A table that the operating system uses to locate files on a disk. Due to fragmentation, a file may be divided into many sections that are scattered around the disk. The FAT keeps track of all these pieces.
In DOS systems, FATs are stored just after the boot sector.
The FAT system for older versions of Windows 95 is called FAT16, and the one for new versions of Windows 95 and Windows 98 is called FAT32.
- file compression
See under data compression and packed file.
- file format
A format for encoding information in a file. Each different type of file has a different file format. The file format specifies first whether the file is a binary or ASCII file, and second, how the information is organized.
- file handle
A number that the operating system assigns temporarily to a file when it is opened. The operating system uses the file handle internally when accessing the file. A special area of main memory is reserved for file handles, and the size of this area determines how many files can be open at once. In DOS […]
- file infecting virus
A type of computer virus that inserts its malicious code into executable files on a system. When the infected file is opened or used the virus may overwrite the file and cause permanent damage to the content of the overwritten file. This type of virus targets a large range of operating systems, including Macintosh, UNIX, […]
- File Management System
)Also referred to as simply a file system or filesystem. The system that an operating system or program uses to organize and keep track of files. For example, a hierarchical file system is one that uses directories to organize files into a tree structure. Although the operating system provides its own file management system, you […]