Essay: Filenames and Extensions in FAT

Essay: Filenames and Extensions in FAT
12/04/2011 Comments Off on Essay: Filenames and Extensions in FAT Academic Papers on Information Technology,Sample Academic Papers admin

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FAT file system has traditionally been using a fixed format naming convention that has existed since the first PC. This format is the 8.3 naming scheme.  In this scheme, the file name consists of two parts, the file name which is used to identify the file itself. The length of this field is restricted to 8 characters and is also used to indicate if the file has been deleted or not. The file extension is an optional field of 3 characters which is used to identify the type of data stored in the file. Various extensions categorize the files into executable and non-executable files. The character which is permitted to be used in naming the files and extension are A-Z 0-9 $ % ‘ – _ @ ~ `! ( ) ^ # and &.

FAT32 has removed the restriction of 8.3 scheme, by using Virtual FAT to allow for long file names to be used. It allows for up to 255 characters to be used for naming a file. These long filenames are stored in the regular directories using standard directory entries but can span multiple entries. Each of the additional directory entry which is used to hold long file name information is then tagged as read-only, hidden, system and volume label.  This prevents the older version of FAT from modifying these entries. These long names also have a traditional 8.3 scheme based named assign to it as well, so that they are accessible by previous versions of FAT file system as well (Kozierok).

File Date and Time

The 32-bit directory entry of the FAT32 file system stores date and time for both when the file was created and when it was last written as well as the date of last access. Inside each directory entry, 10 bits are reserved to full these purposes (Bunting). Out of these 10 bits, 4 bit bits are reserved for storage of creation date and time stamp, the other4-bits store the last date and time a write operation was performed while 2 bits are reserved for storage of last access date stamp. These stamps follow the same format which is 4 bits for a second, 6 bits for minutes and 6 bits for hours, for storing time while for date stamp 4 bits are used for storing date and month while 8 bits are used for strong the year which ranges from 1980 to 2107 (Verstak).

In FAT32, the system updates the time and date of the files and directories, every time they are refreshed or modified. However, because of the simplistic architecture of FAT file system and the lack of security features, it is very easy for any program to access and modify the date or time stamp on any file. Hence it is recommended that the date and time stamp of any file in the FAT32 system should not be taken seriously (Kozierok).



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