File Systems

You can add volumes to systems without adding separate drive letters for each new volume, similar to the way Distributed file system (Dfs) links together remote network shares. Volume mount points are robust against system changes that occur when devices are added or removed from a computer.

A volume mount point can be placed in any empty folder of the host NTFS volume. The mounting is handled transparently to the user and applications. The version of NTFS included with Windows 2000 must be used on the host volume. However, the volume to be mounted can be formatted in any Windows 2000-accessible file system, including NTFS, FAT16, FAT32, CDFS, or UDF.

One volume can host multiple volume mount points. This allows the local administrator to easily extend the storage capacity of any particular volume on a Windows 2000 system. Users on the local system or connecting to it over a network can continue to use the same drive letter to access the volume, but multiple volumes can be in use simultaneously from that drive letter, depending on the folder used on the host. Windows 2000 automatically prevents resolution problems caused by changes in the internal device name of the target volume. A mount point is the target volume in the same way a drive letter is the target volume.

A useful example of volume mount points can be seen in the following scenario. A user recently installed Windows 2000 onto a relatively small drive C, and is concerned about unnecessary use of storage space on drive C. The user knows that the default document folder, My Documents, is on drive C, and she uses her computer extensively to create and edit digital photos, vector-based graphic art, and desktop publishing (DTP) files. Knowing that these types of documents can quickly consume a lot of disk storage space, the user creates a volume mount point to drive C under the My Documents folder called Art. Any subfolder of the Art folder actually resides on another volume, saving space on drive C.



You need local Administrator rights to complete this task.

To create a volume mount point under C:\My Documents

  1. If necessary, add a new hard disk to create a new volume.

  2. Log on to the computer with an account that has local Administrator rights.

  3. In Control Panel, double-click Administrative Tools .

  4. In Administrative Tools , double-click Computer Management .

  5. In Computer Management , double-click Disk Management .

  6. If you want to use a previously existing volume as the volume mount point, skip to step 12. Otherwise, right-click in the unallocated space on the disk in which you want to create a new volume and choose Create Partition to start the Create Partition wizard. Follow the steps in the wizard to create an extended partition. Allocate at least as much space as you need to contain all of your art and DTP files.
    You can also create another primary partition, and then skip to step 8.
    You do not have to use an entire extended partition for just one logical volume. Since extended partitions can contain many logical volumes, you might want to use all the remaining unallocated space for the extended partition and then allocate a portion of that for the volume to be used in this scenario. You can later create another one or more logical volumes out of the remaining free space in the extended partition.
    If the disk has been upgraded to dynamic disk, you cannot see the options primary partition, extended partition, and logical volume in Disk Management. These terms only apply to basic disks. On dynamic disks you create simple volumes for this task. For more information about primary partitions, extended partitions, logical volumes, basic disks, and dynamic disks, see Disk Concepts and Troubleshooting in this book.

  7. If you created an extended partition in step 6, right-click in the extended partition, and then choose Create Logical Drive . Use as much disk space for the new logical volume as you need to contain all of the games you plan to install on this computer.

  8. At the Assign Drive Letter or Path screen of the Create Partition wizard, choose the option Mount this volume at an empty folder that supports drive paths , and then click Browse .

  9. In Windows Explorer, expand drive C, navigate to the folder C:\Documents and Settings\ username \My Documents, and then click New Folder . In the folder name placeholder in the Explorer tree, type over the default name New Folder with the name Art , and then click OK . Click Next at the Create Partition wizard.

  10. Format the new volume with NTFS by using the default-sized allocation units (NTFS is not required, but it is recommended). Enter a volume label for the new volume, or clear the default label in the Volume label text box for none. Click Next twice to finish the wizard. The new volume is automatically formatted after the volume is created.

  11. Volumes and volume mount points can be addressed by multiple names in the file system namespace. To make the mounted volume accessible directly through a drive letter in Windows Explorer, in Disk Management, right-click the mounted volume, select Change Drive Letter and Path , and then click Add to assign a drive letter. You can also mount this volume to another folder on the same or another host volume. Click OK when done. Skip to step 15 of this procedure.

  12. To mount previously existing volumes as a volume mount point on a folder of another volume, right-click the volume to be mounted, select Change Drive Letter and Path , and then click Add .

  13. Select Mount in the NTFS folder , and then click Browse .

  14. In Windows Explorer, expand drive C, navigate to the C:\Documents and Settings\ username \My Documents folder, click New Folder , and in the folder name placeholder in the Explorer tree, type over the default name New Folder with the name Art. Click OK twice to close the wizard.

  15. In Windows Explorer, navigate to the C:\Documents and Settings\ username \My Documents\Art folder and create new folders such as Photos, LineArt, and DTP for the graphic arts documents.

Any bitmap files are accessed in the Photos folder on the user's computer, the volume mount point used to attach the volume to the My Documents folder on drive C directs all read and write requests to the Photos folder on the mounted volume. Any files stored in the My Documents\Art folder are stored in the root folder of the mounted volume. Any other folder created normally within Windows Explorer under the My Documents folder still resides on drive C.



In Windows 2000, only NTFS folders are marked as junctions to provide a mapping function from one folder name to another. NTFS files are not marked in this manner.

The tool Mountvol can identify and manage volume mount points. For more information about Mountvol, see File System Tools later in this chapter.