To be clear, I am talking about a move operation within the same partition. For example, say I were to move a file up one directory; before the move, I have "C:\temp\test.txt", after the move I have "C:\test.txt", and "C:\temp\test.txt" no longer exists. Can someone give me a good understanding of what Windows is doing under the hood in this scenario, as opposed to doing a copy operation or a move operation to a different partition/drive?
To the best of my understanding, the data never moves an inch. Rather, the index of the data is updated. Imagine the "index" as a list of data, and it's physical storage location on the hard drive. Hence the index changes from saying "c:\temp\test.txt is at disk block 100" to "c:\test.txt is at disk block 100" and the data itself, whether it's 1k or 1GB, never moves.