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Windows 2000 Operating systems support 5 different volume types:
1. Simple volumes
2. Spanned volumes
3. Striped volumes
4. Mirrored volumes
5. RAID-5 volumes
-A simple volume consists of a formatted disk on a single hard disk.
-A Spanned volume consists of disk space on more than one hard disk.
-A Striped volume has disk space on 2 or more disks. The disk spaces must be same on all disks. Fastest disk access among all volume types. RAID level 0.
-A mirrored volume consists of a Simple volume that is mirrored in total, onto a second dynamic disk. Provides highest level of fault tolerance. RAID level 1
-A RAID-5 volume consists of identical sized disk space located on three or more dynamic disks. Here any single disk failures can be recovered. RAID level 5
Note that Windows 2000 Professional doesn’t support Disk Mirroring, RAID-5 volumes, where as other Windows 2000 Operating Systems (2000 Server, Advanced Server) support.
In Windows XP computer, you can use Start -> Windows Update to connect to the Microsoft site. Windows Update is a catalog of items such as drivers, patches, the latest help files, and Internet products that you can download to keep your computer up to date. You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administators group in order to access the Product Updates section of Windows Update for downloading help files.
XP Professional supports multiple processors, multiple monitors (up to 9), Group Policy, Encrypting File System, Dynamic Disks, IIS, a built in backup program, and advanced networking capabilities (such as IPSec.) All of these features are missing from XP Home Edition. Another important distinction between the two versions is that XP Home Edition cannot join a Windows NT/2000/2003 domain.
Windows XP Operating System comes in the following flavours:
a. Windows XP Home: The basic XP OS intended for home users,
b. Windows XP Professional: The XP OS intended for business users,
c. Windows XP Media Center Edition: Windows Media Center provides a large-font, remotely accessible interface ("10-foot user interface") for television viewing on the computer as well as recording and playback, a TV guide, DVD playback, video playback, photo viewing, and music playback.
d. Windows XP Table PC: This edition is intended for specially-designed notebook/laptop computers called tablet PCs. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is compatible with a pen-sensitive screen, supporting handwritten notes and portrait-oriented screens.
Boot process (F8) in Windows XP desk top bring up the following options:
* Safe Mode: This option uses a minimal set of device drivers and services to start Windows. The drivers loaded with Safe Mode include mouse, monitor, keyboard, hard drive, and standard video driver.
* Safe Mode with Networking: This option uses a minimal set of device drivers and services to start Windows together with the drivers that you must have to load networking.
* Safe Mode with Command Prompt: This option is the same as Safe mode, except that Cmd.exe starts instead of Windows Explorer.
* Enable VGA Mode: This option starts Windows in 640 x 480 mode by using the current video driver (not Vga.sys). This mode is useful if the display is configured for a setting that the monitor cannot display.
Note Safe mode and Safe mode with Networking load the Vga.sys driver instead.
* Last Known Good Configuration: This option starts Windows by using the previous good configuration.
* Directory Service Restore Mode: This mode is valid only for Windows-based domain controllers. This mode performs a directory service repair.
* Debugging Mode: This option turns on debug mode in Windows. Debugging information can be sent across a serial cable to another computer that is running a debugger. This mode is configured to use COM2.
* Enable Boot Logging: This option turns on logging when the computer is started with any of the Safe Boot options except Last Known Good Configuration. The Boot Logging text is recorded in the Ntbtlog.txt file in the %SystemRoot% folder.
* Starts Windows Normally: This option starts Windows in its normal mode.
* Reboot: This option restarts the computer.
* Return to OS Choices Menu: On a computer that is configured to starting to more than one operating system, this option returns to the Boot menu.
You can configure support for multiple displays on your Windows XP computer. This is done through the use of Control Panel -> Display -> Settings. A Windows XP computer can support up to ten display monitors at the same time. Use additional video cards as required.
The Device Manager (It can be accessed using Add/Remove Hardware in XP) lists all the hardware devices installed on your system. You can also update any existing drivers, as well as change the hardware settings. You use Add/Remove Hardware to install new hardware. Accessibility options are primarily used to configure the keyboard, display, and mouse options on a computer to accommodate the users who are physically handicapped. The Add/ Remove Programs is used to install/uninstall 3rd party software. This is also used for installing/uninstalling Windows XP optional components.
Features supported by XP:
On readable/writable disks, Microsoft Windows XP Professional supports the NTFS file system and three file allocation table (FAT) file systems: FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32. On CDROM and DVD media, Windows XP Professional supports two file systems: Compact Disc File System (CDFS) and Universal Disk Format (UDF).
While installing XP, if you have a standard desktop PC that uses integrated drive electronics (IDE) disk drives, then these will be detected during setup. If, however, you use SCSI disks or have Redundant Array of Independent Disk (RAID) storage systems, you will see, shortly after the reboot, the following line of text displayed at the bottom of the screen:
“Press F6 if you need to install a third party SCSI or RAID driver...”
Pressing F6 will start a dialog that allows you to configure and install the drivers for your SCSI or other disk subsystem controllers. This option is usually used on server platforms that use large-capacity, high-speed, fault-tolerant disk subsystems. For most PCs, however, you won't need to use this option.
Certain versions of Windows Vista uses BitLocker Drive Encription. BitLocker Drive Encryption is a full disk encryption feature included with the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Microsoft's Windows Vista and Windows 7 desktop operating systems.
In order for BitLocker to operate, the hard disk requires at least two NTFS-formatted volumes: one for the operating system (usually C:) and another with a minimum size of 100MB from which the operating system boots. BitLocker requires the boot volume to remain unencrypted, so the boot should not be used to store confidential information.
Windows Sidebar is a pane on the side of the Microsoft Windows Vista desktop where you can keep your gadgets organized and always available. Gadgets are mini programs that give you information at a glance and provide access to frequently used tools. Windows Sidebar helps you to organize your gadgets. The Windows sidebar is also available in Windows 7 Operating System.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 feature a user interface termed as Aero by Microsoft. This is the default interface used by Vista. Aero interface is characterized by the following features:
1.Glass-like translucent design
2.Dynamic windows: When you minimize a window, it animates to its place on the taskbar, so it's easier to find when you need it.
3.High dots-per-inch (dpi) support: Windows Aero supports high-resolution monitors, so you can get a laptop or flat-screen monitor that's smaller in size but shows visually richer, displaying high-resolution, easy-to-read images.
4.Live taskbar thumbnails: In Windows Aero, live taskbar thumbnail images display the actual contents of both windows that are currently open and those that are minimized in the taskbar. When you rest your mouse pointer on a tile on the taskbar, you'll see the "live" contents of that window without having to bring it to the foreground.
Other features include Windows Flip 3D, and smooth scrolling desktop.
Windows Vista Home Basic, Vista Home Premium, and Vista Starter provide only limited support for EFS (Encrypted File System), whereas Vista Business, and Vista Ultimate provide full support for EFS.
Upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate
You can upgrade to Windows Vista Ultimate from Windows XP Home, XP Professional, XP Media Center, and XP Tablet PC, Windows 2000 Professional can't be upgraded to Windows Vista directly.
The following reserved characters can't be used in Windows file names:
< (less than)
> (greater than)
" (double quote)
/ (forward slash)
| (vertical bar or pipe)
? (question mark)