Chapter 4. Disk and File System Management
In this chapter, we'll look at some of the necessary hard drive management tasks that are part of life with a Windows XP computer. We'll look at topics such as adding new hard drives, adding and extending partitions, and defragmenting a disk, and we'll conclude with a brief look at removable storage considerations.
As you know, a hard disk is a piece of hardware, slapped into your computer somewhere so that it can store data. In other words, it's a physical device that can do nothing more than hold ones and zeros, which are represented by the polarity of tiny flecks of rust.
But before the hard drive can actually perform its designated function, it has to be prepared in such a way that the ones and zeros it holds make sense to the operating system. In other words, before Windows can use it, hard drive space has to be divided into logical storage containers.
So what does Windows store in these logical containers? Oh, nothing really, just the operating system and all the files you hold near and dear. So as a Windows XP user, you'll certainly need to know how to manage these storage containers. In your computing life, you will move, delete, and add files, generally filling up a hard drive to capacity.
But before we talk about the specifics of drive management, we'll first lay the foundation with a closer look at two important disk management processes: partitioning and formatting. These two processes turn a physical disk into usable, logical containers.