Directories and files

Before any data can be written to the partition of a hard drive, it must be formatted; operating systems expect data to be written in a particular format. If you have multiple operating systems running on a computer you would choose a file system that would be compatible to all of them.

FAT (File Allocation Table) was one of the first PC-based file systems, FAT32 introduced with Windows 2000 had larger volume sizes of two terabytes and a maximum file size of four gigabytes.

FAT (File Allocation Table)

NTFS (New Technology File System) which is the file system used with the Windows NT, 2000, XP, Server 2003, Server 2008, Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. The NTFS file system brought about extensive improvements with file compression, encryption, symbolic links, large file support, security, quotas and recoverability.

NTFS (New Technology File System)

Files are organised into directories or folders and these directories can be nested inside each other making it easy for organising documents. Some folders are best left alone system folder containing files related to the operating system or application folders which contain files related to the programs you've installed on the computer.

Volumes are designated with a drive letter and a colon starting at C: and following the alphabet, drives A and B where designated to floppy disk drives.

From the command line the backslash \ is used to designate directories and network shares such as C:\User\Bill\Documents, and the forward slash / is used for everything else, you can also create new folders from the command line using the mkdir or md commands, folders can be created in Windows explorer by right clicking in a directory and selecting new and then the folder option from the dropdown menu,when naming your files or folder there is a maximum of 255 characters and the file is in two parts which include the file name and the extension, older operating systems used 8.3 file name so you only use eight characters for the file name and three for the extension, and you can't use characters such as | / ? * < " : > + \ in the file name, the text after the dot (extension) is important this indicates what file type it is .txt for a text file .mov for a movie file etc.

8.3 file name

Computer Studies Attributes

Individual files can be given their own attributes such as read only, meaning that the files contents can't be changed, archive which designates a modified file since the last backup, system files are normally hidden as they are files that relate to the operating system, a file can also be given the hidden attribute if you want to hide files yourself, NTFS also includes some extended file attributes such as compression and encryption.

Computer Studies Advanced Attributes

Files and folder can be given individual permissions such as full control, modify, read and execute, read, write, list folder contents. In Windows XP to change the permissions of a file you need to select tools from the menu bar in windows explorer and then select folder options from the dropdown menu then select the view tab and then scroll down to the bottom and uncheck Use simple file sharing, then if you right click on the file or folder you want to assign permission to select properties and then the security tab and then you can decide who has permission and what permissions by ticking the permission boxes that you require.


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