Microsoft Windows Training – essential skills
Windows is both an operating system, which provides an interface between the user and the computer’s internal functions, and an operating environment, which provides an interface between the user and the computer’s operating system. When you work in Windows, some powerful hard disk utilities are available to you. Microsoft Windows Training from Eident provides crucial skills essential to build confidence working in any Windows environment in a networked office, via VPN, cloud sharing and more.
Knowing how to use the Windows hard disk utilities is useful if you want to keep your computer running efficiently. Although these tools are usually run on a hard disk, they can also be run on an external hard drive or USB memory stick, or indeed on any other drive containing a writable disk. On newer versions of Windows some of these functions can be scheduled to run automatically on certain drives.
Accessing the Hard Disk Utilities
When you are ready to check a drive, you can find several hard disk utilities in the Tools page of the drive’s Properties dialog box.
The Tools page has three sections. Within each section, you see a status line indicating the last time each utility was run. Referencing this window can help you determine if you are maintaining your hard disk regularly.
The first section, labeled Error-checking, is the Check Disk utility. Check Disk searches your hard disk for lost clusters; cross-linked files; illegal names, dates, and times; and physical defects. Each of these problems can lead to corrupted files, which contain damaged and unrecoverable data.
The second section, labeled Defragmentation, is the Disk Defragmenter utility. This utility moves all your files into one area of your hard disk, which can minimize the time it takes to find a file.
The third section, labeled Backup, is the Microsoft Backup utility. Microsoft Backup allows you to back up from and restore files to hard disks, floppy disks, and tape drives.
In this blog post, you will learn how to work with some of these hard disk utilities.
Running Check Disk
The first section of the Tools page is labeled Error-checking. This is the Check Disk utility. You can run Check Disk on any hard or floppy disk drive, as long as it contains media to which you can write. In the Check Disk dialog box, you can select a standard or thorough test. A standard test checks the integrity of files and folders. This test usually takes just a few minutes. A thorough test includes the standard test and also scans the disk surface for errors. When performed on a hard disk, a thorough test can take hours.
Besides selecting the type of test, you can also select whether you would like Check Disk to automatically fix any errors it finds. When Check Disk is complete, the Check Disk Results dialog box displays information about your disk.
File compression overview
Compressing files, folders, and programs decreases their size and reduces the amount of space they use on your drives or removable storage devices. Drive compression decreases the amount of space used by all of the files and folders stored on that drive.
Windows supports two types of compression: NTFS compression and compression using the Compressed (zipped) Folders feature.
If you do not have an NTFS drive, this option is not available. To determine whether your drive is formatted with NTFS, open My Computer, right-click a drive, and then click Properties. The file system is indicated on the General tab.
You can compress individual files and folders using NTFS compression, as well as entire NTFS drives. It is also worth noting that you can compress a folder without compressing its contents. After compression, you can work with NTFS-compressed files without decompressing them. NTFS-compressed file and folder names can be displayed in a different color to make them easier to identify.
You may notice a decrease in performance when working with NTFS-compressed files. When you open a compressed file, Windows automatically decompresses it for you, and when you close the file, Windows compresses it again. This process may decrease your computer’s performance.
NTFS-compressed files and folders only remain compressed while they are stored on an NTFS drive. You cannot encrypt an NTFS-compressed file.
Compressed (zipped) Folders
- Files and folders that are compressed using the Compressed (zipped) Folders feature remain compressed on both FAT and NTFS drives.
- You can run some programs directly from these compressed folders without decompressing them. You can also open files directly from compressed folders.
- Zipped compressed files and folders can be moved to any drive or folder on your computer, the Internet, or your network, and they are compatible with other file compression programs.
- Folders compressed using this feature are identified by a zipper icon.
- You can protect files in a zipped compressed folder with a password.
- Compressing folders using Compressed (zipped) Folders will not decrease your computer’s performance.
To compress individual files using Compressed (zipped) Folders, create a compressed folder and then move or copy the files to that folder.