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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
  36. Shares
  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 Volumes and Disks

Hard Drive Partitions

A hard drive may be split into partitions. NT uses two main partitions but I believe these two may be installed on one partition. There can be up to 4 primary partitions and only one extended partition which may include several logical drives. A logical drive is assigned its own drive letter and uses part of or all the space in an extended partition. Only one partition may be extended and an extended partition may not be marked as active which means operating systems cannot be booted from it. Only one partition on a disk may be active at a time. On IBM compatible computers, only a primary partition may be a system partition which is where the NT boot loader must reside.

Windows 2000 Logical Partitions

Windows 2000 logical partitions include:

  • System - Stores system files for booting such as NTLDR, BOOT.INI, and NTDETECT.COM.
  • Boot - WINNT_Root partition where system files are.

These partitions may be on the same or on separate physical hard drive partitions.

The filesystem containing the boot files is referred to as the system partition and the partition that contains the WINNT40 directory is the boot partition.

Windows Disk Types

Windows uses the below two terms to refer to disks in a computer.

  • Basic Disks - A standard disk with standard partitions (primary and extended).
  • Dynamic Disks - Disks that have dynamic mounting capability to add additional local or remote partitions or directories to a disk drive. These are called dynamic volumes. This is new with the Windows 2000 operating system and is not supported by any other operating systems. Any volume that is on more than one hard drive must be created with dynamic disks. A disk can only be converted from dynamic to basic by first deleting all the volumes in the dynamic disk.

Windows NT Volume Sets

A Windows NT volume may span several partitions and includes:

  • The disk directory area also called the root directory.
  • Allocation tables to track used disk space.

Characteristics and limitations:

  • A volume may contain 1 to 32 disk areas and can be formatted as FAT or NTFS.
  • These combined areas cannot be split or one part of a volume can't be deleted without destroying the entire volume.
  • They may contain disk areas from various drive types such as IDE or SCSI.
  • NT system and boot partitions cannot be part of a volume set. Windows 95 and DOS don't recognize volume sets.

Volume sets (which are on basic disks) created with Windows NT are supported by Windows 2000 but may not be created with Windows 2000.

Windows 2000 supports the following types of volumes which can only be created on dynamic disks:

  • Simple Volumes - Formatted partition on a hard drive. Has no fault tolerance.
  • Spanned Volumes - Formatted partition or disk space on more than one partition or hard drive that appears as one volume. In Windows NT, this is called a volume set. Has no fault tolerance. The system or boot partitions cannot be included in a spanned volume. FAT, FAT32 and NTFS file systems may be included. Space from two to thirty two dynamic disks can be included. If one disk on the spanned volume fails, all data is lost, and no part of a spanned volume may be removed without destroying the entire volume.
  • Striped Volumes - Also called disk stripingor a striped set in Windows NT, it is when two areas of disk space which are identical in size have half the information written on one area and the other half written on the second area. This effectively doubles the disk access speed, but provides no fault tolerance. In Windows NT, this is called a stripe set which is created on a basic disk.
  • 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.

Mirrored volumes and RAID-5 volumes are not supported by Windows 2000 Professional. Other than sector fixing, there is no fault tolerance provided with Windows 2000 Professional. For a certification test, fault tolerance is not provided with Windows 2000 Professional.

Stripe Sets

A stripe set is established using free space from between 2 and 32 physical hard drives. The free space on each drive must be the same capacity. Data is written is 64k blocks simultaneously on each drive in the stripe set which increases disk drive read and write access speed. Windows 2000 Professional supports stripe sets, but not stripe sets with parity. Windows 2000 Professional does not support disk drive fault tolerance, only supporting stripe sets without parity and sector sparing.

NT system and boot partitions cannot be part of a stripe set.

Other Windows 2000 fault tolerant options include:

  • RAID 5 or stripe sets with a parity drive.
  • Disk mirroring
  • Sector hot fixing

Other Windows 2000 file and filesystem characteristics that enhance file storage:

  • Confirmation that hard drive write requests were done.
  • Disk cache is used to store data going to or from the disk to speed up access time. This is referred to as lazy writing.
  • Hard links are used to tie file physical location to multiple file names.