Local File Systems

A file system enables applications to store and retrieve files on storage devices. Files are placed in a hierarchical structure. The file system specifies naming conventions for files and the format for specifying the path to a file in the tree structure.

Each file system consists of one or more drivers and dynamic-link libraries that define the data formats and features of the file system. File systems can exist on many different types of storage devices, including hard disks, jukeboxes, removable optical disks, tape back-up units, and memory cards.

All file systems supported by Windows have the following storage components:

  • Volumes. A volume is a collection of directories and files.
  • Directories. A directory is a hierarchical collection of directories and files.
  • Files. A file is a logical grouping of related data.

In this section


Directory Management

A directory is a hierarchical collection of directories and files. The only constraint on the number of files that can be contained in a single directory is the physical size of the disk on which the directory is located.

Disk Management

A hard disk is a rigid disk inside a computer that stores and provides relatively quick access to large amounts of data. It is the type of storage most often used with Windows. The system also supports removable media.

File Management

A file object provides a representation of a resource (either a physical device or a resource located on a physical device) that can be managed by the I/O system.

Transactional NTFS (TxF)

Transactional NTFS (TxF) allows file operations on an NTFS file system volume to be performed in a transaction.

Volume Management

The highest level of organization in the file system is the volume. A file system resides on a volume.


Related topics

FAT Technical Reference
File Systems Technologies
NTFS Technical Reference