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Data Recovery Glossary (Letter B)

January 12th, 2010

BIOS (Basic input/output system)
A program or set of programs that control the basic functions of the computer.

BPI
Bits per inch. Indicates the density of information on a hard drive. See also bit density.

Backup
To make a copy of a file, group of files, or the entire contents of a hard disk, either for archiving purposes or for safeguarding valuable files from loss should the active copy be damaged or destroyed.

Bad Block
A disk sector that can no longer be used for data storage, usually due to media damage or imperfections.

Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be sent over a given circuit. See also buffer bandwidth.

Bit
An abbreviation for a binary digit which can be either 0 or 1. A bit is the basic data unit of all digital computers. It is usually part of a data byte, or data word; however, a single bit can be used to control or read logic ON/OFF functions. A bit is a single digit in a binary number. Bits are the basic unit of information capacity on a computer storage device. Eight bits equal one byte.

Bit density
Expressed as bits per inch (BPI), the number of bits that can be written onto one inch of track on a disk surface.

Block
A group of bytes handled, stored, and accessed as a logical data unit, such as an individual file record. A block in UNIX workstation environments is the smallest contiguous area that can be allocated for the storage of data. (Note: A different definition of the term is used when referring to the physical configuration of a hard drive.)

Boot
To start or restart your computer; loading the operating system.

Buffer
A temporary data storage area used to make up for a difference in data transfer rates and/or data processing rates between sender and receiver. For example, a printer buffer copies data from the computer and holds it until the printer is ready to print it.

Buffer Bandwidth
The speed of transferring data to or from the buffer.

Bunny Suit
A head-to-toe garment worn by personnel in a Clean Room.

Burst Mode Transfer Rate
The transfer rate into the buffer RAM of the hard disk. This rate does not factor in delays due to latencies or host delays. See also transfer rate.

Bus
A term used for an electronic device in which a number of elements are wired together with a single wire in such way that all the elements can use the same wire to transmit information to other devices on it. Buses are used internally in computers and used to attach computers to peripherals. Only devices addressed by the signals pay attention to them; the others discard the signals.

Byte
A sequence of eight binary digits or bits regarded to be a unit or binary word. The storage capacity of a disk drive is commonly measured in megabytes, which is the total number of storable bits divided by eight million.

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