File System : Is It so Hard to Understand ?

FileSystem. You just read the title and thinking “Huh! It’s a big word, and only for windows troubleshooters and geeks, I am just an average user, what I have to do with this”. Am I right? Well, two things:-

If I am right: Spend 5 minutes reading this post, and on 6th minute you will say (Write down yourself what you gotta say in comments)

If I am wrong: It means you have an interest in this post, so go on reading and write down your opinion too in the comment box below.

What is the  FileSytem or File System?

A file system (sometimes written as filesystem) is a method of storing and organizing arbitrary collections of data, in a form that is human-readable. A file system organizes data into an easy-to-manipulate database of human-readable names for the data, usually with a human-readable hierarchical organization of the data, for the storage, organization, manipulation, and retrieval by the computer’s operating system. Each discrete collection of data in a file system is referred to as a computer file.

This is what Wikipedia says about FileSystem. Easy to grab? I don’t think so. Let’s see how we can digest it more easily.

Think about the webpage you are reading or a newspaper. What it contains? English Letters. Some Caps and some small. Those few characters together make a word, and few words make a sentence. Few sentences make a paragraph, and then a set of the paragraph makes a human-readable page. I would say the more effective word would be Human Understandable because a human can even read all the words and letters even if they are not in the correct order but cannot understand it easily until those are in the correct order. A newspaper or webpage also have something called “homepage” which have an index of what your site or papers internal pages contain otherwise you won’t be able to go through the inner articles/news

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The same thing goes for the computer as well. Assume

  • English Letters (A,b,c,d) = bits
  • Words (Collection of letters) = Bytes (8 bits = 1 Bytes)
  • Sentence (collection of n Words) = Sector (collection of 512 Bytes)
  • Paragraph (collection of sentences) = Cluster ( collection of n sector)
  • A Complete article (many sentences) = A file (Collection of clusters)

On top of the above,

The way all the raw letters are organized on this webpage is called “Script”. There are different types of scripts. The Script we use is “Roman”.

The way all raw data are organized on the hard disk is called “FileSystem”. There are different type of “File system Formats”. The file system Microsoft windows use is called as “windows filesystem format”. The File system formats come under this is “NTFS”, “FAT”, CDFS and UDF File system formats.

So, Basically, the way your files are stored on your hard drive is handled by your file system. A good file system format should have the below features:-

  • Recoverability: Ability to recover the data without much hassle in case of accidental deletes.
  • Security: Nowadays, Security is a big concern, so it should meet the security criteria’s to use the computer more efficiently in a multi-user environment as well as a single user.
  • Data Redundancy and Fault Tolerance: will we say a file system an ideal FS without Data Redundancy in a large server environment
  • Compression: To reduce the disk space utilization and squeeze down the data in small chunks, compression is almost must.
  • Encryption: Capability to encrypt the data o file system level should be a feature of an ideal FS for mission-critical servers.
  • Large Files: Nowadays, we play in large files.  A file system not supporting large files cannot be considered a good FS to work with.
  • Indexing: Last but not least. Without a good index, It won’t be easier to find things from a large storeroom.
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The Good news is, NTFS file system used nowadays in windows meets all the criteria above.

I think above will give you a basic idea of what file system means. In further posts, we will see each file system formats in details with the comparison.

4:57 —   4:58 —  4:59 …Time up

5 minute passed…As said above, now it’s your turn to write down what you think. Did you get it or it was confusing?
If you are Windows XP user, You should read “ 6 Tips for optimal performance“. For Windows seven users  “User Account Control in Windows 7: How it protects the computer” would be helpful to understand things.

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