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An explanation of terms used in file recovery and disk usage

What is Fdisk?

Every operating system comes with an appropriate utility for partitioning hard disks. The program used on most PCs is the one supplied with DOS and consumer versions of Windows. It is called FDISK, which stands for "fixed disk", an older term for hard disk. FDISK is used only for partitioning FAT family file systems (FAT12/FAT16/VFAT/FAT32), and allows you to perform the following functions:

  • Create Partitions: FDISK allows you to create a primary partition or logical volumes. To create a logical volume you must of course first create an extended DOS partition, since the logicals are contained within the extended partition.
  • Delete Partitions: FDISK will let you delete partitions as well. This is the only way to change the size of a partition in FDISK: delete the old one and create a new one with the new size. If you want to change the size of the primary DOS partition using FDISK you must delete every FAT partition on the disk and start over... This is one reason why third-party partitioning programs have been so successful.
  • Set Active Partition: You can use FDISK to set the primary partition on your boot disk active, so that it can boot. It's quite silly that FDISK doesn't do this automatically when you create the boot primary partition (since there can only be one enabled primary DOS partition anyway), but in fact you must do this manually in many cases.
  • Display Partition Information: The last basic option that FDISK gives is to display the partition information for the system. It will first show the primary and extended partitions and then ask you if you want to see the logical drives within the extended partition. In fact, if you want to see this information, you can just do "FDISK /STATUS" from a DOS command line or Windows DOS box. This will show you the partition information without actually taking you into FDISK, and therefore, you run no risk of accidentally doing something you'll wish you hadn't.

What is Fdisk damage?

When a FAT partition is deleted, people sometimes recreate the partition (using fdisk or a similar tool) in the hope that it will then show up again. This is not the case. This procedure actually damages the FAT area and requires additional repairs to make the partition accessible again. applexsoft data recovery can detect this damage.

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