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Copying and Moving Files

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.
By William R. Stanek

Archived content - No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

from Chapter 9, Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant.

Windows NT provides many different ways to copy and move files. You can copy or move them within windows—such as within Windows NT Explorer—and between windows—such as copying a file from Windows NT Explorer to the Network Neighborhood window. You can also copy or move files to and from the desktop.

Copying Files By Dragging

The way Windows NT handles a file copy operation depends on the type of file and the location you are copying to.

Here are some rules you should know before you try to copy files:

  • If you try to copy a file to a new location on the same drive, Windows NT will try to move the file instead and ask you to confirm this. To prevent this, hold down the Ctrl key as you drag the file.

  • If you try to copy an executable file, Windows NT creates a shortcut to the file instead. To copy the file, you'll need to hold down the Ctrl key as you drag the executable file to its new location. To move the file, you need to hold down the Shift key as you drag the executable file to its new location.

  • To avoid using Ctrl and Shift or having to remember what happens when, hold the right mouse button instead of the left mouse button when you drag files. Now when you release the mouse button at the new location, you'll see a pop-up menu that asks if you want to copy, move, or create shortcuts.

Copying or moving items to displayed areas To copy or move items to any open window or visible area on the desktop, do the following:

  1. Select the item(s) you want to copy or move.

  2. Hold down the mouse button and drag the item(s) to the new location. If this is a regular file, the file will be copied. If it's an executable file, a shortcut is created.

Note: The source and destination location must be visible. This means you may need to open multiple versions of Windows NT Explorer or multiple windows and expand the folders within these windows as necessary.

Copying items to locations that aren't displayed You may also need to copy items to locations that aren't currently displayed. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the item(s) you want to copy.

  2. Hold down the mouse button and drag the item(s) into the All Folders pane.

  3. Slowly drag the items up to the last visible folder at the top of the pane (or down to the last visible folder at bottom of the pane). You should be able to scroll up or down slowly through the existing tree structure.

  4. When you find the destination folder, release the mouse button. If this is a regular file, the file will be copied. If it's an executable file, a shortcut is created.

Moving Files By Dragging

To move files, you follow the same steps as with copying files. The key difference is that you should hold down the Shift key as you drag the file to its new location. This ensures that the file is always moved—regardless of location and file type.

Copying and Pasting Files

I prefer to move files around by copying and pasting. When you copy and paste files, you don't have to worry about whether you are copying to a location on the same drive or whether you are copying an executable file. You simply copy files to the clipboard and paste them anywhere you like. You can even paste copies of files in the same folder—something you can't do by dragging.

To copy and paste files, follow these steps:

  1. Select the item(s) you want to copy.

  2. Right-click and select Copy from the pop-up menu. You could also select Copy from the Edit menu or press Ctrl+C.

  3. Access the destination location, then right-click and select Paste from the pop-up menu. You could also select Paste from the Edit menu or press Ctrl+V.

Note: Windows NT may not let you copy files and folders to special windows. For example, you generally can't copy a file and then paste it into the My Computer window. Similarly, you may not be able to copy items in special folders and paste them into other windows.

Moving Files By Cutting and Pasting

To move files by cutting and pasting, follow these steps:

  1. Select the item(s) you want to move.

  2. Right-click and select Cut from the pop-up menu. You could also select Cut from the Edit menu or press Ctrl+X.

  3. Access the destination location, then right-click and select Paste from the pop-up menu. You could also select Paste from the Edit menu or press Ctrl+V.

  4. When prompted to move the selected items, click OK.

Note: When you use the Cut and Paste commands, Windows NT doesn't delete the item(s) from the original location immediately. The Cut command simply places a copy of the item(s) on the clipboard. After you use the Cut command to paste the file to the new location, the file is deleted from the old location.

Renaming Files and Directories

To rename a file or directory, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the file or directory name and then select Rename from the pop-up menu. Or select the file or directory name and then select Rename from the File menu.

  2. The resource name is now editable. Enter the new name for the resource.

  3. Press Enter or click on the resource's icon.

Deleting Files and Directories

To delete files and directories, follow these steps:

  1. Select the items to be deleted.

  2. Press the Delete key or choose Delete from the File menu.

Note: By default, Windows NT puts deleted items in the Recycle Bin. To delete the files permanently, you need to empty the recycle bin. To delete a file immediately and bypass the recycle bin, press down the Shift key and then press the Delete key or choose Delete from the File menu.

Creating Folders

In Windows NT Explorer, you can create a folder by doing the following:

  1. In the All Folders pane, select the directory that will contain the new folder.

  2. In the Contents pane, right-click and then select Folder from the New menu. A new folder is added to the Contents pane. The folder name is initialized to New Folder and selected for editing.

  3. Edit the name of the folder and press Enter.

Examining Drive Properties

Windows NT Explorer, My Computer, and Network Neighborhood all let you examine the properties of your drives. This includes

  • Logical drives

  • Floppy drives

  • Removable drives

  • Network drives

  • CD-ROM drives

To examine drive properties you can do either of two things:

  • Right-click on the drive's icon and then select Properties from the pop-up menu.

  • Select the drive by clicking on it and then select Properties from the File menu.

Figure 9-8 shows the Properties dialog box for a logical drive. The Security tab shown in the figure is only available for NTFS. You can use this tab to set access permissions, auditing, and ownership. Click on the quick access tabs (Tools, Web Sharing, Sharing, and Security) to access other property windows.

Cc722484.09wnta08(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

Figure 9-8: The Properties dialog box provides a quick overview of the drive. The number of tabs available depends on the type of drive.

The exact number of tabs available depends on the type of drive. Table 9-1 provides a quick overview of how the tabs are used and when they are available.

Table 9-1 Availability and Description of Drive Property Tabs

Tab

Availability

Description

General

All drive types

Provides an overview of drive configuration and drive space.

Security

NTFS drives

Use this tab to set access permissions, auditing, and ownership.

Sharing

All local drives

Allows you to share the drive with remote users.

Tools

Hard drives, floppy drives, and removable drives

Provides access to drive tools for error checking, defragmentation, and backup.

Web Sharing

All drive types

Allows you to share the drive with a local Web server. (Available when the system has Internet Information Server or Personal Web Server installed.)

Examining File and Folder Properties

Windows NT Explorer, My Computer, and Network Neighborhood all let you examine the properties of files and folders. There are two ways you can do this:

  • Right-click on the file or folders icon and then select Properties from the pop-up menu.

  • Select the file or folder by clicking on it and then select Properties from the File menu.

Figure 9-9, on the following page, shows the Properties dialog box for a folder on NTFS. The General tab provides an overview of the folder and allows you to set its attributes. Folder and file attributes include:

  • Read-only Shows whether the file or folder is read-only. Read-only files and folders can't be modified or accidentally deleted.

  • Archive Shows whether the file or folder should be archived. If set, the backup utility will copy the file to the archive and then turn off the check box.

  • Compress Shows whether the file is compressed. This is only available for NTFS.

  • Hidden Determines whether the file is displayed in file listings. You can override this by telling Windows NT Explorer to display hidden files.

  • System Shows whether the file is used by the operating system. For non-system files, this box is usually shaded.

    Cc722484.09wnta09(en-us,TechNet.10).gif

    Figure 9-9: The file and folder Properties dialog boxes are similar. As with drives, the availability of tabs depends on the file system type.

With file and folder properties, the availability of tabs depends on the type of file or folder. Table 9-2 provides a quick overview of how the common tabs are used and when they are available.

Table 9-2 Availability and Description of Common File and Folder Tabs

Tab

Availability

Description

General

All files and folders

Provides an overview of the item and lets you set its attributes.

Security

NTFS files and folders

Use this tab to set access permissions, auditing, and ownership.

Sharing

All local folders

Allows you to share the folder with remote users.

Version

Win32 DLL and executable files

Allows you to check the file version, description, copyright, and other key information.

Web Sharing

All local folders

Allows you to share the folder with a local Web server. (Available when the system has Internet Information Server or Personal Web Server installed.)

Note: When you register a new file type, the file type can create entries that add and remove property tabs. For example, with most image files, you'll see additional tabs. These tabs include Keywords, Description, Caption, Origin, and Credits. Photoshop adds another tab called Photoshop Image, which can provide a thumbnail for the image that allows you to view it without having to open it.

from Windows NT Administrator's Pocket Consultant by William R. Stanek. Copyright © 1999 Microsoft Corporation.

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