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File Systems

There are three basic choices for file systems in Windows 2000. They are FAT, FAT32, and NTFS. The following sections describe each in detail.

File Allocation Table (FAT)

The FAT file system divides the sectors of the physical disk into allocation units known as clusters. Directories contain the name of each file and a pointer to its first cluster. The File Allocation Table itself has an entry for each cluster; each of these entries contains either the pointer to the next cluster or an end-of-file marker. The creation date of the file and its size are stored in the directory, together with a single byte of file attributes. These attributes identify whether the file is read-only, hidden, reserved for the operating system, or needs archiving. These attributes are normally visible to the user. Further attributes also identify entries for subdirectories and volume labels.


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