This isn't a problem but a simple question. In Mac OS X's included disk utility, you can perform actions on volumes through the list on the left by click on a drive, or any of its partitions. I've always wondered, is there any difference between running utilities (disk repair/verify, permissions repair/verify, etc.) on the drive itself and on the only partition on that drive? (For example, I have 100 GB [serial/model number here] Media in the left of disk utility, as well as Macintosh HD right under it, which is the only partition, and I can run utilities on both.) Disk utility lets you choose both, and I've always found it a little weird.
NOTE: I know that you can edit the partition table only on the drive itself (partitions don't have partitions, drives do) and that reformatting may be different, but I'm more interested in other utilities.