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File Formats


File System


Journaling File System 


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File storage is the method of storing and organising data in a particular location, such as your hard drive or USB drive.  The storage method used is usually supposed to be as easy and logical as possible so that files can easily be found and accessed.  There are various locations for storing your files, both portable and network based.  These and other issues to do with file storage are explained below.

Portable storage:

Portable storage is easy and efficient.  One major risk associated with portable storage drives is that of loss.  Due to the drive's portability it is naturally small, some only 3cm long, and this increases the possibility of losing it.

USB Drives
Also called memory sticks/pen drives and flash drives are the smallest common portable drives.  Drive space ranges from 1GIG to 16GIG and prices hover around the 20-40 NZD mark.  The great advantage of these drives is their relative cheapness and the fact that you can keep them in your back pocket without any hassle.  One other considerable advantage of USB drives is that they are usually under 16 GIG.  This means that it is not necessary to format the drive and thus it can be used on both Mac and Windows operating systems without running into any problems.  Larger disks need formatting specific to one or other of the operating systems which can complicate file sharing and mobility when roaming about studio.

External hard drives
These are usually larger drives both in terms of dimensions and available storage space.  Some external hard drives now come with specific third party backing up software and file management software.  Storage space is constantly increasing and at present (Mar. 2010) a range of about 250 GIG through to 1 TERA. 

Formatting your drive
Often larger drives will need to be formatted. Various applications take care of this process and will format the disc according to certain data storage needs.  Disc Utility on Mac is one such.  For more formatting information see the section below.

Local storage:

Files should not be stored on the desktop or on the local C: drive as once you logout or the computer has been restarted the files will be deleted.

      On a PC computer files can be stored temporarilyon the U: drive. This should NOT be used as long term storage.  This data can be lost at anytime due to hardware failure or re-imaging. 
You should keep copies of important files elsewhere

      On an Apple computer files can be temporarilystored on the Projects drive. This should NOT be used as long term storage. This data can be lost at anytime due to hardware failure or re-imaging. 
You should keep copies of important files elsewhere

Network storage:

For all students it is recommended that files are stored on NIMBUS where students have a 10 Gigabyte limit.

      On PC computers Nimbus is located under My Computer > N: Drive
      On Apple there is an Icon on the desktop linking to NIMBUS

Once you have reached NIMBUS you will see your user folder where you can store your files

Staff members should store files on ¿staff-server¿.

Formatting drives:

At present, if you are taking your external hard drive between operating systems you will most likely encounter readability problems.  However, if your hard drive is a Flash disk under 10 GIG or so, you will have no problems in this area.  Problems are encountered only with large drives (approx. > 10GIG) when they are formatted for a specific operating system and not others.  This has produced a small army of often free (search them online) applications which allow Mac formatted drives to be read on Windows and vice-versa.  Mac has also developed a formatting system called journaling.  For more information on these issues and the specific requirements of your drive consult the web, and the manufacturer's specifications of your product.

Learning support:

The Helpdesk, of The Lab





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First published Mon. 1 Feb. 2010.

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