NTFS On-Disk Structure

This section describes the on-disk structure of an NTFS volume, including how disk space is divided and organized into clusters, how files are organized into directories, how the actual file data and attribute information is stored on disk, and finally, how NTFS data compression works.


The structure of NTFS begins with a volume. A volume corresponds to a logical partition on a disk, and it is created when you format a disk or part of a disk for NTFS. You can also create a RAID volume that spans multiple disks by using the Windows Disk Management MMC snap-in or the diskpart (%SystemRoot%\System32\Diskpart.exe) command available from the Windows command prompt.

A disk can have one volume or several. NTFS handles each ...

Get Windows® Internals, Sixth Edition, Part 2 now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.