User's Guide

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boot record

See boot sector.

boot sector

The boot sector continues the process of loading the operating system into computer memory. It can be either the MBR (see MBR, below) or the partition boot sector (see partition boot sector, below).


A group of disk sectors that contain file data. It is the smallest allocation unit for storing a file. For example,if the file size is 100 bytes and the cluster size is 4096 bytes, the file system reserves one cluster, or 4096 bytes for file data.


File Allocation Table. An area that contains the records of every other file data and directory in a FATformatted hard disk drive. The operating system needs this information to access the files and define the data cluster's chain. There are FAT32, FAT16 and FAT versions.


Hard disk drive.

logical drive

A partition is a logical drive because it does not affect the physical hard disk other than the defined space that it occupies, yet it behaves like a separate disk drive.


The Master Boot Record (MBR) is a small program that is executed when the computer is first turned on. Typically, the MBR can be found on the first sector of a disk. The MBR first reads the disk's partition table to determine which partition is used to load the operating system. The MBR then transfers control to this partition's "boot sector" to continue the process. Loading the operating system is called "booting" the computer.


Master File Table. A file that contains the records of every other file and directory in an NTFS-formatted hard disk drive. The operating system needs this information to access the files.


NT File System. NTFS was created to provide a more reliable operating system, compared to the FAT file system.


A section of memory or hard disk isolated for a specific purpose. Each partition can behave like a separate disk drive.

partition boot sector

On NTFS or FAT file systems, the partition boot sector is a small program that is executed when the operating system tries to access a particular partition. On personal computers, the Master Boot Record uses the partition boot sector on the system partition to determine file system type, cluster size, etc. and to load the operating system kernel files. Partition boot sector is the first sector of the partition.

partition status

SuperScan gives each partition a rating depending on how likely it is to recover data on the partition. A status rating of 1 is very bad. A status rating of 8 is excellent.

physical device

A piece of hardware that is attached to your computer by screws or wires. A hard disk drive is a physical device. It is also referred to as a physical drive.

root area (and root folder)

An object that can contain a group of files in a FAT file system. In other words, a directory or folder. The root folder is the top-level folder that has no parent and can have children. A logical drive can have only one root folder. Its name is usually '.' (dot).


The smallest unit that can be accessed on a disk. Tracks are concentric circles around the disk and the sectors are segments within each circle.


A fixed amount of storage on a hard disk. A physical device may contain a number of volumes. It is also possible for a single volume to span a number of physical devices.

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