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What, technically is the difference between these 2 types of "encoding" a storage device? Why, historically is a partition map different from a partition format? Why not abstract them both into the same function, why make a distinction?

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If I understand what I read correctly, a partition scheme keeps track of which partition is where, how large it is, and in what format.

Master boot record would be an example of a partition map scheme.

A partition table describing the partitions of a storage device. In this context the boot sector may also be called a partition sector.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Master_boot_record

A partition keeps track of the files and folders using a file/folder map. How it is implemented varies by the partition's format.

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