Monday, September 26, 2011

Disk Management for Windows 7

Partitioning Disks
Master Boot Record (MBR) Disk:
  • Contains the partition table for the disk and a small amount of executable code called the master boot code.
  • The computer BIOS examines the MBR to determine which partition on the disks is marked as active and returns the information so you can boot up.
  • 2 terabyte (TB) limit.
  • You can have four partitions for each hard drive. The boot.ini contains the the list of operating systems and points to the one you want to boot (‘multi-boot’ systems). Virtualization does away with ‘multi-boot’, not needed.
  • Active partition contains the OS startup files.
GPT Disk (GUID – Global Unique Identification):
A new method of partitioning. You don’t have to follow the MBR format.
  • Supports up to 128 partitions on a drive, up to 18 exabytes (theoretical since we don’t actually have a hard drive that size)
  • Also supports boot disks if you are in a 64-bit OS using a UEFI (unified extensible firmware interface).
  • If you have a 32-bit drive, you must use the MBR disk format in order to boot up. 
  • So, in a multi-drive environment, you could have MBR on one drive and using GPT on another.
    Disk Management Tools
    • Disk Management  (graphical)
      • Go to Computer Management | Storage | Disk Management
      • Make your changes to convert the disk to GUID and click on View | Refresh
      • Click on the disk properties to verify
    • DiskPart.exe (command line)
      • Diskpart> list disk (shows the disks)
      • Diskpart>select disk 1
      • Diskpart>convert gpt
    • Initialize disks
    • Create volumes
    • Format volume file system (only NTFS with Windows 7)
    • Move disks between computers
    • Change disks between basic and dynamic types
    • Change the partititon style
    Troubleshooting Disk Management
    Managing Disk Volumes

    Simple Volume
    • Dynamic volume that encompasses available free-space from a single, dynamic, hard disk drive.
    • A portion of a physical disk functioning as though it were a physically separate unit.
    • Can consist of a single region on a disk or multiple regions of the same disk linked together.
    • Not fault tolerant. If your  hard drive fails, your data is gone.
    • Can be extended across disks for a spanned volume.
    Working with Basic and Dynamic Disks
    Disk Management – Right click the unallocated space on the dynamic disk/New Simple Volume/Wizard pops up

    Diskpart – Run as admin
    • Diskpart> list disk
    • Diskpart> select disk 1
    • Diskpart> create partition primary size = 100
    • Diskpart> list partition
    • Diskpart> select partition 2
    • Diskpart> format fs=ntfs label=sampleDiskPart
    • Diskpart> assign (assigns a drive letter)
    Spanned and Striped Volumes
    Requires dynamic disks
    Requires multiple dynamic disks
    Allocated from a minimum of two disks. Each disk is filled up with data, before going to the next drive. The disks do not need to be the same size.
    Allocated space from each disks must be identical, the same size. Each disks is filled up with data equally.
    Up to 32 disks can be combined into a single spanned volume
    Up to 32 disks can be combined into a single striped volume
    No fault tolerance
    No fault tolerance
    No performance improvement compared to a simple volume
    Well suited for isolating the paging file. Paging file is usually the size of the memory plus 50% more, so it is huge and needs the better performance of a striped volume.
    Can shrink or extend
    Faster throughput, better performance.

    Creating Spanned Volumes

    Disk Management. example You have two new hard drives. Format the drives as GPT drives.  You have Disk 1 and Disk 2.  You have 16 GB a piece. 
    Right click the disk/New Spanned Volume/Wizard pops up

    Creating Striped Volumes

    Disk Management. Right click the disk/New Striped Volume/Wizard pops up

    Resize a volume. Resize to create additional, unallocated space for use of data or programs on a new volume.

    Shrink simple and spanned dynamic disks to:
    • Extend the simple volume on the same disk
    • Extend a simple volume to include unallocated space on other disks on the same computer.
    Before shrinking:
    • Defragment the disk you are shrinking
    • Reduce shadow copy disk space consumption
    • Ensure no page files are stored on the volume to be shrunk

    Disk Management. Right click the disk/Shrink Volume/Wizard pops up
    (You could have extended the volume)
    Diskpart> list disk
    Diskpart> select disk 1
    Diskpart> list volume
    Diskpart> select volume 0
    Diskpart> shrink desired=7000

    Understanding Disk Partitions

    Maintaining Disks in Windows 7

    Disk Fragmentation. When the disk is fragmented, it slows down your computer. Overtime, when  you delete files, certain spaces become available again causing your disk to become fragmented. Files fill up in the available space causing the fragmentation.

    Defragmenting a Disk
    • Rearranges fragmented data
    • Disks and drives work more efficiently, including USB drives
    • Runs automatically
    • Can run from command-line
    Slow PC? Optimize your computer for peak performance
    Disk Quotas. Can limit user’s use of disk space on a volume to conserve disk space.
    • Allows you to track and restrict disk consumption
    • Monitor available space
    • Determines who is consuming available space
    • Allows you to plan for storage capacity increases
    • Enable quotas on any NTFS-formatted volume, including local, network, and removable storage
    note: Administrator account normally does not fall under the quota system, so if you want to install an app like Microsoft Office, install under the Administrator account so that it won’t use part of the user’s quota.

    You can set up warnings to let you know if the user is close to reaching the quota.

    Configure Disk Quotas

    • Go to Explorer by right-clicking on Computer | Open.
    • Right click the drive | Properties | Quota tab | Show Quota Settings
    • Check Enable quota management.
    • Click Apply. Go to Quota Entries. You can see who has put something on the drive.
    • Go back and highlight Limit disk space to 5 kb.
    • You can turn on quota logging options for alerts to the quota limit.
    • To change quota settings for a particular user, go to Quota Entries. Select the user and change the quota entry that is different from the general population.

    Configure Device Drivers. A software program that allows the hardware to communicate with a computer.
    • 32-bit drivers versions do not work for 64-bit versions
    • Driver signing: a Microsoft digital signature that indicates if the driver has met a certain level of testing
    • Driver store – repository with drivers for commonly used peripheral devices.
    Install Devices and Drivers. Win 7 has Plug and Play (reboot rarely necessary when installing devices or software apps)

    • Stage driver packages
    • Configure client computers to automatically search a specified list of folders when a new device is attached
    Device Driver Management Tools
    • Device Manager
    • Devices and Printers
    • PnP Tool – command line

    Options for Updating Drivers
    • Dynamic Update
      • Works with Windows Update for critical fixes and device drivers required for setup
    • Windows Update
      • Provides automatic updating options for software updates and drivers
    • Manufacturer media or Web site
    • Device Manager
      • Updates driver software manually
    • Compatibility Report
      • Use this report during an upgrade to load a new or updated driver
    Manage Signed Drivers
    • Use Sigverif.exe to check for unsigned device drivers
    • Command prompt to run driverquery with the /si switch to get a basic list of signed and unsigned device drivers
    • Group Policy to deploy certificates to client computers.
    Options for Recovering from a Driver

    Printers are a classic example of having to recover from a driver problem because of an outdated driver.
    • Go to printer properties and do an update to the driver
    • Rollback  the driver
    • Go to Microsoft Update site
    • Go to Manufacturer’s web site
    Device Manager 

    Right click Computer | Properties (takes you to System) | Device Manager
    Select Update Driver Software
    • Search automatically for updated driver software or
    • Browse for driver software on your compute or 
    • Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
    Another option:
    Right click the device and go to Properties. Select Driver tab and:
    • Update Driver,
    • Roll Back Driver,
    • Disable, or
    • Uninstall
    Windows 7 Compatibility Center

    1 comment:

    1. Good blog post. Things I would like to make contributions about is that personal computer memory must be purchased if the computer cannot cope with anything you do by using it. One can add two RAM boards of 1GB each, in particular, but not one of 1GB and one with 2GB. One should always check the company’s documentation for one’s PC to make certain what type of ram is essential.
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