When storing data/programs in your auxiliary storage devices through the Windows operating system you will be using Files. A file is a set of instructions or data for the computer. There are 2 different types of files: Program Files and Data Files. Program files are the files that hold the instructions for your computer. These are files such as Microsoft Word and Excel. Data files are those files that hold your data or information. Data files must be used in conjunction with a program file. File types associate a data file with the associated program file, the file type is determined by the application. The file extension (3 characters after the period in file names) will identify the file type, as will the application icon that displays with the data file name. When storing files within the Windows system you can organize the files through the use of folders. Each folder can hold files and/or other folders to allow you to structure your files in a manageable way. Your files can be copied, moved, renamed, or deleted through the Windows system. The difference between copying a file and moving a file is that when you copy a file, the file is maintained in the original location as well as being placed in the new location. When you move a file it is no longer located in the original location. When using folders within the same storage device, Windows will default to a move command, while it will default to a copy command when using 2 different storage devices. When you delete a file (or folder) from the hard drive through the Windows program it will send the file to the Recycle Bin. It will remain there, and can be recovered, until the Recycle Bin is emptied. If you delete from any other storage device the file will be deleted. It is imperative that you develop a back up strategy to maintain your programs as well as your data. Things will happen when using a computer – drives crash, disks get lost, viruses corrupt files, floods, etc. – you need to be prepared to recover your information. Backups need to be kept current, if you have to restore your information from a backup the data will only be as current as the backup – if it has been 2 weeks since your last backup, you will have 2 weeks worth of data lost. Backups need to be kept in a secure off-site facility. If something happens to the building where your computer is located, if your backup is there also chances are you will lose your backup as well.
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