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  1. Introduction
  2. Windows 2000 Professional
  3. Windows 2000 Server
  4. Windows 2000 Advanced Server
  5. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server
  6. Application Support
  7. System Operation
  8. Disks and Volumes
  9. Filesystems
  10. Configuration Files
  11. Security
  12. Network Support
  13. Access Management
  14. Processes
  15. AD Structure
  16. AD Objects
  17. AD Object Naming
  18. AD Schema
  19. AD Sites
  20. Domains
  21. AD Functions
  22. AD Replication
  23. DNS
  24. AD Security
  25. AD Installation
  26. AD Configuration
  27. AD Performance
  28. Installation
  29. Installation Options
  30. Unattended Installation
  31. Software Distribution
  32. Remote Installation Service
  33. Language
  34. Accessibility
  35. File Attributes
  37. Distributed File System
  38. Control Panel
  39. Active Directory Tools
  40. Computer Management Console Tools
  41. MMC Tools
  42. Network Tools
  43. Network Monitor
  44. System Performance Monitoring
  45. Tools
  46. Managing Services
  47. Connections
  48. TCP/IP
  49. DHCP
  50. Printing
  51. Routing
  52. IPSec
  53. ICS
  54. Fault Tolerance
  55. Backup
  56. System Failure
  57. Services
  58. Remote Access
  59. WINS
  60. IIS
  61. Certificate Server
  62. Terminal Services
  63. Web Services
  64. Authentication
  65. Accounts
  66. Permissions
  67. Groups
  68. User Rights and Auditing
  69. Auditing
  70. User Profiles
  71. Policies
  72. Group Policies
  73. Miscellaneous
  74. Terms
  75. Credits

Windows 2000 Filesystems

Windows 2000 systems can support the following file systems:

  • FAT, FAT32
  • NTFS - New Technology File System
  • CDFS - Compact Disk File System
  • UDF - Universal Disk Format for DVDs.
  • EFS - Encrypting File System runs as a service and is used to encrypt and decrypt files on an NTFS file system for security purposes. The EFS is not a file system like NTFS since it does not create partitions and control the placement of file data, it only is used to control the encryption of data. See the Section called "Security" in this document for more information on NFS.

FAT Filesystem Characteristics

Used with DOS, it can only support partitions up to 4 G. No spaces are allowed in the file name.

FAT32 or VFAT Filesystem Characteristics

VFAT - Virtual File Allocation Table introduced by Windows 95 which allows long file names. VFAT is not natively supported by Windows 2000.

  • FAT32 filesystems support partitions up to 32GB.
  • Filenames up to 255 characters long.
  • Filenames begin with a letter and exclude " / \ [ ] : ; | = , ^ * ?
  • The last part is the extension but spaces can be used
  • It supports file attributes used by DOS such as read-only, archive, system, and hidden.
  • Won't support running POSIX applications.

FAT partitions provide no local security, only share level security across a network.

NTFS Filesystem Characteristics

Windows 2000 NTFS file systems are newer than Windows NT NTFS file systems. In order for Windows NT and Windows 2000 to use the Windows 2000 file system together, the Windows NT system must have service pack 4 or later installed.

  • Filenames up to 255 characters long
  • Filenames preserve case but are not case sensitive.
  • Filenames exclude " / \ < > : | * ?
  • Supports built in file compression as a file attribute. Compression is applied to files in a folder if that folder has its compression attribute set. Also optionally sub folders and their contents may be compressed. Compression is not supported if the cluster size is above 4K in size. Moved files retain their compression attribute, but if they are copied they will assume the compression attribute of the target folder.
  • Provides automatic transaction tracking of disk activity for correcting corrupt or failed operations.
  • Supports auditing.
  • Provides sector sparing.
  • There is a recycle bin for each user.
  • Windows 16 bit and DOS environments can't use this filesystem.
  • A master file table is used to save individual file, boot sector, disk structure, and file recovery information.
  • Automatically makes 11 character DOS file names. When the first 8 characters of long filenames match, the first four DOS file names use the first for characters of the long name, the ~ and 1, then2, etc. After the fourth duplicate name, the first two characters are used, then the next four characters are hashed, then the ~ character then a number. The first two duplicate file names may be: DOCU~1.DOC and DOCU~2.DOC. The long extension is used as part of the extension for the 8.3 filename alias.Directory entries used by long filenames include 1 for the 8.3 alias and 1 for each 13 characters in the long filename.
  • Provides file logging ability and file recovery.
  • Supports POSIX.
  • Maximum file or partition size of 16 exabytes.
  • Supports file sharing with MacIntosh clients.
  • The disk is in 8M bands with a 2K file allocation map between each band. The 2K map is a map for the associated 8M band. This structure is called the BTREE and is used to reduce fragmentation.
  • Supports file encryption with the Encrypting File System (EFS) on Windows 2000.
  • Allows volumes on remote computers or local computers to be mounted as though they are part of the same partition they are mounted on. This feature is available on Windows 2000.
  • Disk quotas (tracking of disk space) on a user by user basis are tracked.
  • Removable media formatted in NTFS can be changed and accessed without rebooting the system in Windows 2000 (not NT).

If installing DOS with NT, install DOS first so DOS will not corrupt the NT boot sector and stop the NT boot manager from running. Floppies are formatted as FAT, not NTFS.


The file system that supports compact disks (CDs) is the Compact Disk File System (CDFS).


The file system that supports DVDs is the Universal Disk Format (UDF).

Filesystems and Windows Systems

Windows 2000YesYesYesYesYesNo
Windows NT 4.0YesNoYesYesYesNo
Windows NT 3.51YesNoYesYesNoYes
Windows 98NoYesYesYesYesNo
Windows 95NoYesYesYesYesNo
Windows 3,x & WFWNoNoYesYesNoNo

The FAT file system does not support file compression on Windows 2000 systems. The file compression utilities with Windows 95 and Windows 98 are not supported by Windows 2000.

FAT file systems may be converted to NTFS file systems using the command line convert utility. Once converted, they may not be changed back to FAT.

Windows 2000 contains an NTFS file defragmentation utility which Windows NT does not contain.

Support for Security

Each object has an Access Control List (ACL) which defines users and group permissions for the object. Each entry (ACE - Access Control Entry) in an ACL defines the permissions a specific user or group has for the object. Access token attributes are added to the object's ACL. The user's security identifier (SID) is compared to the contents of the ACL to determine if the user has the correct privileges to access the object.

The NTFS file system supports Access Control Lists for objects.


A volume and a partition are the same thing. It is a formatted part of a disk that appears as one drive. Volume types supported by Windows 2000 include:

  • Simple volumes - Formatted partition on a hard drive. Has no fault tolerance.
  • Spanned volumes - Space on multiple disk drives that appears as one drive.
  • Striped volumes - Identical sized areas of two or more hard drives that appear as one although part of the data is stored on each drive in a way so data is written to both at the same time. This is used to increase drive speed.
  • Mirrored volumes - Also known as RAID 1 or a mirror set on Windows NT, this is a fault tolerance method where data is stored on two volumes (that appear as one) rather than a single volume. This costs access time, but is fault tolerant.
  • RAID-5 Volumes - Require three or more areas of formatted drive space. Generating parity information can cost processor time.

A normal hard disk can contain up to four partitions total. It can contain one extended partition which can be further broken up into additional logical drives. It can contain four primary partitions or three primary partitions and one extended partition.

Disk Tools

The Computer Management Console Tools, Storage section describes these tools in greater detail.

  • Disk Defragmenter - Used to analyze volumes and defragment the disk.
  • Disk Management - Used to create, format, and manage volumes.
  • Logical Drives
  • Removable Storage