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Memorize file copying and moving traits for Win2K Server exam

To pass Windows 2000 exams, you must understand file behavior. You need to know how compressed, encrypted, shared, and regular NTFS files and folders behave when copied and moved within and between volumes. Here's an quick overview.


What happens to the permissions and compression state when you move a compressed folder from an NTFS-formatted disk to a different NTFS volume on a new hard drive? Does the folder inherit the compression state from the destination folder, or does the folder's compression state remain unchanged? What about the permissions? Are they inherited or maintained?

You must be able to answer all of these questions if you're going to prepare well for Microsoft's Windows 2000 Server exam (70-215). Before you attempt that exam, you'll want to brush up on all of the following facts.

Permissions are required to move files
The first thing to remember about copying files and folders within or between NTFS partitions is that the user doing the moving must possess Create Files/Write Data and Create Folders/Append Data permissions for the folder where the files are being copied. When a file or folder is being moved, the user doing the moving must also possess the Delete permission for the source folder. Without those permissions, the user won't be able to move or copy files. The user who moves or copies the files becomes the new owner of those files or folders.

Copying or moving regular NTFS files and folders
When copying or moving files and folders within or between NTFS volumes, remember this key concept: Whenever Windows must create a file or folder as a result of a copy or move action, the file or folder will inherit permissions from the destination folder.

When a file or folder is moved within an NTFS partition, the file or folder doesn't need to be re-created. Thus, the files and folders retain the original permissions after they are moved.

However, when a file or folder is copied within or between NTFS volumes, Windows must create a copy of the file or folder being copied. Thus, copying a file or folder results in that copied file or folder inheriting permissions from the destination folder.

The same is true for files or folders being moved between NTFS volumes. When moving a file or folder between NTFS volumes, the moved file or folder must be created on the destination volume, which means the moved file or folder will inherit the destination folder's permissions.

You may also be tested on what happens to NTFS permissions when a file or folder is moved or copied to a FAT-formatted partition. Don't let those questions trip you up. Neither the FAT16 nor FAT32 file systems support NTFS permissions. NTFS is required to support NTFS permissions. (It seems simple enough, but in the heat of an exam, be sure you don’t forget this.)

Copying or moving shared files and folders
You also need to brush up on what happens when a shared file or folder is moved. Fortunately, it's pretty simple. A shared file or folder that is copied or moved results in a new file or folder that is not shared. The source file or folder, however, remains shared.

As far as permissions go, the copied or moved file or folder receives permissions according to the rules discussed above.

Copying and moving encrypted files and folders
Files or folders encrypted using the Encrypting File System (EFS) raise a few tricky issues. There's a difference between copying and moving files when the file being copied or moved is encrypted. Here's what to remember when it comes to EFS.

Encrypted files are given priority. When an encrypted file is copied or moved, an encrypted file results. The original file retains its encrypted state, and the file resulting from the copy or move action is encrypted, whether the destination folder is encrypted or unencrypted. Otherwise, just copying, moving, or renaming a file could defeat EFS protection.

When working with unencrypted files and encrypted folders, you need to keep these two points in mind:
  • When an unencrypted file is moved to an encrypted folder, the file remains unencrypted.
  • When an unencrypted file is copied to an encrypted folder, the unencrypted file becomes encrypted.

Don't forget that EFS also requires NTFS. According to Microsoft, it's possible for encrypted files to become decrypted if they are copied or moved to a FAT volume.

Copying and moving compressed files and folders
Compressed files and folders have their own characteristics. When a compressed file is copied within an NTFS partition, the file inherits the destination folder's compression state. Thus, compressed files copied to uncompressed folders on the same NTFS partition lose compression. Uncompressed files copied to compressed folders on the same NTFS partition become compressed.

Copying or moving compressed files and folders between different NTFS volumes results in the same behavior. When a compressed file or folder is copied or moved between NTFS partitions, the compressed file or folder being copied or moved inherits the destination folder's compression state.

When moving a compressed file within the same NTFS volume, though, the file retains its compression state. For example, compressed files moved to another location on the same NTFS volume remain compressed regardless of the destination folder's state. The same is true of uncompressed files moved to another location on the same NTFS volume; they remain uncompressed regardless of the destination folder's compression setting.

Compression requires NTFS. Should a compressed file or folder be moved to a FAT-formatted volume, the file will lose its compression.

Review of key points
  • Whenever Windows must create a file or folder as a result of a copy or move action on NTFS volumes, the file or folder will inherit permissions from the destination folder.
  • NTFS permissions are supported only on NTFS-formatted volumes. Neither FAT16 nor FAT32 supports NTFS permissions.
  • Encrypted files almost always receive priority. However, unencrypted files moved to encrypted folders remain unencrypted.
  • Moving a compressed file within an NTFS volume results in retained compression settings. Other copying and moving actions involving compressed files and folders result in an inheritance of the destination folder's compressed state.


Eckel's take
So to return to the question we led off with: What does happen to the permissions and compression state when a compressed folder is moved from an NTFS-formatted disk to a different NTFS volume on a new hard drive? The compressed folder will inherit the compression state from the destination folder. The same is true of the folder's permissions; they will be inherited from the destination folder.

 

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