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Operating Systems I. Managing Your Disks. Primary Learning Objective. Execute Routine Disk Management Techniques. Specific Learning Objectives. Identify and define the terms associated with disk management Identify and rename a disk Determine the size and free space available on a disk.

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Operating Systems I

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Operating Systems I

Managing Your Disks

Primary Learning Objective

Execute Routine Disk Management Techniques

Specific Learning Objectives

  • Identify and define the terms associated with disk management

  • Identify and rename a disk

  • Determine the size and free space available on a disk.

  • Format a disk using the GUI and FORMAT command

  • Copy a floppy disk using the GUI and DISKCOPY command

Specific Learning Objectives

  • Describe disk maintenance processes such as Defrag, Scandisk, Disk Cleanup, and Scheduling Utilities

  • Describe the backup process on an individual computer

  • Use the VOL, Label, XCOPY, and DIR commands for disk management

Floppy Disk Storage

A floppy disk is a round piece of flexible mylar plastic covered with a thin layer of magnetic oxide.

The platters, the actual disks inside the hard drive that store the magnetized data, have traditionally been made of a light aluminum alloy and coated with a magnetizable ferrite compound

Floppy Disk Storage

3.5” Floppy disk


indicator hole



Drive hub


access cover

Before the data is stored, particles are randomly scattered

The read-write head

Magnetizing the particles

Formatting creates a series of concentric tracks

One sector on a track holds 512 bytes of data.

The tracks on a

disk are divided

into wedge-shaped



  • One or more sectors used by an operating system as the minimum storage space for a file or a part of a file when it allocates storage space on a drive to a file.

  • Also call an allocation unit.

Drive Properties

  • How do you access a drive’s properties?

  • The properties dialog box has several functions besides giving us the name, size, and amount of free space. Some include:

    • Access disk maintenance tools

    • Provide hardware information and troubleshooting

    • Enable sharing and security

Disk Information in CLI

  • VOL – Displays the disk volume label and serial number, if they exist.

  • Label – Creates, changes, or deletes the volume label of a disk.

  • DIR – Displays the number of files and directories in the current directory and the amount of free space on the drive.

  • CHKDSK - Checks a disk and displays a status report.

Format a Disk

  • Before use a disk must be formatted so data can be saved on it.

  • Formatting options include:

    • Quick(Erases all information from the disk, but doesn't scan the disk for damaged areas. Only works on disks that have previously been formatted.)

    • Enable Compression(only on NTFS drives)

    • Create an MS-DOS startup disk

  • In CLI, use FORMAT (/s makes a bootable disk and /Q is for a quick format)

Copy a Floppy Disk

  • Used to make an exact copy of the source floppy disk

  • The disks must be the same type and density

  • All information on the destination floppy will be deleted.

  • Open MY Computer or Windows Explorer and right-click on the floppy drive and selct Copy Disk

  • In CLI, use the DISKCOPY command


Disk Maintenance

  • Computers require routing maintenance to keep them running at peak performance and to correct/prevent problems.

  • Some of these tasks include defragmenting, fixing errors on your hard disk, and freeing up space on your hard disk and backing up and restoring information on the hard disk.

  • You must be logged on as the computer’s administrator to complete these tasks.

Disk Defragmenter

  • Fragmentation occurs when the files on a disk are divided into pieces scattered around the disk. It occurs naturally when you modifying files frequently.

  • Where do you find the defrag tool?

  • Open My Computer/Explorer, right-click on a drive, select Properties, click the Tools tab, and click Defragment Now button. System Tools

  • In CLI, type DEFRAG




Disk Defragmenter Do’s and Don’t’s

  • The process can take up to several hours

  • Touching Windows will cause Disk Defragmenter to start over.

  • Run Error-checking first since you can’t defrag a disk containing errors

  • In XP, it optimizes your disk by placing the programs you use most often a the beginning of the hard drive.

Repairing Disk Errors

  • Normal wear and tear causes errors to appear on your hard drive which affects performance

  • Error-checking, a hard drive repair program, can diagnose and easily fix most of the damage

  • To use: Tools tab of Properties or System Tools

  • There are two types of tests:

    • “Automatically fix errors”

    • “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors”


Freeing Up Space

  • Over time Windows creates unnecessary files that take up space. See Table 5-1 on page 147

  • Open My Computer/Explorer, right-click on a drive, select Properties, click the General tab, and click Disk Cleanup button. System Tools

  • Other options to free up space:

    • Remove unnecessary programs

    • Remove unnecessary Windows components

Disk Cleanup Utility


  • Common causes for loss of data include user errors, hardware/software failure, and damage by viruses

  • A backup is a copy of data or key OS files

  • At the user level you can backup or restore using the built-in backup utility

  • Click the Start button and select All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup

  • It uses a wizard to help you select files for backup




Scheduling Tasks

  • Windows can automatically perform maintenance programs such as Error-checking or Disk Cleanup on a regular basis for you

  • Click the Start button and select All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Scheduled Tasks

  • Select the program to be schedule, how often to run it, and then specify when it is to run

Task Scheduler

Task Scheduler

Task Scheduler


  • Disk Nomenclature

  • Drive Properties

  • Formatting

  • Diskcopy

  • Defrag

  • Scandisk

  • Disk Cleanup

  • Backup

  • Scheduling Tasks

Homework Assignment

  • Reading

    • Windows XP Textbook – pp 137-149

    • CLI Textbook - pp. 34-39, pp114-116

  • Lab Exercise 9: Perform Routine Disk Management

  • Due Date: A Week from Next Tuesday

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