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Storage Organization

Mr. C. Ncube and Mrs. Marabada
(Introduction to IT Laboratory)

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Hard Disc Data Organization
Logical organization in files
Physical organization in clusters (of
sectors)

A file allocation table translates
between logical and physical
organizations
There are various popular organizations of the file allocation table:
FAT, NTFS, Unix, …
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File Allocation on Disc
A file can occupy several clusters (of sectors)
on the disc
The operating system can assign clusters that
are physically far apart on disc
Modification of files may require new clusters
to be allocated (and other clusters to be
freed)
 File fragmentation

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Defragmentation under WinXP
A disc that should
be defragmented

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Defragmentation
A fairly well
organized disc –
does not need to
be defragmented

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Disc Considerations
Disc controller can analyze the requests
for read/write of sectors and reorder
them to reduce the delays

Multiple discs are better than a single
disc of the same capacity
 Fault tolerance
 Higher disc transfer rates

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Disc Considerations (cont.)
More RAM is always good: reduces the
necessity to swap to disc (see yellow line)

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Hard Discs are not what they
seem
Often the heads/cylinders/sectors reported are not
what they really are

Discs larger than 8.4 GB report their geometry as:
 16383 cyl.
 16 heads
 63 sectors/track

This is meaningless – their capacity is obtained by
consulting the Logical Block Addressing (LBA)
(see: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/hdd/bios/modesLBA-c.html)

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