If I have a new 100GB hard drive and partition it into four 25GB partitions, and then install an OS on each partition, will the files for each OS be laid out in a physically discrete manner, as if you divided a pie into four slices. Or will the files for any one OS be spread out all over the hard drive but somehow identified as belonging to a particular partition. That is to say, is a partition a physically continguous space?
If physically contiguous, then how does a partition program, like Disk Director, add a new partition if the existing partition is the entire hard drive and the existing files are spread out all over the place (beginning, middle and end of the disk). It seems that the program would have to first consolidate all the existing files into one section to make room for a new parititon. Yet, I don't believe this is what Disk Director does.
The reason I ask is that I'm trying to decide between a 75GB or 150 GB raptor for my operating system drive. It will have XP, Vista and Ubuntu, and perhaps a copy of each. My understanding is that smaller HDD's find data faster because there is less physical space to search. However, if you have smallish parititions, does that mean seeks for any one partiular OS be limited to one smallish area on the hard drive, or will it still have to search the entire HDD.
All comments would be welcome. Thanks.