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Hidden partition. A partition that is somehow made invisible to the operating system. Usually partitions are hidden by changing their type.

Label. An optional name that can be assigned to a partition to simplify its identification. Usually has the same limitation as file names. For example, FAT partitions have labels up to 11 characters long, but may contain spaces.

Letter (of a drive, partition). All operating systems that are DOS-compatible use Latin letters to identify drives and partitions. Letters A: and B: are usually reserved for floppy drives. Starting with C:, letters are assigned to hard disk partitions that can be recognized by the operating system. Separate letters may be assigned to CD-ROMs, DVDs, or other disk drives, and to network drives.

Logical disk is a partition whose file system is recognized by the operating system. Usually each logical disk is assigned with a letter that uniquely identifies it.

Logical partition. Partition information that is located not in MBR, but in the extended partition table. The number of logical partitions on a disk is unlimited.

Master boot record (MBR) is located in the first sector of the first hard disk and stores information about the hard disk partitioning and code that is loaded with BIOS. All the actions that follow depend on the contents of this code.

Operating system is a set of programs that usually includes kernel, drivers, shell and system programs that are used for centralized hardware management and hiding the details of hardware management from the user and applications.

Operating system booting is initiated by loading its boot sector to memory at 0:7C00h address and passing control to it. Since every operating system has its own boot sector, it is able to perform all the necessary actions to load and initialize system and configuration files.

A boot manager usually supports multiple operating systems on one computer and even one partition, so it has to perform some preparatory actions (create the boot context) before booting an operating system.

Partition. An independent area on a hard disk where a file system can be located. A partition can be either primary or logical, depending on its position in the partition structure. One of the primary partitions of a hard disk may be active. A partition has the following attributes: type, beginning and size. Some partition management software and boot managers allow for the hiding of partitions. Information about partitions is stored in the partition table.

Partitioning. The process of creating the logical structure on a hard disk. Partitioning is usually done with programs such as FDISK — a component of DOS and Windows. Disk Administrator completely replaces FDISK where functionality is concerned and allows performance of many additional useful operations.

Partition structure. All the partitions on a hard disk make a tree with the root in the MBR partition table. Many operating systems and programs assume that any partition table but

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