All About File SystemsDamien Moye
Here at Geek Choice we try to educate these people, teach them all about the basics to the complicated, and hope that it helps with the sometimes frustrating experience. This frustration can turn into anger which then might result into an Office Space scene smashing the computer with a baseball bat. Take a deep breath, relax, and know that this blog is here to help. When we get calls from people, they are stressed out and are at the point of screaming over the phone. This blog is designed for just such people.
File systems or filesystems are the way computers organize and store the files that contain data and programs on a hard disk drive or other storage device. Every computer operating system has a unique file system, Windows is so unique actually, that it confuses people trying to use it who might not be so computer literate.
If you click on My Computer in any version of Windows, a list of all the storage devices on your computer will be shown.
This is the hard drive containing all your data and programs. Here the name is OS, a name chosen when the disk was created. On your computer the name could be any name you choose.
To view the contents, simply double click on the drive.
To change what is displayed see our Computer Help on File Types here. The Windows default is not that useful. The display uses Windows Explorer. It shows all the files and folders on your computer. The folders are identified by a folder icon. The files are shown in the lower two rows. their icon varies depending on the type of file. The view you are looking at is known as the root of the (C) drive. It is the highest level view of the drive and is represented in text by C:
Windows uses the backslash to separate folders. There are folders in folders, in folders etc.
If we now look at the Documents and Settings folder on most Windows system we see the directory structure structure shown at the right.
This is another source of confusion in Windows. If we are looking for the My Documents folder there is not a single folder, but a separate folder for each user user defined in the system. There may be one user or many users. All computers are different.
The same is true for Internet Downloads. Ever wonder where those downloads went after they have finished? It can be a pain trying to find them again. Try making a folder specifically made for downloads from the internet. This will cut down on all that confusion which can lead to more problems if you are not careful.
Organizing your computer is an easy task, it is also very important. Over the few years your laptop or desktop runs for you, tons of information is stored on them, where will you put it all. It comes in gradually so by making easy to find folders and putting the files in the corresponding folder, can make sure you do not lose or delete those files that are important but forgotten about because they were in the “Miscellaneous” folder.