Disk partitioning is the act of dividing a hard disk drive into multiple logical storage units referred to as partitions, to treat one physical disk drive as if it were multiple disks, so that different filesystems can be used on each partition.
A partition editor software program can be used to create, resize, delete, and manipulate these partitions on the hard disk. A partition consists of a range of cylinders of a hard drive -- i.e. each partition is defined by both a start and end cylinder (the size of cylinders varying from disk to disk).
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—Ian Fleming (19081964)