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Beginners Guides: Little Known Features of WindowsXP

Beginners Guides: Little Known Features of WindowsXP - PCSTATS
Abstract: We will explore the features and abilities of WinXP, with an eye towards providing a better understanding of the capabilities of the operating system, and the options available to the user.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jul 30 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Mounting Drives as Folders

As a safety feature, Windows does not allow you to format (redo the file system on the disk, erasing all information) or delete the partition containing the Windows directory from this management screen, but you can carry out these operations on any other partition by right clicking on it and selecting the 'format' or 'delete partition/logical drive' options.

If you have installed an additional hard disk and wish to partition and format it, the disk will be represented as grey 'unpartitioned space' in the graphical display at the bottom of the screen, and can be partitioned and formatted by right clicking on the drive and selecting the partition option to start a wizard that will guide you through the operation.

We have covered the utilities available from the 'properties' menu of individual drives, such as hard drive defragmentation, backups and sharing in several recent articles, so for information on these topics try the preceding links.

Mounting drives as folders

One rather interesting option available with the disk manager is the ability to mount individual partitions as directories in another volume. For example, if you had a computer with a 20GB disk formatted into a single partition and volume (drive c:), you could purchase a second drive, partition and format it from disk manager and then instead of giving it its own drive letter, add it to your c: drive as a directory.

Any files added to that directory would of course be stored in the new HD. This can come in extremely handy, as certain applications (databases come to mind) can grow extremely large, but may not support storing data on a separate drive.

As far as Windows is concerned, a drive mounted as a directory is just a directory, so no extra drive letters are involved. This can also cut down on storage confusion for the average user, and it's easy to do, though it can only be done with NTFS formatted partitions. Also, the boot partition cannot be used this way, though other partitions can be added to the boot partition.

Also note that shuffling the partition around in this way has no effect on the data stored in it. You can move an NTFS partition from directory to directory, then give it back a drive letter if you choose, while maintaining complete access to the data inside. No reboot is necessary.

One other note: If you have installed software on a partition you plan to mount as a directory, it is best to uninstall and reinstall it, since the move may stop the software from working correctly. Windows will warn you about this...

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: Little Known Features of WindowsXP
 Pg 2.  The Windows XP Event Viewer
 Pg 3.  Local Users and Groups
 Pg 4.  Hard Disk Management
 Pg 5.  — Mounting Drives as Folders
 Pg 6.  To Mount a Partition as a Directory
 Pg 7.  Operating System Restore
 Pg 8.  System Restore Continued
 Pg 9.  Windows Services
 Pg 10.  How to Disable a Service
 Pg 11.  Accessibility Options
 Pg 12.  Built in Backup Utility
 Pg 13.  Files and Setting Transfer Wizard / Local Computer Policy Settings
 Pg 14.  Windows Task Manager / Enabling Firewall

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