Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Implementing, Managing, and Troubleshooting Disk Devices

With Windows 2000, the device management operations have become a lot easier. The Disk Management tool has been added in the new Computer Management MMC. This replaces the Disk Administrator that was a part of Administrative Tools in Windows NT 4.0. This utility is more powerful than its previous counterpart, and gives us the option of managing and troubleshooting hard drives, partitions, and volumes without restarting the computer. It is even possible to manage disks on remote computers using Disk Management. To access the Computer Management console, right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop. From the drop-down menu that appears, select Manage. This opens the Computer Management console.

Another way to access the Computer Management console is from the Control Panel. From the Start menu, click Start Settings Control Panel Administrative Tools. You will find the Computer Management applet in this window. Double-click it to open the Computer Management console.

The disk management functions are under the Storage snap-in, which is used for common disk management tasks. The common disk management functions include creating, deleting, and formatting disk partitions, and working with basic disks, dynamic disks, and volumes.

Common Disk Management Functions

The Disk Management snap-in of the Computer Management MMC provides a centralized point for performing all disk-related functions. Many of the functions such as working with logical drives and removable storage are also performed within this console. An added feature is that many of the functions can be performed online. This ensures that the computer running Windows 2000 Professional will have fewer power recycles while performing disk- and-device related administrative tasks. This is a welcome improvement from the earlier versions of Windows. The following tasks can be performed using the Disk Management snap-in:

Ø Managing simple, spanned, and striped volumes

Ø Adding disks to a computer

Ø Viewing information

Ø Remote management of disk devices

The Storage snap-in in the Computer Management console

You may notice in the above figure that Windows 2000 includes a new utility called Disk Defragmenter. This was not available in Windows NT 4.0. This utility is useful for analyzing and defragmenting hard drives, and works on both NTFS and FAT volumes. Although NTFS volumes are less prone to fragmentation as compared to FAT volumes, the utility is quite useful on large and heavily used disk drives.

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