This process divides the disk into logical parts that assign different hard disk volumes or drive letters.
Hard drive partitioning is one of the most effective methods available for organizing hard drives. Partitions provide a more general level of organization than directories and files. They also offer greater security by separating data from operating systems and applications.
Partitions allow you to separate data files, which must be backed up regularly from program and operating system files. Partitioning becomes a necessity for the hard drive if you are willing to load, more than one operating systems in the disk otherwise in most of the cases it is possible that you may lose your data.
The first sector of any hard drive contains a partition table. This partition table only has room to describe four partitions. These are called primary partitions. One of these primary partitions can point to a chain of additional partitions. Each partition in this chain is called a logical partition. We shall discuss the partition basics with logical approach in details, in the next chapters.
It defines the logical structures on the partition and places at the start of the disk any necessary operating system files. This step is also an operating system-level command.
The FORMAT command of DOS that is FORMAT.COM, behaves differently when it is used on a hard disk than when it is used on a floppy disk. Floppy disks have simple, standard geometry and cannot be partitioned, so the FORMAT command is programmed to automatically both low-level and high-level format a floppy disk, if necessary but in case of hard disks, FORMAT will only do a high-level format.
When we have completed low–level formatting, we have a disk with tracks and sectors but nothing written on them. High-level formatting is the process of writing the file system structures on the disk that let the disk be used for storing programs and data.
If you are using DOS, the FORMAT command (that is FORMAT.COM), performs this work by writing such structures as the DOS boot record file allocation tables and root directories to the disk. High-level formatting is done after the hard disk has been partitioned.