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* Quotas: Administrators can limit the amount of disk space used by a given user on a given partition or volume. I examine disk quotas in detail in Chapter 7.
This feature is a bigger deal for Windows 2000 Server, but you can still use it on Windows XP Professional.
* Encryption: For additional security, users can encrypt files that are then off-limits to anyone who logs onto the machine with a different account.
* Change journal: The operating system tracks all changes (that is, filename, time of change, and type of change, but not the actual changed data) made to the file system in the change journal.
Again, this feature is more important for the server product line, but services and applications on the XP Professional product can use it, too. The feature is off by default.
* Mount points: A mount point lets you map an entire physical disk onto a folder on another disk.
For example, if you add a second hard drive (one that you would normally designate D) to a PC, you can assign that new drive to the folder C:\Newdata. The user will never need to use the D drive letter or modify backup jobs that specify the folder on the C drive. In Chapter 7, I explain how to use mount points.
* Sparse files: A sparse file is a file with lots of 'air' in it, like a spreadsheet with data in cells A1 and Z100 but nothing in between. NTFS 5 lets application developers specify files as sparse, so the sparse files can occupy much less disk space than they would (for example) under FAT or FAT32.
On a dual-boot machine, NT can't 'see' an NTFS 5 partition unless you've updated the PC to run NT Service Pack 4 or higher. Service Pack 4 installs an updated NTFS.SYS file system driver that can understand NTFS 5 partitions. (However, the new features that NTFS 5 makes possible, such as disk quotas, are inoperable when you boot to Windows NT Workstation 4.0.) Therefore, the following tip is worth remembering:
Instant Answer If you plan to install Windows XP onto a machine presently running Windows NT Workstation 4.0, and you plan to make that machine dual-boot, upgrade to Service Pack 4 or higher before you install Windows XP. Windows XP automatically converts any NTFS 4 partitions that it finds to NTFS 5.
Focus on NTFS 5
In this section, I take a closer look at some of the new goodies Microsoft built into NTFS Version 5, namely, compression, encryption, and dynamic disks. These are very likely subjects for exam questions!
Compression enables you to reduce the amount of space on disk that a file or folder occupies. NTFS compression is transparent; that is, after you've designated a file as compressed, you don't need to expand it manually before you can use it again. NTFS automatically handles that, as well as the recompression after you've edited and saved the file. Any Windows or DOS program that can run under Windows XP can work with compressed files. If you designate a folder as being compressed, then when you create a new file inside that folder or copy an existing file into that folder, NTFS automatically compresses the file.
The compression technology built into NTFS 5 is more sophisticated than that available in earlier Windows operating systems. With NTFS compression, you can specify a drive, a folder, or a file within a folder. With Windows 98 and DoubleSpace compression, you had to specify an entire drive to be compressed.
Setting compression on files or folders
Compressing a file or folder is simple, as shown by Lab 3-3. The lab assumes that your system drive is formatted with the NTFS file system.
Lab 3-3: Compressing a Folder
1. Log on as an administrator to the local PC.
You must have Write permission for any file or folder that you want to compress.
2. Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop or Start menu, and choose Explore.
3. Expand the tree in the left window pane to display (for example) the C:\Program Files\NetMeeting folder.
If your Windows XP system uses a different drive letter, substitute it for C.
4. Right-click the NetMeeting folder in the left window pane and choose Properties.
5. Click the Advanced button in the Accessories Properties dialog box.
You should see the Advanced Attributes dialog box, as shown in Figure 3-1.
Figure 3-1: The Advanced Attributes dialog box.
6. Click the box labeled Compress Contents to Save Disk Space.
Note that you can't select this option simultaneously with the check box that says Encrypt Contents to Secure Data. (Go ahead and try.)
7. Click OK and then click OK again (to close two dialog boxes).
8. In the Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box (see Figure 3-2), check the box labeled Apply Changes to This Folder, Subfolders, and Files.
Figure 3-2: The Confirm Attribute Changes dialog box.
This action means that Windows XP will compress everything inside the NetMeeting folder. If you check the other box, then you designate the folder as being compressed without designating any of its contents as being compressed. That's perfectly legal, and if you did so, from that point forward, any file that you copy into the NetMeeting folder is automatically compressed.