A file system is the specification of how files in a computer should be stored, named and organized. This tag should be used for generic file system questions. For specific file system questions (FAT, NTFS, ext4, ...) use the appropriate tag instead.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (4)

246
votes
8answers
28k views

Why is there such a big difference between “Size” and “Size on disk”?

As you can see below, there is so much difference between the Size and Size on disk fields in my folder. Why is that? I know that Size on disk should be a little more than Size because of ...
178
votes
8answers
9k views

How far will you get with an 'rm -rf /' command?

I've often wondered how far the system will actually get if you run rm -rf /. I doubt the OS would be able to erase itself (?) Bonus Question: After the command has been executed, will rm have ...
131
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the reason that file URLs start with three slashes: “file:///” etc?

I was wondering why file URLs have 3 slashes in front. For example, if I were to read a pdf file using chrome, the URL would be file:///D:/Desktop/Book.pdf. This seems totally unnecessary. Since ...
109
votes
1answer
50k views

directory junction vs directory symbolic link?

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target /D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file symbolic link. /H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link. /J ...
90
votes
7answers
108k views

How to read ext4 partitions on Windows?

Is there a way to read ext4 partitions from Windows? If so, what can I do?
84
votes
5answers
45k views

Which linux filesystem works best with SSD

From wiki: The vital TRIM function is supported by the Linux OS starting with 2.6.33 kernel (available early 2010). However, support amongst various filesystems is still inconsistent or not present. ...
76
votes
2answers
107k views

Easy way to find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I delete a ‘locked’ file? How can I find out which process is locking a file or folder in Windows? For instance if you are trying to delete a folder ...
52
votes
4answers
4k views

Is a file system just the layout of folders?

I have used Windows since childhood, and when I hear the phrase "Windows filesystem" I think of directories (folders) within directories, a folder called SYSTEM, a folder called PROGRAM FILES etc. Is ...
49
votes
15answers
4k views

How is the computer able to save things before it crashes?

I was under the impression that when a computer has crashed, something went wrong and it can't perform anymore. I was wondering how is the computer able to save things before it crashes? Is the ...
49
votes
6answers
4k views

Doesn't metadata occupy any size?

I put 4096 characters in a text file and save it.Since every character is 1 byte, Size of the text file must be 4K byte.As you see below that's OK: I connect my flash memory to my computer. the ...
47
votes
6answers
17k views

Using UDF on a USB flash drive

After failing to copy a file bigger than 4G to my 8G USB flash drive, I formatted it as ext3. While this is working fine for me so far, it will cause problems if I want to use it to copy files to ...
43
votes
8answers
8k views

Cross-platform file system

I would like my external drives to be readable and writable from Linux, Mac OS X and Windows. FAT32 works, but the 4 GB file size limit is a showstopper these days. Are there any alternatives?
41
votes
1answer
9k views

Creation of 1.3 GB file takes only 1 second. How?

I have folder which contains over 200 files and has size of over 1.3 GB: I use Gizmo Drive software to create an .iso file from that folder. The interesting thing is it takes only 1 or 2 ...
37
votes
3answers
5k views

What are the various link types in Windows? How do I create them?

Is it possible to link two files or folders without having a different extension under Windows? I'm looking for functionality equivalent to the soft and hard links in Unix.
36
votes
4answers
6k views

Directory vs. Folder

Are both names synonyms or should one prefer one name over the other on different platforms?
31
votes
8answers
6k views

Is flash drive wear a significant issue?

My netbook has a flash drive instead of a hard disk drive, and I'm using Ubuntu Netbook Remix with ext3 as the file system. I've read some articles concerning flash drive wear, and the main concerns ...
30
votes
4answers
29k views

If FAT32 has a 4 GB file size limit how was I able to copy my 13 GB iPhoto Library file onto this drive?

It's a 32 GB FAT32 USB thumb drive, and it seems to be having no trouble with my 13 GB iPhoto Library file. I thought there was a 4 GB file size limitation on this file system format?
29
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does an 8 GB and 16 GB USB drive have the same physical size but a different amount of storage? [closed]

In the market, you can get USB drives of different storage sizes. However, among the same brand, I found that those USB drives are physically the same. How can they achieve this? Is it that different ...
28
votes
5answers
35k views

Copy entire file system hierarchy from one drive to another

I would like to copy the entire file system hierarchy from one drive to another..i.e contents of each directory as well as regular files in Linux platform. Would be gratefull to know the best way to ...
27
votes
8answers
34k views

How can you see the actual hard link by ls?

I run ln /a/A /b/B I would like to see at the folder a where the file A points to by ls.
27
votes
3answers
2k views

Have a file named ~ (tilde) in my home-directory (Linux)

I just noticed that I have a file called ~ in my ~-directory. $ ls -la ~ ... -rw-r----- 1 x1 x1 733962240 Mar 1 17:55 ~ ... Any idea how I can mv or rm it?
27
votes
16answers
10k views

Hibernating and booting into another OS: will my filesystems be corrupted?

IMPORTANT If you came here looking for an answer to this question, please read all the answers below. There are some testimonials from people who have lost data doing this. If you plan to do this ...
25
votes
2answers
8k views

How do I remove a file named “NUL” on Windows?

I have a Windows XP box (NTFS filesystem) on which I found a file named NUL. I have not been able to remove this file in any usual way. The file appears to be owned by Administrator in the SYSTEM ...
24
votes
6answers
51k views

Formatting a partition: What should the “allocation unit size” be?

I'm formatting a 1TB external hard drive as NTFS. This drive is mainly meant for storing media such as music and video. What should I choose for the allocation unit size setting? The options range ...
22
votes
3answers
13k views

What is the difference between size and size on disk?

Looking at the properties for a Windows file I get two attributes, "Size" and "Size on disk", and "Size on disk" is always larger. What do these two metrics mean?
22
votes
7answers
11k views

How to monitor a folder for changes, and execute a command if it does, on Windows?

There are similar questions for Linux and Mac, but I'm after a Windows solution here. The problem is as follows: I want to write several (js) script files in a folder, and have a program monitor ...
20
votes
4answers
51k views

What Filesystem to use for Linux Ubuntu? [closed]

I am new to Linux, coming from Windows background. What Filesystem should I use? I read that Ext3 is default still? Ext4 is unstable at times? true? Also is there any performance different between ...
20
votes
3answers
24k views

Why has my Mac been running fsck_hfs for two days now?

I first noticed that fsck_hfs was running, taking up 50-75% of a CPU, yesterday. It continues to run today. ps shows that it is doing /sbin/fsck_hfs -f -n -x -E /dev/disk3. Only problem: I don’t ...
19
votes
10answers
26k views

Mount second drive as c:/Users in Windows 7

So about a month ago I set up a Windows 7 Professional machine where I was able to mount the secondary hard drive to the path C:\Users. This put all of the userspace files on the second hard drive ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

Does Windows 8 have to be installed on NTFS?

Does Windows 8 need to be installed on an NTFS partition or does it just like to be on one? If I installed it on NTFS and then copied all its files on to a FAT32 partition would it work or would it ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a git-like file system?

Git stores content uniquely in its repo based on the calculated hash of any file. Thus, if my directory has two copies of the same file somewhere inside it, git will only actually store it once. I ...
17
votes
8answers
5k views

faster way to mount a remote file system than sshfs?

I have been using sshfs to work remotely, but it is really slow and annoying, particularly when I use eclipse on it. Is there any faster way to mount the remote file system locally? My no.1 priority ...
17
votes
2answers
89k views

What are “reparse records”?

My computer just did a chkdisk, and when it finished processing file records, it said it had processed "44 reparse records". What exactly are they?
16
votes
4answers
3k views

File sizes in Windows not making sense

Here I have this file in Windows: But isn't 62,563 bytes 62.6 KB?
16
votes
7answers
3k views

Why does Windows not recognize files inside Linux partitions?

I dual booted my Windows XP, installing Linux Mint. I found out that when using Linux Mint, I could see and open files installed on Windows XP, but when using Windows XP, I can't see and open files ...
16
votes
4answers
54k views

List all files in all subfolders

In windows, is there any way to get a list of all files in a folder, including all the files within all the subfolders?
16
votes
3answers
573 views

Is there a filesystem that keeps only one copy of a file, and other copies are just references?

The question may be imprecise so I will try to explain it in more detail. For a number of reasons I have lots of copies of the same file on my Linux file-system. Many of them are quite large. Say I ...
16
votes
5answers
9k views

Major practical differences between ext3 and ext4 - if any?

Assuming there's no need to worry about compatibility with older systems, I expect it's always better to use the latest stabile linux file system, which currently seems to be ext4. However it seems ...
16
votes
2answers
661 views

What is the default expected behavior when Windows encounters two files with the same name but different capitalization in an NTFS partition?

It's easy to write two files to an NTFS partition from Linux, and have both of those files contain the same letters but with different case, e.g. some_file.txt and Some_File.txt. Linux distinguishes ...
16
votes
4answers
6k views

Moving a File While It's In Use — How Does it work?

I've noticed that on non-windows OS.... ie linux/mac i can do things like: - Send a zip to a friend over aim - Delete the file while it's in transfer And the transfer does not fail. Or, I can do ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Bad NTFS performance

Why is it that NTFS performance is so lousy compared to, for example, Linux/ext3? Most often I see this when checking out (large) source trees from Subversion. Checkout takes around 10-15 minutes on ...
15
votes
1answer
12k views

How many files can a windows folder contain?

How many files can a windows folder contain? This question is asked here but then the question text pollutes the question with issues of "rules of thumb" So to be clear, this question is: How many ...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Get mac tar to stop putting ._* filenames in tar archives [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do I get files like ._foo in my tarball on OS X? I create autoconf scripts on a Mac. When tar runs, it puts all of these ._foobar names in the archive: ...
15
votes
1answer
6k views

Where should I put my script?

Say I have created a bash script, which will make an ftp user, mount some paths for that user, etc. Where in the file system it would be proper to place? It would be good to have some resource clearly ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

Cross platform Hard Disk encryption?

I would like to encrypt my hard drive so that it requires a password to access it. However features like BitLocker in Windows will only work under Windows, and cannot be accessed from another OS such ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

View Filesystem Access in Real Time on Mac OS X

Had a sysinternals tool (filemon) for that, but now I can find something similar for the mac. I'm a developer and I basically want to debug "file not found" or "wrong permissions" errors.
15
votes
5answers
13k views

Choice of filesystem for GNU/Linux on an SD card

I have am embedded ARM-based system running on an SD card. It's currently Debian GNU/Linux using ext3 as filesystem. As I'm about to reinstall the system, I started wondering about changing to a more ...
14
votes
6answers
23k views

How do you make Windows 7 fully case-sensitive with respect to the filesystem?

I want to make Windows 7 case-sensitive when it reads/writes anything on the hard drive (the C drive, or any other NTFS drive). I found a video via google that says to change the registry key ...
14
votes
3answers
913 views

What happened to WinFS?

The most interesting feature that was ever connected to what eventually became Vista was WinFS, a revolutionary (so it seemed, at least back then) new way of storing and accessing information on a ...
14
votes
1answer
5k views

What is Smart Move?

What is the essential difference between Windows 7 smart moving (files) and the regular Windows file moving? In Windows 7, even renaming a folder would cause the OS using smart moving, which is ...