ESC to return to FDISK options

Choice 3 in the Delete DOS Partition menu is probably the

first selection you will need to make; you work your way

backwards through the order in which you created things.

ctually, you will find that this is a fairly natural process.)

Selecting choice 3 produces the screen shown below, which

contains the logical drive information and the size of the

extended DOS partition the drives are in. You are also warned

that any data contained in the logical disk drive to be deleted

will also be deleted. If you still want to delete the drive,

simply enter the drive identifier. You will then be asked to

confirm this step. In the screen below, you have selected drive E

to delete first, and confirmed the choice by typing Y. If you had

entered N, you would have been returned to the FDISK Options

menu.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Delete Logical DOS Drive

Drv Start End Size

D: 200 244 45

E: 245 254 10

Total partition size is 55 cylinders.

Warning! Data in the logical DOS drive

will be lost. What drive do you wish

to delete.........................? [e]

Are you sure......................? [y]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Once FDISK deletes the logical drive, it updates the display

at the top of the screen and asks for another drive to delete. If

you wanted to regain all the space used by this partition, you

would then enter drive D, confirm your entry, and end up with the

screen shown below. Pressing Esc twice at this point would

bring you back up through the menu screens to the main FDISK

Options menu.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Delete Logical DOS Drive

Drv Start End Size

D: drive deleted

E: drive deleted

Total partition size is 55 cylinders.

All logical drives deleted in the

Extended DOS partition

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

Now that the logical drives are gone, you can delete the

extended DOS partition itself if you choose to do so. Choosing

option 2 on the Delete DOS Partition menu results in the familiar

form of an FDISK screen (see below). Again, you are shown the

partition information display, warned that data will be lost, and

asked if you really want to delete the extended DOS partition.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Delete Extended DOS Partition

Current Fixed Disk Drive: 1

Partition Status Type Start End Size

C: 1 A PRI DOS 0 199 200

2 EXT DOS 200 254 55

Warning! Data in the Extended DOS

partition will be lost. Do you wish

to continue.......................? [y]

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

----------------------------------------------------------------

If you reply Y, the screen will be updated to show only the

primary DOS partition and the message

Extended DOS partition deleted

Press ESC to return to FDISK Options

Press Esc to return once again to the FDISK Options menu.

------------------------------------------------------------------

[For related topics, press R]

SEE ALSO

Active Partitions, Changing of

Configuration of DOS Partitions

Displaying of Partition Information

FDISK Command

Hard Disk Partitions

A)active partition

The section of a hard disk containing the operating system to be

used when the hardware powers up.

------------------------------------------------------------------

[For related topics, press R]

SEE ALSO

hard disk

hardware



See also:


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