Thank you for buying via links and ads on this site,
which earn me advertising fees or commissions.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Other World Computing...
B&H Photo...
Amazon
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Up to 1527MB/s sustained performance
877-865-7002
Today’s Deal Zone Items... Handpicked deals...
$399 $199
SAVE $200

$2797 $2497
SAVE $300

$1398 $998
SAVE $400

$1499 $999
SAVE $500

$549 $499
SAVE $50

$799 $549
SAVE $250

$1699 $949
SAVE $750

$3899 $1499
SAVE $2400

$999 $849
SAVE $150

$1398 $998
SAVE $400

$1798 $1198
SAVE $600

$240 $175
SAVE $65

$240 $175
SAVE $65

$1399 $799
SAVE $600

$1798 $1198
SAVE $600

$1997 $1797
SAVE $200

$3399 $2699
SAVE $700

$400 $300
SAVE $100

$1699 $949
SAVE $750

$1199 $1099
SAVE $100

$1199 $1099
SAVE $100

$999 $949
SAVE $50

$1699 $949
SAVE $750

Terminology: Volume vs Drive

2014-01-10 - Send Feedback
Related: how-to, optimization, RAID, SSD, storage

A drive (or disk) is the physical device such as hard drive or a PCIe card with storage on it, a flash drive (SSD) or an external enclosure which presents itself as a single drive, or passes through all drives in the box, or some combination thereof.

A portion of the space on a drive is called a partition. When initialized to contain a file system, the result is a volume, which is what shows up on your desktop.

A Mac from Apple is delivered with one user-visible volume on one drive, typically “Macintosh HD” (“HD” is misleading, since many Macs now come with flash drives).

A volume is logical storage space that contains the file system. The file system is the catalog (index) that locates all the files and folders found on the volume. The file system structure is oblivious to the hardware structure underneath; it could be one drive or fifty drives and portions thereof.

Apple confuses this issue by making a mess of it: your startup “disk” really means startup volume, but in Get Info for the volume it says “Kind: Volume”.

Of course, it could be a hard drive or a flash drive/SSD, or a network volume or something else! Misused terminology leads to unnecessary confusion. And sometimes lost data with the frustrating trend to hiding things in obscure places in obscure formats (e.g. OS X Calendar data).

Volumes show up as icons

Volume Icon on Desktop

The volume icon Master as shown at right could be just about anything:

  • One partition taking up all (nearly all) the space on a drive.
  • A partition of drive taking up some small fraction of the drive.
  • A RAID-0 stripe, a RAID-1 mirror, a RAID-5 or RAID 1+0.
  • A volume composed of 16-drives in some external enclosure.
  • A USB thumb drive
  • Etcetera.

What a user works with and sees on the desktop is a volume; never a drive or disk.

OWC ROVER PRO wheels for Mac Pro

No tools or hassle… just place your Mac Pro’s factory feet into the Rover Pro’s polished stainless-steel housings and secure with a few hand twists.

When you’re done moving your Mac Pro around, the Rover Pro makes it just as quick and easy to convert back to the factory feet for stationary use.

Example with ten volumes

See How to Partition Drives Into Multiple Volumes for reasons to use partitions.

Hardly anyone needs ten volumes, but a software developer looking to boot from ten different OS X versions (for testing) might well want to have ten volumes, or more.

As shown below, one (1) drive has been partitioned into ten (10) volumes.

One drive, 10 volumes (partitions)

The 10 volume icons above are all on the same single physical drive.

Mouse over the start/confirm/status buttons to see the process.

 

OWC Thunderblade Thunderbolt 3 SSD

Blazing fast, up to 16TB.

YEE HAH!



√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!
OWC Envoy Pro Elektron

Ultra-high performance across entire capacity, outperforms the competition.

Tiny, bus-powered, rugged, compact!


√ No more slow and noisy hard drives!

Save the tax, we pay you back, instantly!

diglloyd.com | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY
Contact | About Lloyd Chambers | Consulting | Photo Tours
Mailing Lists | RSS Feeds | Twitter
Copyright © 2020 diglloyd Inc, all rights reserved.
Display info: __RETINA_INFO_STATUS__