File System Continued

Navigating the C Drive

Go ahead and double left click on Local Disk (C:), below is a picture of what you should now see.

Depending on your computer, some directories and files will be different. So don’t worry if you don’t see exactly the same stuff.

This is called the root of the C: drive.

The definition of root for what we’ll be using the word, stands for the beginning, or the origin. It is signified by the symbol “\” in Windows. However in the Linux operating system, root is signified by the symbol “/”. Don’t ask me why they aren’t the same, I don’t know.

So when I say we’re at the root of the C: drive, I mean we are at the beginning of the C: drive. We can not go backwards, this is it. It is the beginning of the file system (remember the family tree) on drive C:.

If you left click on the bar at the top that says  -> Computer -> Local Disk (C:) ->

We will get our linear progression through the file system.

It says “C:\” That tells us two things

C: we are in the C drive.

\ we are at the root.

so C:\ is the root of the C drive. Not bad huh?

As we make our way linearly through the file system. I’ll be showing pictures of how it changes. Remember linear means no deviations, so it will only show where we are and where we’ve come from, not the full tree with all the different branching points.

Back to the root of C:

What we’ll be focusing on are the

-Program Files directory

-Users directory

-Windows directory

Windows directory

Within this branch of the file system tree lies most of the directories and files that Windows needs to function nominally. A good way to really make Windows not work or fail entirely would be to alter any of these files. So don’t do it. Even though it can be fixed, don’t do it to yourself. It’s not worth it, unless you know what you’re doing.

Program Files directory

Remember that list in the start menu with all your programs? Well in this directory holds most of the programs that show up. This is where the program files actually reside, not in the start menu. The start menu is simply a way to access the files that reside in this directory. This will be useful if you don’t see your program in the start menu, you can always come here if it’s installed in Windows .

Users directory

This is where you will be doing most if not all your work with files and directories. So lets go ahead and move our way through the file system that branches off to the users directory.


After double left clicking on the Users directory, you will be shown all the Users that are on Windows. Go ahead and ignore the other directories and double click on your personal user directory, most likely named your name.

This is what you’ll see after opening up your user folder.

Here you will find all your personal directories in the file system including, My Documents, My Music, My Video, Downloads, Desktop, amongst other categorized directories.

Now let me just explain something. Just because it says My Videos, does not mean you can’t put videos in My Documents or My Music, or any other directory. These pre created directories are simply there to help you keep things organised. So even though you don’t have to use them, it’s a good habit to use them for what they’re named for. It will help you keep files organised and easier for you to find them. In fact I encourage people to put files in sub directories within these directories. An example would be I have a video file of a band called “TheWhoAtMadisonSquare.mkv”. Well I could put it in my videos directory and just leave it at that, or I could make a directory in my videos directory called “Bands”. Or on top of that I can make a directory called “The Who” in the new directory called “Bands” that is within the “My Videos” directory, to further organize my files. This would look something like this in my address bar,

“c:\Users\David\My Videos\Bands\The Who\TheWhoAtMadisonSquare.mkv”.

Your probably thinking, jeez I’m not going that far. Well in time you’ll see just how cluttered everything can get, and don’t think you can rely on that search function we covered in past topics since you might not remember the name of the file. Keeping everything organized can be the difference between looking for a file for 10 seconds, or hours, ya I said hours, it happens, keep it in mind.

Continue this topic in File System Continued II


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