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Windows 7: UDF partitions - anybody!?

22 Apr 2012   #1

Windows 7 x64
UDF partitions - anybody!?

I hope I posted this in the right section. Not really sure where here? Here or hardware? Anyway, I've started using BurnAware Free to burn data discs with, but I've got complicated questions lingering...

Physical partition or virtual partition? BurnAware lets me choose between the two when I override auto UDF settings (which I do since I specifically want v2.5).I've already done quite the internet search on this topic looking for the answer and it seems this is one question which people don't know or want to answer. It's not a matter of what's "just fine" or works, since either one of them works for my purposes, but just knowing that isn't enough for me. If anybody knows, I want to know more, like why/when/what benefits one would have over the other.
From what I've gathered here (Introduction to Universal Disk Format (UDF) by Wenguang Wang), physical partitions are also called "Type 1", pretty easy to deduce, from the quote, "start and size of the partition must be aligned to the packet size" - that's a physical thing. Virtual partition "layers on top of the type 1 partition. A Virtual Allocation Table (VAT) is used to map logical addresses of the virtual partition to logical addresses in the underlying type 1 partition." It talks about how you can use them for sessions with once write disks which prevents finalizing them with free space left and wasting that free space. It looks like the only benefit is having the additinal VAT for logical addresses information, but I can't find much benefit of that... maybe it's better because you have more information to start with (like for recovery puproses)? This is the first question - is there any benefit for one over the other? I really cannot find this out.

I think Windows "Live File System" uses virtual partitions. When I use it to make discs, I would select UDF 2.50, click format, and the free space of the disc would drop from 4.37gb to 4.36gb, that could be the VAT being created... however that could also be the metadata partition (see below). However the first indepth link above says "VAT is stored as a special file in the type 1 partition. No other UDF data structures point to the VAT FE (called VAT ICB by UDF), and the latest VAT FE is always the last sector written on the media. When ejecting a media with virtual partition, the VAT and VAT FE are written after flushing all data." and I believe it might be doing that, since I think you can hear/tell the flushing going on. Not really sure. That's more curiosity than anything else.

One other question I had while posting this was "Does a virtual partition include a metadata partition as well?" It is mentioned as starting in UDF 2.50, however the first link I posted above only references the metadata partition being included with type 1 partitions, NOT virtual. It does not explicitly say "not virtual", but it leaves virtual out either way so I can't draw a conclusion. But since a virtual partition sits on top of a type 1 partition, does it get it as well since it's technically a hybrid, and Type 1's always get them? I think I further confirmed this with this post on ImgBurn's forum (UDF 2.50/2.60 Mirrored Metadata Partition - ImgBurn Suggestions - ImgBurn Support Forum) - somebody is asking about the metadata partition from an Admin that says "The mirror metadata partition is part of the specs for 2.50 and hence (I'm pretty sure that) ImgBurn already makes one!"

Anyways, I know this is quite in depth and out there, but I just want to know if there is any BENEFIT to using the virtual partition over type 1/physical partitions. Does the VAT it provides translate into any real world benefits?

UPATE: ACTUALLY - this program is crap too. It causes the "Files currently on the disc" error in Windows explorer, and then I can't see ANY timestamps for files burned using BurnAware. Sigh. So I guess it doesn't matter one way or another since I can't use it now.

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 UDF partitions - anybody!?

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