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Managing Disks and File Systems

The most important aspect of a computer is the user data. Businesses depend on the privacy of their intellectual property to stay competitive, and government organizations depend on confidentiality for national security. Thus, it's critical that Windows protects the availability, integrity, and privacy of the user data on client computers. The Windows 7 operating system provides several important improvements to disk and file management.

Windows 7 includes several improvements that both users and administrators will appreciate. By default, backups automatically create a System Image backup of the entire system drive. Additionally, you can store System Image backups to shared folders. System Image backups greatly reduce the time required to restore a computer after a hard disk failure or system corruption.

To improve data security, you can use Windows BitLocker Drive Encryption to encrypt an entire volume, protecting the data on the disk even if the disk is physically removed from the computer. BitLocker works alongside Encrypting File System (EFS): BitLocker can encrypt system files and the page file along with any other files on the volume, whereas EFS is intended primarily to encrypt user files. Windows 7 supports BitLocker To Go, enabling removable flash drives to be encrypted with BitLocker. The BitLocker To Go Reader enables earlier versions of Windows to read encrypted files from the removable flash drive if the user has the required password.

This tutorial describes these features, as well as features introduced in Windows Vista, in more detail.

In this tutorial:

  1. Overview of Partitioning Disks
  2. How to Choose Between MBR or GPT
  3. Converting from MBR to GPT Disks
  4. GPT Partitions
  5. Choosing Basic or Dynamic Disks
  6. Working with Volumes
  7. How to Create a Simple Volume
  8. How to Create a Spanned Volume
  9. How to Create a Striped Volume
  10. How to Resize a Volume
  11. How to Delete a Volume
  12. How to Create and Use a Virtual Hard Disk
  13. File System Fragmentation
  14. Backup And Restore
  15. How File Backups Work
  16. File and Folder Backup Structure
  17. How System Image Backups Work
  18. How to Start a System Image Backup from the Command Line
  19. How to Restore a System Image Backup
  20. System Image Backup Structure
  21. Best Practices for Computer Backups
  22. How to Manage Backup Using Group Policy Settings
  23. Previous Versions and Shadow Copies
  24. How to Manage Shadow Copies
  25. How to Restore a File with Previous Versions
  26. How to Configure Previous Versions with Group Policy Settings
  27. Windows ReadyBoost
  28. BitLocker Drive Encryption
  29. How BitLocker Encrypts Data
  30. How BitLocker Protects Data
  31. TPM with External Key (Require Startup USB Key At Every Startup)
  32. TPM with PIN (Require PIN At Every Startup)
  33. TPM with PIN and External Key
  34. BitLocker To Go
  35. BitLocker Phases
  36. Requirements for Protecting the System Volume with BitLocker
  37. How to Enable the Use of BitLocker on the System Volume on Computers Without TPM
  38. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on System Volumes
  39. How to Enable BitLocker Encryption on Data Volumes
  40. How to Manage BitLocker Keys on a Local Computer
  41. How to Manage BitLocker from the Command Line
  42. How to Recover Data Protected by BitLocker
  43. How to Disable or Remove BitLocker Drive Encryption
  44. How to Decommission a BitLocker Drive Permanently
  45. How to Prepare AD DS for BitLocker
  46. How to Configure a Data Recovery Agent
  47. How to Manage BitLocker with Group Policy
  48. The Costs of BitLocker
  49. Windows 7 Encrypting File System
  50. How to Export Personal Certificates
  51. How to Import Personal Certificates
  52. How to Grant Users Access to an Encrypted File
  53. Symbolic Links
  54. How to Create Symbolic Links
  55. How to Create Relative or Absolute Symbolic Links
  56. How to Create Symbolic Links to Shared Folders
  57. How to Use Hard Links
  58. Disk Quotas
  59. How to Configure Disk Quotas on a Single Computer
  60. How to Configure Disk Quotas from a Command Prompt
  61. How to Configure Disk Quotas by Using Group Policy Settings
  62. Disk Tools
  63. EFSDump
  64. SDelete
  65. Streams
  66. Sync
  67. MoveFile and PendMoves