Managing File Systems

Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Scripting Guide

Disk drives can be likened to the mailrooms found in large organizations. These mailrooms typically consist of a huge array of mailboxes, each designed to hold information, such as a letter, a package, or an internal memo. For the most part, these mailboxes are identical, and nothing prevents you from storing a letter in mailbox A, mailbox B, or mailbox C. However, a mailroom must be organized in a way that makes it quick and easy to retrieve information. This is typically done by grouping mailboxes by employee name, by department, or by room number. This organization helps ensure that mailbox A contains only the mail intended for user A.

Disk drives are similar to an array of mailboxes. They provide a way to store information, but they do not impose any organizing scheme upon that information. If you want to quickly and easily retrieve information from a disk drive, you must use a file system, a component of the operating system that organizes and retrieves stored data.

Just as mailrooms can be set up differently, file systems can also be organized differently. For example, Windows operating systems support a number of different file systems, including NTFS, file allocation table (FAT), and FAT32. Each of these file systems has different capabilities; you must manage computers running the NTFS file system differently than you manage computers running the FAT file system. With Windows 2000, you can use scripts to help identify the file system in use on a computer and, at least in the case of NTFS, configure the properties of that file system to best fit the needs of that computer.