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Chapter 10 - Managing File Systems and Drives

Updated: June 29, 2001

A hard disk drive is the most common storage device used on network workstations and servers. Users depend on hard disk drives to store their word-processing documents, spreadsheets, and other types of data. Drives are organized into file systems that users can access either locally or remotely as follows:

  • Local file systems Installed on a user's computer and don't require remote network connections to access. An example of a local file system is the C drive available on most workstations and servers. You access the C drive using the file path C:\.

  • Remote file systems Accessed, on the other hand, through a network connection to a remote resource. You can connect to a remote file system using the Map Network Drive feature of Windows Explorer.

Wherever disk resources are located, it's your job as a system administrator to manage them. The tools and techniques you use to manage file systems and drives are discussed in this chapter. Chapter 11 looks at volume sets and fault tolerance. Chapter 12 tells you how to manage files and directories.

On This Page

Adding Hard Disk Drives
Working with Basic and Dynamic Disks
Using Basic Disks and Partitions
Managing Existing Partitions and Drives

Adding Hard Disk Drives

Before you make a hard disk drive available to users, you'll need to configure it and consider the way it will be used. Microsoft Windows 2000 makes it possible to configure hard disk drives in a variety of ways. The technique you choose depends primarily on the type of data you're working with and the needs of your network environment. For general user data stored on workstations, you may want to configure individual drives as stand-alone storage devices. In that case, user data is stored on a workstation's hard disk drive, where it can be accessed and stored locally.

Although storing data on a single drive is convenient, it isn't the most reliable way to store data. To improve reliability and performance, you may want a set of drives to work together. Windows 2000 supports drive sets and arrays using RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology, which is built into the operating system. RAID arrays are usually installed on Windows 2000 servers instead of workstations.

Physical Drives

Whether you use individual drives or drive sets, you'll need physical drives. Physical drives are the actual hardware devices that are used to store data. The amount of data a drive can store depends on its size and whether it uses compression. Typical drives have capacities of 2 GB to 25 GB. The two drive types most commonly used on Windows 2000 are SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) and IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics).

The terms SCSI and IDE designate the interface type used by the hard disk drives. This interface is used to communicate with a drive controller. SCSI drives use SCSI controllers. IDE drives use IDE controllers. In general, you'll find that SCSI drives are more expensive than IDE drives but are faster and offer more options.

Note: You'll see lots of acronyms associated with SCSI and IDE drives. Don't let these acronyms confuse you. For SCSI drives, you'll see references to Ultra SCSI, Wide SCSI, SCSI-2, and SCSI-3. The SCSI-2 and SCSI-3 are successors to the original SCSI specification. These newer versions use the ultra or wide SCSI interface and offer performance enhancements over standard SCSI. EIDE, on the other hand, is an enhanced version of IDE that offers performance enhancements over standard IDE. One of the more recent specifications for enhanced IDE is the Ultra DMA (ATA-4) specification. So, ironically, references to EIDE, Ultra DMA, and Ultra ATA may all refer to the same type of drive. The focus here is on the standard SCSI and IDE interfaces.

SCSI Drives

With SCSI you can connect up to seven drives to a single controller. Each drive connected to the primary controller is given a numeric designator from 0 to 6. This designator is the drive's SCSI ID, meaning drive 0 is SCSI ID 0, drive 1 is SCSI ID 1, and so on. The drive controller itself is usually designated as SCSI ID 7. Designators for drives on secondary controllers start where the first controller leaves off. For example, if the first controller has seven drives, the first drive on the second controller would normally be SCSI ID 8.

Generally, you set a drive's SCSI ID number before you install it. You do this by using the jumpers on the back of the drive. Instead of jumpers, some drives have a push button or similar mechanism for setting the SCSI ID. If you change the ID of a SCSI device, you must turn the drive off and then back on. This ensures that the change takes effect.

SCSI devices are connected to the controller in a daisy chain, with each device serially in a single line. The first and last device in the chain must be terminated properly. Typically, the SCSI controller terminates the first device itself, and the last device in the chain uses an actual terminator.

Before you can use a hard disk drive, it must be low-level formatted. With SCSI, the manufacturer normally performs this task before shipping the drive. If you need to do a low-level format on site, you'll usually find that the manufacturer has supplied a utility for this. If necessary, use this utility to format the drive.

IDE Drives

With IDE you can connect up to two drives to a controller. Each drive connected to the primary controller is given a numeric designator from 0 to 1. The first drive has a designator of 0. The second drive has a designator of 1. Designators for drives on secondary controllers start where the first controller leaves off. For example, if the first controller has two drives, the first drive on the second controller normally would have a designator of 3.

As with SCSI drives, you should set an IDE drive's designator before you install it. If this is the first IDE drive on a controller, you must set it up as the master device. If there are two drives on a controller, you must set up one drive as a master device and the other as a slave device. Generally, if you're installing a new drive, the existing drive becomes the master device and the new drive becomes the slave device.

Note: Generally, you can't perform a low-level formatting of an IDE drive. The manufacturer performs this task before shipping the drive.

Preparing a Drive for Use

Once you install a drive, you'll need to configure it for use. You configure the drive by partitioning it and creating file systems in the partitions, as needed. A partition is a section of a physical drive that functions as if it were a separate unit. After you create a partition, you can create a file system in the partition.

Using Disk Management

You'll use the Disk Management tool to configure drives. Disk Management makes it easy to work with the internal and external drives on a local or remote system. To start Disk Management and connect to a local or remote system, follow these steps:

  1. Run Computer Management by going to Start, selecting Programs, then Administrative Tools, and then Computer Management.

  2. You're automatically connected to the local computer on which you're running Computer Management. To manage hard disk drives on another computer, right-click the Computer Management entry in the console tree and select Connect To Another Computer on the shortcut menu. You can now choose the system whose drives you want to manage.

    Tip If you receive an error message from the Logical Disk Manager, read the message and click OK. A failed connection to the Logical Disk Manager Service usually means that this service or the related administrative service isn't started on the local or remote system. If necessary, start Logical Disk Manager and Logical Disk Manager Administrative Service as described in the section of Chapter 3 entitled "Starting, Stopping, and Pausing Services." Network policies and trusts can affect your ability to administrate computers remotely as well.

  3. In Computer Management, expand Storage and then select Disk Management. You can now manage the drives on the local or remote system.

Disk Management has three views: Volume List, Graphical view, and Disk List.

Note: Before you work with Disk Management, there are several things you should know. If you create a partition but don't format it, the partition will be labeled as Free Space. If you haven't assigned a portion of the disk to a partition, this section of the disk is labeled Unallocated.

In Figure 10-1, the Volume List view is in the upper-right corner and the Graphical view is in the lower-right corner. This is the default configuration. You can change the view for the top or bottom pane as follows:

  • To change the top view, select View, choose Top, and then select the view you want to use.

  • To change the bottom view, select View, choose Bottom, and then select the view you want to use.

  • To hide the bottom or top view, select View, choose Top or Bottom, and then select Hidden.

    Figure 10-1: In Disk Management the upper view provides a detailed summary of all the drives on the computer and the lower view provides an overview of the same drives by default.

    Figure 10-1: In Disk Management the upper view provides a detailed summary of all the drives on the computer and the lower view provides an overview of the same drives by default.

The Volume List View

Within Disk Management, the Volume List view provides a detailed summary of all the drives on the computer. Clicking a column label, such as Name, allows you to sort the disk information based on that column. The column labels are used as follows:

  • Volume The drive letter and name of the volume, such as Primary (C).

  • Layout The layout of the drive, such as a partition or volume.

  • Type The drive type, such as basic or dynamic.

  • File System The file system type, such as FAT (file allocation table), FAT32, or NTFS (Windows NT file system).

  • Status The status of the volume, such as healthy or unhealthy.

  • Capacity The amount of data the volume can hold.

  • Free Space The amount of free space in megabytes.

  • % Free The amount of free space as a percentage of total drive capacity.

  • Fault Tolerance Whether the drive uses Windows 2000 fault tolerant features, such as mirroring or striping.

  • Overhead The total additional drive space required as a result of the fault tolerant feature used.

Note: Volume sets and fault tolerance are discussed in Chapter 11.

The Graphical View

Within Disk Management, the Graphical view provides a graphical overview of all the physical and logical drives installed on the system. In this example, there are three disk devices installed on the system: Disk 0, a fixed drive of 7.87 GB; Disk 1, a removable drive; and CDRom 0, a CD-ROM device. Disk 0 is further broken down into sections: a primary partition, three logical drives, and a section of free space. The information provided for these drive sections could tell you the following: drive letter and text label for the partition or volume; the file system type, such as FAT, FAT32, or NTFS; the size of the drive section in megabytes; and the status of partitions or volumes, such as healthy or unhealthy.

Summary information for the physical disk devices includes the disk number and device type, such as basic, removable, or CD-ROM; the disk capacity; and the status of the disk device, such as online or offline.

The Disk List View

Within Disk Management, the Disk List view summarizes information about physical drives. The summary includes the disk number and device type, such as basic, removable, or CD-ROM; the disk capacity; the size of unallocated space on the disk (if any); the status of the disk device, such as online or offline; and the device interface type, such IDE or SCSI.

More Detailed Drive Information

From the Disk Management window, you can get more detailed information on a drive section by right-clicking it and then selecting Properties from the pop-up menu. When you do this, you'll see a dialog box much like the one shown in Figure 10-2. This is the same dialog box that you can access from Windows Explorer (by selecting the top-level folder for the drive and then choosing Properties from the File menu). The information provided on the General tab of the Properties dialog box tells you the following:

  • The drive letter for the section.

  • The text label for the section (known as a volume label).

  • The disk type. A local disk is a disk on the current computer system. A network drive is a disk located on a remote computer system that is accessible through a network connection. You may also see floppy, CD-ROM, and RAM drive types.

  • The file system type, such as FAT, FAT32, or NTFS.

  • The amount of used space on the disk.

  • The amount of free space on the disk.

  • The total capacity of the disk.

    Figure 10-2: The General tab of the Properties dialog box provides detailed information about a drive.

    Figure 10-2: The General tab of the Properties dialog box provides detailed information about a drive.

Installing and Checking for a New Drive

Hot swapping is a feature that allows you to remove devices without shutting off the computer. Typically, hot swappable drives are installed and removed from the front of the computer. If your computer supports hot swapping of drives, you can install drives to the computer without having to shut down. After you do this, access Disk Management and from the Action menu select Rescan Disks. New disks found are added as basic disks. If a disk you've added isn't found, reboot.

If the computer doesn't support hot swapping of drives, you must turn the computer off and then install the new drives. Afterward you can scan for new disks as described previously.

Understanding Drive Status

Knowing the drive status is useful when you install new drives or troubleshoot drive problems. Disk Management shows the drive status in the Graphical and Volume List views. Table 10-1 summarizes the most common status values.

Table 10-1 Common Drive Status Values and Their Meaning

Status

Description

Resolution

Online

The normal disk status. It means the disk is accessible and doesn't have problems. Both dynamic disks and basic disks display this status.

The drive doesn't have any known problems.

Online (Errors)

I/O errors have been detected on a dynamic disk.

You can try to correct temporary errors using the REACTIVATE DISK command.

Offline

The dynamic disk isn't accessible and may be corrupted or temporarily unavailable. If the disk name changes to Missing, the disk can no longer be located or identified on the system.

Check for problems with the drive, its controller, and cables. Make sure that the drive has power and is connected properly. Use the REACTIVATE DISK command to bring the disk back online (if possible).

Foreign

The dynamic disk has been moved to your computer but hasn't been imported for use. A failed drive brought back online may sometimes be listed as Foreign.

Use the IMPORT FOREIGN DISKS command to add the disk to the system.

Unreadable

The disk isn't accessible currently, which can occur when rescanning disks. Both dynamic and basic disks display this status.

If the drives aren't being scanned, the drive may be corrupt or have I/O errors. Use the RESCAN DISK command to correct the problem (if possible). You may also want to reboot the system.

Unrecognized

The disk is of an unknown type and can't be used on the system. A drive from a non-Windows system may display this status.

You can't use the drive on the computer. Try a different drive.

No Media

No media have been inserted into the CD-ROM or removable drive. Only CD-ROM and removable disk types display this status.

Insert a CD-ROM, floppy, or removable disk to bring the disk online.

Working with Basic and Dynamic Disks

Windows 2000 supports two types of disk configurations:

  • Basic The standard disk type used in previous versions of Windows. Basic disks are divided into partitions and can be used with previous versions of Windows.

  • Dynamic An enhanced disk type for Windows 2000 that can be updated without having to restart the system (in most cases). Dynamic disks are divided into volumes and can only be used with Windows 2000.

Using Basic and Dynamic Disks

When you upgrade to Windows 2000, disks with partitions are initialized as basic disks. When you install Windows 2000 on a new system with unpartitioned drives, you have the option of initializing the drives as either basic or dynamic.

Basic drives support all the fault tolerant features found in Windows NT 4.0. You can use basic drives to maintain existing driving, mirroring, and striping configurations and to delete these configurations. However, you can't create fault tolerant drives using the basic disk type. You'll need to upgrade to dynamic disks and then create volumes that use mirroring or striping. The fault tolerant features and the ability to modify disks without having to restart the computer are the key capabilities that distinguish basic and dynamic disks. Other features available on a disk depend on the disk formatting.

You can use both basic and dynamic disks on the same computer. The catch is that volume sets must use the same disk type. For example, if you have mirrored drives C and D that were created under Windows NT 4.0, you can use these drives under Windows 2000. If you want to upgrade C to the dynamic disk type, you must also upgrade D. To learn how to upgrade a disk from basic to dynamic, see the section of this chapter entitled "Changing Drive Types."

Special Considerations for Basic and Dynamic Disks

Whether you're working with basic or dynamic disks, you need to keep in mind three special types of drive sections:

  • System The system partition or volume contains the hardware-specific files needed to load the operating system. On Compaq Alpha-based computers, the system partition or volume must be formatted for the FAT file system. The system partition or volume can't be part of a striped, spanned, or RAID-5 volume.

  • Boot The boot partition or volume contains the operating system and its support files. The system and boot partition or volume can be the same.

  • Active The active partition or volume is the drive section from which the computer starts. When the computer uses multiple operating systems, the active drive section must contain the startup files for all operating systems loaded on the computer and it must be a primary partition on a basic disk. If you only use Windows 2000, the active drive section must be a simple volume on a dynamic disk (which can be the same volume as the system volume).

Marking an Active Partition

You can mark a partition as active by completing the following steps:

  1. Make sure that the necessary startup files are on the primary partition that you want to make the active partition. For Windows NT and Windows 2000, these files are BOOT.INI, NTDETECT.COM, NTLDR, and BOOTSECT.DOS. You may also need NTBOOTDD.SYS.

  2. Access Disk Management.

  3. Right-click the primary partition you want to mark as active, and then select Mark Partition Active.

Note: You can't mark volumes as active. When you upgrade a basic disk containing the active partition to a dynamic disk, this partition becomes a simple volume that is active automatically.

Changing Drive Types

Basic disks are designed to be used with previous versions of Windows. Dynamic disks are designed to let you take advantage of the latest Windows 2000 features. You can't use dynamic disks with previous versions of Windows, but you can use dynamic disks with other operating systems, such as Unix. To do this, you need to create a separate volume for the non-Windows operating system. You can't use dynamic disks on portable computers.

Windows 2000 provides the tools you need to upgrade a basic disk to a dynamic disk and to change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk. When you upgrade to a dynamic disk, partitions are changed to volumes of the appropriate type automatically. You can't change these volumes back to partitions. Instead, you must delete the volumes on the dynamic disk and then change the disk back to a basic disk. Deleting the volumes destroys all the information on the disk.

Upgrading a Basic Disk to a Dynamic Disk

Before you upgrade a basic disk to a dynamic disk, you should make sure that you don't need to boot the computer to a previous version of Windows. You should also make sure that the disk has 1 MB of free space at the end of the disk. While Disk Management reserves this free space when creating partitions and volumes, disk management tools on other operating systems might not. As a result, the upgrade will fail. Other considerations you should make before upgrading are as follows:

  • You can't upgrade drives that use sector sizes larger than 512 bytes. If the drive has large sector sizes, you'll need to reformat before upgrading.

  • You can't upgrade removable media to dynamic disks. You can only configure removable media drives as basic drives with primary partitions.

  • You can't upgrade a disk if the system or boot partition is part of spanned, striped, mirrored, or RAID-5 volume. You'll need to stop the spanning, mirroring, or striping before you upgrade.

  • You can upgrade disks with other types of partitions that are part of spanned, striped, mirrored, or RAID-5 volumes. These volumes become dynamic volumes of the same type. However, you must upgrade all drives in the set together.

To upgrade a basic disk to a dynamic disk, complete the following steps:

  1. In Disk Management, right-click a basic disk that you want to upgrade, either in the Disk List view or in the left pane of the Graphical view. Then select Upgrade To Dynamic Disk.

  2. In the Upgrade To Dynamic Disk dialog box, select the check boxes for the disks you want to upgrade. If you're upgrading a spanned, striped, mirrored, or RAID-5 volume, be sure to select all the basic disks in this set. You must upgrade the set together. Click OK when you're ready to continue.

    As shown in Figure 10-3, the Disks To Upgrade dialog box shows the disks you're upgrading. The buttons and columns on this dialog box contain the following information:

    • Name Shows the disk number.

    • Disk Contents Shows the type and status of partitions, such as boot, active, or in use.

      Figure 10-3: In the Disks To Upgrade dialog box, notice the Disk Contents and Will Upgrade columns before continuing.

      Figure 10-3: In the Disks To Upgrade dialog box, notice the Disk Contents and Will Upgrade columns before continuing.
    • Will Upgrade Specifies whether the drive will be upgraded. If the drive doesn't meet the criteria, it won't be upgraded, and you may need to take corrective action, as described previously.

    • Details Shows the volumes on the selected drive.

    • Upgrade Starts the upgrade operation.

  3. If you're ready to begin the upgrade, click Upgrade. Disk Management warns you that once you upgrade you won't be able to boot previous versions of Windows from volumes on the selected disks. Click Yes to continue.

  4. Disk Management will restart the computer if a selected drive contains the boot partition, system partition, or a partition in use.

Changing a Dynamic Disk Back to a Basic Disk

Before you can change a dynamic disk back to a basic disk, you must delete all dynamic volumes on the disk. Once you do this, right-click the disk and select the REVERT TO BASIC DISK command. This changes the dynamic disk to a basic disk and you can then create new partitions and logical drives on the disk.

Reactivating Dynamic Disks

If the status of a dynamic disk displays as Online (Errors) or Offline, you can often reactivate the disk to correct the problem. You reactivate a disk by completing the following steps:

  1. In Disk Management, right-click the dynamic disk you want to reactivate, and then select Reactivate Disk. Confirm the action when prompted.

  2. If the drive status doesn't change, you may need to reboot the computer. If this still doesn't resolve the problem, check for problems with the drive, its controller, and the cables. Also, make sure that the drive has power and is connected properly.

Rescanning Disks

Rescanning all drives on a system updates the drive configuration information on the computer. It can sometimes resolve problems with drives that show a status of Unreadable. Because the drive configuration may change as a result of the rescan, you may need to update the BOOT.INI file for the computer, as discussed later in this chapter in the section entitled "Updating the Boot Disk."

You rescan disks on a computer by selecting Rescan Disk from Disk Management's Action menu.

Real World Take a screenshot of the disk configuration in Disk Management before scanning and after scanning to double-check the configuration for changes. On my primary server, the original configuration had a floppy drive on A; logical drives on C, D, E, and F; a removable drive on G; and a CD-ROM drive on H. After rescanning, the removable drive was on B, and as a result, the number of the boot partition changed (and Windows 2000 gave no notification of this change).

During reboot of the system, Windows 2000 stated incorrectly that the NTOSKRNL.EXE file needed to be restored on the Windows 2000 root folder. Using the emergency boot disk created as explained in Chapter 14, you could modify the BOOT.INI file and recover the system. Without the emergency boot disk, you'd need to repair the Windows 2000 installation using the Windows 2000 Setup Boot Disks. Creating the Windows 2000 setup disks is also covered in Chapter 14.

Moving a Dynamic Disk to a New System

Windows 2000 makes the task of moving drives to a new system a lot easier. If you want to move a dynamic drive to a new computer, follow these steps:

  1. Access Disk Management on the system where the dynamic drives are currently installed.

  2. Check the status of the drives and ensure that they're marked as healthy. If the status isn't healthy, you should repair partitions and volumes, as necessary, before you move the disk drives.

  3. Remove drive letters and drive paths that reference the drives, as described in the section of this chapter entitled "Assigning Drive Letters and Paths."

  4. If the drives are hot-swappable and this feature is supported on both systems, remove the drives, and then install them on the destination computer. Otherwise, turn off both computers. Remove the drives from the original system and then install them on the new system. When you're finished, turn the computers back on.

  5. On the destination computer, from the Action menu select Rescan Disks. When the scan finishes, right-click any disk marked Foreign, and then click Import Foreign Disks.

Using Basic Disks and Partitions

When you install a new computer or update an existing computer, you'll often need to partition the drives on the computer. You partition drives using Disk Management. Use partitions when you need to boot the computer to Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT as well as Microsoft Windows 2000.

Caution: Before you make any changes to hard disk drives, consider the consequences. Changing partition information for drives may result in data loss, and improper configuring of partitions may even prevent system boot. To prevent some configuration problems, Windows 2000 restricts the operations you can perform on system or boot partitions.

Understanding Drive Partitions

Windows 2000 uses two types of partitions—primary and extended.

  • Primary partitions Drive sections that you can access directly for file storage. Each physical drive can have up to four primary partitions. You make a primary partition accessible to users by creating a file system on it.

  • Extended partitions Unlike primary partitions, you can't access these directly. Instead, you can configure extended partitions with one or more logical drives that are used to store files. Being able to divide extended partitions into logical drives allows you to divide a physical drive into more than four sections.

On Windows 2000 a physical drive can have up to four primary partitions and up to one extended partition. This allows you to configure drives in one of two ways: using one to four primary partitions or using one to three primary partitions and one extended partition.

Note: With MS-DOS, a physical drive can have only one primary partition. This partition is the boot partition. If you plan to boot a Windows 2000 system in MS-DOS, you should use only one primary partition and then use an extended partition to create additional logical drives.

Assigning Drive Letters

After you partition a drive, you format the partitions to assign drive letters. This is a high-level formatting that creates the file system structure rather than a low-level formatting that sets up the drive for initial use.

You're probably very familiar with the C drive used by Windows 2000. Well, the C drive is simply the designator for a disk partition. If you partition a disk into multiple sections, each section can have its own drive letter. You use the drive letters to access file systems in various partitions on a physical drive. Unlike MS-DOS, which assigns drive letters automatically starting with the letter C, Windows 2000 lets you specify drive letters. Generally, the drive letters C through Z are available for your use.

Note: The drive letter A is usually assigned to the system's floppy drive. If the system has a second floppy drive, the letter B is assigned to it, so you can only use the letters C through Z. Don't forget that CD-ROMs, Zip drives, and other types of media drives need drive letters as well. The total number of drive letters you can use at one time is 24. If you need additional volumes, you can create them using drive paths.

Assigning Drive Paths

In Windows NT 4.0, you could only have 24 active volumes. To get around this limitation, Windows 2000 allows you to mount disks to drive paths. A drive path is set as a folder location on another drive. For example, you could mount additional drives as E:\data1, E:\data2, and E:\data3.

Drive paths can be used with basic and dynamic disks. The only restriction for drive paths is that you mount them on empty folders that are on NTFS drives.

Color Coding Partitions

To help you differentiate between primary partitions and extended partitions with logical drives, Disk Management color codes the partitions. For example, primary partitions may be color coded with a dark blue band and logical drives in extended partitions may be color coded with a light blue band. The key for the color scheme is shown at the bottom of the Disk Management window. You can change the colors using the View Settings dialog box. From Disk Management's View menu, select the Settings option.

Creating Partitions and Logical Drives

In Disk Management you create partitions and logical drives by completing the following steps:

  1. In the Disk Management Graphical view, right-click an area marked Unallocated and then choose Create Partition. This starts the Create Partition Wizard. Read the welcome dialog box, and then click Next. As shown in Figure 10-4, you can now select a partition type.

  2. Select Primary Partition to create a primary partition. Each physical drive can have up to four primary partitions. A primary partition can fill an entire disk or be sized as appropriate for the workstation or server you're configuring.

  3. Select Extended Partition to create an extended partition. Each physical drive can have one extended partition. This extended partition can contain one or more logical drives, which are simply sections of the partition with their own file system.

    Note: If a drive already contains an extended partition, the Extended Partition option won't be available. You'll need to delete the existing extended partition and create a new one, which will result in data loss. Note also that you can only create primary partitions on removable drives.

    Figure 10-4: In the Create Partition Wizard select a partition type, and then click Next.

    Figure 10-4: In the Create Partition Wizard select a partition type, and then click Next.
  4. Select Logical Drive if you want to create a logical drive within an extended partition.

    Tip Although you can size the logical drive any way you want, you may want to take a moment to consider how you'll use logical drives on the current workstation or server. Generally, you use logical drives to divide a large drive into manageable sections. With this in mind, you may want to divide a 21 GB extended partition into 3 logical drives of 7 GB each.

  5. Next you should see the Specify Partition Size dialog box shown in Figure 10-5. This dialog box specifies the minimum and maximum size for the partition in megabytes and lets you size the partition within these limits. Size the partition using the Amount Of Disk Space To Use field.

    Specify whether you want to assign a drive letter or path. These options are used as follows:

    • Assign A Drive Letter To assign a drive letter, choose this option, and then select an available drive letter in the selection list provided.

    • Mount This Volume To An Empty Folder That Supports Drive Paths To assign a drive path, choose this option, and then type the path to an existing folder or click Browse to search for or create a folder.

    • Do Not Assign A Drive Letter Or Drive Path To create the partition without assigning a drive letter or path, choose this option. You can assign a drive letter or path later, if necessary.

    Figure 10-5: Size the primary partition within the minimum and maximum size limits and then click Next.

    Figure 10-5: Size the primary partition within the minimum and maximum size limits and then click Next.
  6. Determine whether the partition should be formatted in the Format Partition dialog box, shown in Figure 10-6. If you elect to format the partition, follow the steps described in the following section, "Formatting Partitions."

    Figure 10-6: Format a partition by specifying its file system type and volume label.

    Figure 10-6: Format a partition by specifying its file system type and volume label.
  7. Click Next and then click Finish. If you add partitions to a physical drive that contains the Windows 2000 operating system, you may inadvertently change the number of the boot partition. As Figure 10-7 shows, Windows 2000 will display a prompt warning you that the number of the boot partition will change. Click Yes.

    Figure 10-7: If you update the physical drive containing the operating system, you may need to update the BOOT.INI file.

    Figure 10-7: If you update the physical drive containing the operating system, you may need to update the BOOT.INI file.
  8. Disk Management then creates the partition, assigns a drive letter or path, as appropriate, and formats the partition, as appropriate. If you saw a warning prompt previously, you may see another warning prompt telling you to edit the BOOT.INI file. Edit the BOOT.INI file and update the designator for the boot partition as described in the section in this chapter entitled "Updating the Boot Disk." Then immediately reboot the computer.

Formatting Partitions

Formatting creates a file system in a partition and permanently deletes any existing data. This is a high-level formatting that creates the file system structure rather than a low-level formatting that initializes a drive for use. To format a partition, right-click the partition, and then chose Format. This opens the Format dialog box shown in Figure 10-8. If you compare Figures 10-6 and 10-8, you'll see that the available fields are essentially the same. Because of this, you format a drive using the Create Partition Wizard and the Format dialog box using the same techniques. You use the formatting fields as follows:

  • Volume Label Specifies a text label for the partition. This label is the partition's volume name.

  • File System Specifies the file system type as FAT, FAT32, or NTFS. FAT is the file system type supported by MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows 98. NTFS is the native file system type for Windows NT and Windows 2000. The section of Chapter 12 entitled "Windows 2000 File Structures" tells you more about NTFS and the advantages of using it with Windows 2000.

  • Allocation Unit Size Specifies the cluster size for the file system. This is the basic unit in which disk space is allocated. The default allocation unit size is based on the size of the volume and is set dynamically prior to formatting. To override this feature, you can set the allocation unit size to a specific value. If you use lots of small files, you may want to use a smaller cluster size, such as 512 or 1024 bytes. With these settings, small files use less disk space.

    Figure 10-8: Format a partition by specifying its file system type and volume label.

    Figure 10-8: Format a partition by specifying its file system type and volume label.

    Tip If you create a file system as FAT or FAT32, you can later convert it to NTFS by using the Convert utility. You can't, however, convert NTFS partitions to FAT. Often you'll want your boot partition to be FAT and other partitions to be NTFS. With Intel x86 systems, having your system partitions as FAT is often a good idea. This gives you freedom to boot the system under MS-DOS, if necessary.

    With RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computing)–based systems, you don't have the option of using NTFS. The boot partition must be FAT. For details on creating partitions, see the section of this chapter entitled "Understanding Drive Partitions."

  • Perform A Quick Format Tells Windows 2000 to format without checking the partition for errors. With large partitions, this option can save you a few minutes. However, it's more prudent to check for errors, which allows Disk Management to mark bad sectors on the disk and lock them out.

  • Enable File And Folder Compression Turns on compression for the disk. Built-in compression is only available for NTFS. Under NTFS, compression is transparent to users and compressed files can be accessed just like regular files. If you select this option, files and directories on this drive are compressed automatically. For more information on compressing drives, files, and directories, see the section entitled "Compressing Drives and Data."

When you're ready to proceed, click OK. Because formatting a partition destroys any existing data, Disk Management gives you one last chance to abort the procedure. Click OK to start formatting the partition. Disk Management changes the status of the drive to reflect the formatting and the percentage of completion. When formatting is complete, the drive status will change to reflect this.

Updating the Boot Disk

When you add partitions to a physical drive that contains the Windows 2000 operating system, the number of the boot partition may change. If this happens, you'll need to update the system's BOOT.INI file. Normally, this file is located on the C drive.

The BOOT.INI file contains entries that look like this:

[boot loader] 
timeout=30 
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WIN2000 
[operating systems] 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WIN2000="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server" /fastdetect 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows NT Server Version 4.00" 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows NT Server Version 4.00 
[VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00" 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00 [VGA mode]"  
/basevideo /sos 

Entries like this tell Windows NT where to find the operating system:

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WIN2000 

The designators for this entry are used as follows:

  • multi(0) Designates the controller for the drive, which in this case is controller 0. If the secondary mirror is on a different controller, enter the number of the controller. Controllers are numbered from 0 to 3.

    Note: The format for the BOOT.INI entries is the ARC (Advanced RISC Computer) name format. On SCSI systems that don't use SCSI BIOS (basic input/output system), the first field in the entry is scsi(n), where n is the controller number.

  • disk(0) Designates the SCSI bus adapter, which in this case is adapter 0. On most systems, this is always 0. The exception is for systems with multiple bus SCSI adapters. These systems use the scsi(n) syntax.

  • rdisk(0) Designates the ordinal number of the disk on the adapter, which in this case is drive 0. With SCSI drives that use SCSI BIOS, you'll see numbers from 0 to 6. With other SCSI drives, this is always 0. With IDE, you'll see either 0 or 1. In most cases, you'll need to change this field—so be sure to enter the number of the secondary mirror drive.

  • partition(3) Designates the partition that contains the operating system, which in this case is 3.

If the boot partition for Window 2000 changed from 3 to 4, you would update the BOOT.INI file shown earlier as follows:

[boot loader] 
timeout=30 
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WIN2000 
[operating systems] 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(4)\WIN2000="Microsoft Windows 2000 Server" /fastdetect 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows NT Server Version 4.00" 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINNT="Windows NT Server Version 4.00 
[VGA mode]" /basevideo /sos 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00" 
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Windows NT Workstation Version 4.00 [VGA mode]"  
/basevideo /sos 

Managing Existing Partitions and Drives

Disk Management provides many ways to manage existing partitions and drives. Use these features to assign drive letters, delete partitions, set the active partition, and more. In addition, Windows 2000 provides other utilities to carry out common tasks such as converting a volume to NTFS or checking a drive for errors.

Assigning Drive Letters and Paths

Drives can be assigned one drive letter and one or more drive paths, provided the drive paths are mounted on NTFS drives. Drives don't have to be assigned a drive letter or path. A drive with no designators is considered to be unmounted and can be mounted by assigning a drive letter or path at a later date. You need to unmount a drive before moving it to another computer.

To manage drive letters and paths, right-click the drive you want to configure in Disk Management, and then choose Change Drive Letter And Path. This opens the dialog box shown in Figure 10-9. You can now:

  • Add a drive path Click Add, select Mount In This NTFS Folder, and then type the path to an existing folder or click Browse to search for or create a folder.

    Figure 10-9: Use this dialog box to change the drive letter and path assignment.

    Figure 10-9: Use this dialog box to change the drive letter and path assignment.
  • Remove a drive path Select the drive path to remove, click Remove, and then click Yes.

  • Assign a drive letter Click Add, select Assign A Drive Letter, and then choose an available letter to assign to the drive.

  • Change the drive letter Select the current drive letter, and then click Edit. Select Assign A Drive Letter, and then choose a different letter to assign to the drive.

  • Remove a drive letter Select the current drive letter, click Remove, and then click Yes.

Note: If you try to change the letter of a drive that's in use, Windows 2000 displays a warning. You'll need to exit programs that are using the drive and try again or allow Disk Management to force the change by clicking Yes when prompted.

Changing or Deleting the Volume Label

The volume label is a text descriptor for a drive. Because this label is displayed when the drive is accessed in various Windows 2000 utilities, such as Windows Explorer, you can use the label to help provide information about the contents of a drive. You can change or delete a volume label using Disk Management or Windows 2000 Explorer.

Using Disk Management, you can change or delete a label by doing this:

  1. Right-click the partition, and then choose Properties.

  2. In the General tab of the Properties dialog box, use the Label field to type a new label for the volume or delete the existing label. Click OK.

Using Windows Explorer, you can change or delete a label by doing this:

  1. Right-click the drive icon and then choose Properties.

  2. In the General tab of the Properties dialog box, use the Label field to type a new label for the volume or delete the existing label. Click OK.

Deleting Partitions and Drives

To change the configuration of an existing drive that is fully allocated, you may need to delete existing partitions and logical drives. Deleting a partition or a drive removes the associated file system, and all data in the file system is lost. So before you delete a partition or a drive, you should back up any files and directories the partition or drive contains.

You can delete a primary partition or logical drive by doing this:

  1. In Disk Management, right-click the partition or drive you want to delete, and then choose Delete Partition or Delete Logical Drive, as appropriate.

  2. Confirm that you want to delete the partition by clicking Yes.

  3. If you delete a partition on a physical drive that contains the Windows 2000 operating system, the number of the boot partition may change. If so, you'll need to update the BOOT.INI file as described in the section of this chapter entitled "Updating the Boot Disk." Be sure to note the new partition number to use.

To delete an extended partition, do this:

  1. Delete all the logical drives on the partition following the steps outlined above.

  2. You should now be able to select the extended partition area itself and delete it.

Converting a Volume to NTFS

Windows 2000 provides a utility for converting FAT volumes to NTFS. This utility, called Convert (CONVERT.EXE), is located in the %SystemRoot% folder. When you convert a volume using this tool, the file and directory structure is preserved and no data is lost. Keep in mind, however, that Windows 2000 doesn't provide a utility for converting NTFS to FAT. The only way to go from NTFS to FAT is to delete the partition by following the steps outlined in the previous section and then to recreate the partition as a FAT volume.

The Convert Utility Syntax

Convert is a command-line utility run at the Command prompt. If you want to convert a drive, use the follow syntax:

convert volume /FS:NTFS 

where volume is the drive letter followed by a colon, drive path, or volume name. For example, if you wanted to convert the D drive to NTFS, you would use the following command:

convert D: /FS:NTFS 

The complete syntax for Convert is shown in Table 10-2.

Table 10-2 Convert Syntax and Usage

Syntax

convert volume /FS:NTFS [/V] 

The options and switches for Convert are used as follows:

volume

Sets the volume to work with.

/FS:NTFS

Converts to NTFS.

/V

Sets verbose mode.

Syntax

convert c:\drive1 /FS:NTFS /V 

Using the Convert Utility

Before you use the Convert utility, double-check to see if the partition is being used as the active boot partition or a system partition containing the operating system. With Intel x86 systems, you can convert the active boot partition to NTFS. Doing so requires that the system gain exclusive access to this partition, which can only be obtained during startup. Thus, if you try to convert the active boot partition to NTFS, Windows 2000 displays a prompt asking if you want to schedule the drive to be converted the next time the system starts. If you click Yes, you can restart the system to begin the conversion process.

Tip Often it'll take several restarts of a system to completely convert the active boot partition. Don't panic. Let the system proceed with the conversion.

RISC-based systems are hardware configured and don't use an active boot partition. RISC computers, however, do use a system partition that contains the necessary files for the operating system. This partition must be a FAT file system, so you shouldn't convert the system partition to NTFS on RISC-based computers.

Before the Convert utility actually converts a drive to NTFS, the utility checks to see if the drive has enough free space to perform the conversion. Generally, Convert needs a block of free space that is roughly equal to 25 percent of the total space used on the drive. For example, if the drive stores 100 MB of data, Convert needs about 25 MB of free space. If there isn't enough free space, Convert aborts and tells you that you need to free up some space. On the other hand, if there is enough free space, Convert initiates the conversion. Be patient. The conversion process takes several minutes (longer for large drives). Don't access files or applications on the drive while the conversion is in progress.

Checking a Drive for Errors and Bad Sectors

The Windows 2000 utility for checking the integrity of a disk is Check Disk (CHKDSK.EXE). You'll find this utility in the %SystemRoot% folder. Use Check Disk to check for and optionally repair problems found on FAT, FAT32, and NTFS volumes.

While Check Disk can check for and correct many types of errors, the utility primarily looks for inconsistencies in the file system and its related metadata. One of the ways Check Disk locates errors is by comparing the volume bitmap to the disk sectors assigned to files in the file system. But beyond this, the usefulness of Check Disk is rather limited. For example, Check Disk can't repair corrupted data within files that appear to be structurally intact.

Running Check Disk from the Command Line

You can run Check Disk from the command line or within other utilities. At the Command prompt you can test the integrity of the E drive by typing the command

chkdsk E: 

To find and repair errors that are found in the E drive, use the command

chkdsk /f E: 

Note: Check Disk can't repair volumes that are in use. If the volume is in use, Check Disk displays a prompt that asks if you want to schedule the volume to be checked the next time you restart the system. Answer Yes to the prompt to schedule this.

The complete syntax for Check Disk is shown as Table 10-3.

Table 10-3 Check Disk Syntax and Usage

Syntax

chkdsk [volume[[path]filename]]] [/F] [/V] [/R] [/X] [/I] [/C] [/L[:size]]  

The options and switches for Check Disk are used as follows:

volume

Sets the volume to work with.

filename

FAT only: Specifies files to check for fragmentation.

/F

Fixes errors on the disk.

/V

On FAT/FAT32: Displays the full path and name of every file on the disk.

 

On NTFS: Displays cleanup messages, if any.

/R

Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information (implies /F).

/L:size

NTFS only: Changes the log file size.

/X

Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary (implies /F).

Syntax

 

/I

NTFS only: Performs a minimum check of index entries.

/C

NTFS only: Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.

Running Check Disk Interactively

You can also run Check Disk interactively by using either Windows Explorer or Disk Management.

Using Disk Management, access Check Disk by doing the following:

  1. Right-click the drive, and then choose Properties.

  2. In the Tools tab of the Properties dialog box, click Check Now.

Using Windows 2000 Explorer, access Check Disk by doing the following:

  1. Right-click the drive, and then choose Properties.

  2. In the Tools tab of the Properties dialog box, click Check Now.

Figure 10-10 shows the dialog box for the interactive version of Check Disk. Use this dialog box to check a disk for errors and then to repair them if you like.

  • To check for errors without repairing them, click Start without selecting either of the check boxes.

  • To check for errors and fix them, make the appropriate selections in the check boxes to fix file system errors or to recover bad sectors, or both.

Defragmenting Disks

Anytime you add files to or remove files from a drive, the data on the drive can become fragmented. When a drive is fragmented, large files can't be written to a single continuous area on the disk. As a result, the operating system must write the file to several smaller areas on the disk, which means more time is spent reading the file from the disk. To reduce fragmentation, you should periodically analyze and defragment disks using Disk Defragmenter.

Figure 10-10: Check Disk is available by clicking the Check Now button on the Properties dialog box. Use it to check a disk for errors and repair them, if you wish.

Figure 10-10: Check Disk is available by clicking the Check Now button on the Properties dialog box. Use it to check a disk for errors and repair them, if you wish.

You can analyze a disk to determine the level of fragmentation and defragment a disk by completing the following steps:

  1. In Computer Management, expand Storage, and then select Disk Defragmenter.

  2. Select the logical drive or volume that you want to work with by clicking it, as shown in Figure 10-11.

  3. To analyze the amount of fragmentation on a partition or volume, click Analyze. The progress of the analysis is shown in the Analysis Display area. Fragmented files, contiguous files, system files, and free space are highlighted in different colors using the color code shown at the bottom of the display area. You can pause or stop the analysis if necessary.

  4. When the analysis is complete, Disk Defragmenter recommends a course of action based on the amount of fragmentation. If there is a lot of fragmentation, you'll be prompted to defragment the disk. Otherwise you'll be told the disk doesn't need to be defragmented.

  5. To defragment the disk, click Defragment. The progress of the defragment operation is shown in the Defragmentation Display area. You can pause or stop the operation, if necessary.

  6. To view a report of the analysis or defragmentation, click View Report.

    Figure 10-11: Disk Defragmenter analyzes and defragments disks efficiently. The more frequently data is updated on drives, the more often you'll need to run this utility.

    Figure 10-11: Disk Defragmenter analyzes and defragments disks efficiently. The more frequently data is updated on drives, the more often you'll need to run this utility.

Compressing Drives and Data

When you format a drive for NTFS, Windows 2000 allows you to turn on the built-in compression feature. With built-in compression, all files and directories stored on a drive are automatically compressed when they're created. Because this compression is transparent to users, compressed data can be accessed just like regular data. The difference is that you can store more information on a compressed drive than you can on an uncompressed drive.

Compressing Directories and Files

If you decide not to compress a drive, Windows 2000 lets you selectively compress directories and files. To compress a file or directory, complete these steps:

  1. Right-click the file or directory that you want to compress, and then select Properties.

  2. In the General tab of the related property dialog box, click Advanced. Select Compress Contents To Save Disk Space, shown in Figure 10-12. Click OK twice.

For an individual file, Windows 2000 marks the file as compressed and then compresses it. For a directory, Windows 2000 marks the directory as compressed and then compresses all the files in it. If the directory contains subfolders, Windows 2000 displays a dialog box that allows you to compress all the subfolders associated with the directory. Simply select Apply Changes To This Folder, Subfolders, And Files and then click OK. Once you compress a directory, any new files added or copied to the directory are compressed automatically.

Note: If you move an uncompressed file from a different drive, it's compressed. However, if you move an uncompressed file to a compressed folder on the same NTFS drive, the file isn't compressed. Note also that you can't encrypt compressed files.

Figure 10-12: With NTFS, you can compress a file or directory by selecting the Compress check box in the Advanced Attributes dialog box.

Figure 10-12: With NTFS, you can compress a file or directory by selecting the Compress check box in the Advanced Attributes dialog box.

Expanding Compressed Directories and Files

If you decide later that you want to expand a compressed file or directory, reverse the process by completing the following steps:

  1. Right-click the file or directory in Windows Explorer.

  2. In the General tab of the related property dialog box, click Advanced. Clear the Compress Contents To Save Disk Space check box. Click OK twice.

With files, Windows 2000 removes compression and expands the file. With directories, Windows 2000 expands all the files within the directory. If the directory contains subfolders, you'll also have the opportunity to remove compression from the subfolders. To do this, select Apply Changes To This Folder, Subfolders, And Files when prompted and then click OK.

Tip Windows 2000 also provides command-line utilities for compressing and decompressing your data. The compression utility is called Compact (COMPACT.EXE). The decompression utility is called Expand (EXPAND.EXE).

Encrypting Drives and Data

Windows 2000 supports file encryption of data on NTFS volumes. Encryption allows users to store data in encrypted format. Files in encrypted format can only be read by the person who encrypted the file. Before other users can read an encrypted file, the file must be decrypted by the user. Otherwise, encrypted files can be copied, moved, and renamed just like any other file—and these actions don't affect the encryption of the data.

The process that handles encryption and decryption is called the Encrypting File System (EFS). The default setup for EFS allows users to encrypt files without needing special permission. Files are encrypted using a public/private key that is automatically generated by EFS on a per user basis.

Tip The encryption algorithm used is the expanded Data Encryption Standard (DESX), which is enforced using 56-bit encryption by default. For stricter security, North American users can order the Enhanced CryptoPAK from Microsoft. The Enhanced CryptoPAK provides 128-bit encryption. Files that use 128-bit encryption can only be used on a system that supports 128-bit encryption. Administrators designated as Recovery Agents can decrypt files, if necessary.

Encrypting Directories and Files

With NTFS volumes, Windows 2000 lets you select files and folders for encryption. When you encrypt files, the file data is converted to an encrypted format that can only be read by the person who encrypted the file. Users can only encrypt files if they have the proper access permissions. When you encrypt folders, the folder is marked as encrypted, but actually only the files within it are encrypted. All files that are created in or added to a folder marked as encrypted are encrypted automatically.

To encrypt a file or directory, complete the following steps:

  1. Right-click the file or directory that you want to encrypt, and then select Properties.

  2. In the General tab of the related property dialog box, click Advanced. Then select Encrypt Contents To Secure Data. Click OK twice.

Note: You can't encrypt compressed files, system files, or read-only files. If you try to encrypt compressed files, the files are automatically uncompressed and then encrypted. If you try to encrypt system files, you'll get an error.

For an individual file, Windows 2000 marks the file as encrypted and then encrypts it. For a directory, Windows 2000 marks the directory as encrypted and then encrypts all the files in it. If the directory contains subfolders, Windows 2000 displays a dialog box that allows you to encrypt all the subfolders associated with the directory. Simply select Apply Changes To This Folder, Subfolders, And Files and then click OK.

Note: On NTFS volumes, files remain encrypted even when they're moved, copied, and renamed. If you copy or move an encrypted file to a FAT or FAT32 drive, the file is automatically decrypted before being copied or moved. Thus, you must have proper permissions to copy or move the file.

Decrypting Files and Directories

If you decide later that you want to decrypt a file or directory, reverse the process by completing the following steps:

  1. Right-click the file or directory in Windows Explorer.

  2. In the General tab of the related property dialog box, click Advanced. Clear Encrypt Contents To Secure Data. Click OK twice.

With files, Windows 2000 decrypts the file and restores it to its original format. With directories, Windows 2000 decrypts all the files within the directory. If the directory contains subfolders, you'll also have the opportunity to remove encryption from the subfolders. To do this, select Apply Changes To This Folder, Subfolders, And Files when prompted and then click OK.

Tip Windows 2000 also provides a command-line utility for encrypting and decrypting your data. This utility is called Cipher (CIPHER.EXE). Typing CIPHER at the command line by itself shows you the encryption status of all folders in the current directory.

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