Many partitioning programs for block devices ( eg, hard disk or floppy disk) are ( for "fixed disk", an English term for hard drive) called fdisk. For hard drives, it is common to these before operation in one or more parts, called partitions to divide, which are commonly referred to 2.0 from MS- DOS as the " logical drives ". These are necessary to be able to create multiple file systems on the disk, which is particularly necessary for the use of more than one operating system (→ multi-boot system ). A table of contents of existing partitions, the partition table is located on hard disks on IBM PC-compatible computers in sector 0 (ie at the beginning of each initialized disk). This sector is called the MBR and houses in bytes 446-509, the actual partition table.

There are numerous programs with the name " fdisk" or similar, which offer more or less functions for managing partitions of different partition tables. This can be a character-based user interface (dialog or menu- based) or a command-line program. Some of these programs can have multiple partitions to a logical drive summarize (→ " Logical Volume Manager"), which can be useful for example to manage multiple disks as contiguous associated drive. Other programs with graphical user interfaces are explained in partitioning programs.

DOS and Windows

All DOS derivatives use a partition program called FDISK.COM (up to MS -DOS 3.3 ) or FDISK.EXE (from MS- DOS 4). The name is explained by IBM's call to nature, hard drives fixed disks. The tools can only create FAT partitions and a maximum of one primary partition, although theoretically 4 would be possible.

The fdisk versions of Microsoft can be used in the MS -DOS versions 7.10 and 8:00 create FAT32 partitions (Windows 95b ). For hard drives that are larger than 32 GB, the DOS 7.10 version needs a patch, the 98 stands for Windows. Although the fdisk commands of Windows 98 ( SE) / ME can only display up to 64 GB capacity, but beyond disks manage up to 128 GB (and hard drives larger than 128GB, if the BIOS 48bit Addressing supported). The first limitation can be solved by a patch from Microsoft. The extended partition manager XFDisk is a free replacement for Microsoft's fdisk and offers many options that are not included in the standard fdisk. The program was originally intended to replace the fdisk programs from Microsoft, which failed because of the 128 GB limit.

Windows NT -based operating systems (Windows NT, 2000, XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7) have two Partitionierprogramme (graphically depicted in Disk Management as well as the character-based DISKPART ). Both can create up to four primary partitions or up to three primary partitions and one extended partition. With the appropriate EIDE driver ( including a recent service pack may be necessary ), and the 128GB limitation can be circumvented.

In addition, Windows 2000 and XP support in the hard disk initialization so-called " Dynamic Disk", where more partitions are possible. These discs are but then no longer be partitioned in the traditional sense and can not be read by other operating systems than Windows, and Linux, ie of other operating systems, no partitions are recognized.

FreeDOS is with Free FDISK, a free and extended partition program delivered.

Mac OS

On Mac OS and Mac OS X, there is pdisk command line program, which is used to manage the partition table Apple Partition Map. It is command line based, which is rather untypical for Mac OS. Starting with Mac OS 7.5.2 Drive Setup is included as a graphical utility to create partitions and format. In addition, there are some graphical partitioning tools from other manufacturers. Starting with Mac OS X 10.4/Intel the command line program is gpt included to manage partitions on GPT formatted disks.

Since Mac OS X, the graphical " Disk Utility " is (English " Disk Utility" ), whose functions are the programs diskutil and hdiutil can also be controlled from the command line, part of the operating system. It can manage all supported by Mac OS X partition tables and partitions and format them.

Unix -like systems

Unix derivatives need at least one partition for the root directory ( root). An additional swap partition makes sense. Further partitions can enhance security and simplify administration and security. Older BIOSes could not access a hard drive, to areas above 1024 cylinders. Therefore, many users put a partition so that it starts below the 1024 cylinder limit. Thus, this partition is bootable, and from the operating system and the available above -lying area.

The programs fdisk and pfdisk of Linux are dialogue- based and offer many options. The cfdisk program provides a simple, menu-driven handling. The sfdisk program is considered to be rather cumbersome and designed for experts, but offers the only with the - dump the option to save the structure of a partitioning ( ie without boot code ) for later use to repartition. In graphical user interface programs like GParted or QtParted can replace fdisk.

OS / 2

OS / 2 is up to version 4.0 equipped with two partition managers - with fdisk, a text-based and FDISKPM, a graphical program. Both have the same functions and can edit FAT and HPFS partitions. It can be completely controlled via the command line, including the deletion of partitions, and can install on its own partition a boot manager. Versions from 4.5 up to support the file system JFS and have fdisk replaced by a Logical Volume Manager (LVM).

Successor for GUID Partition Table

Fdisk can not handle the MBR 's successor GPT under DOS and Windows. On other systems, this approach has been adopted: for GUID Partition Table, there are new programs, which are now no longer wear "fdisk " in the name. From gpt on Mac OS X via gdisk or parted on Linux to diskpart under Windows there are many programs that are based on the operation and functions more or less of fdisk.