Glossary of Computer Terms


Alternative File Stream Files in NTFS can have more then one stream. Alternative streams usually contain file related metadata. For example, MP3 music file may contain unnamed stream, where data are stored, and one or several additional streams where composition genre, album name and author name are stored.

FAT32 The standard file system used in Windows 95/98/Me. It supports long file names. Now FAT32 is obsolete, but it is supported in Windows for backward compatibility. NTFS, the most modern file system, is now used by default in Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista.

File Attributes Each file or folder on disk has none, one or several assigned attributes, such as Archive, Hidden, System, Not Content Indexed and so on. For example a file having Hidden attribute isn’t displayed in Windows Explorer view. Pandora Recovery can restore original attributes of a deleted file or folder.


File Encryption Windows 2000 introduced Encrypting File System (EFS), which supports file encryption. EFS service runs on top of NTFS and encrypts or decrypts files or folders transparently for users and applications. EFS uses DESX/3DES/AES symmetric key encryption algorithms for fast file encryption and RSA public/private key algorithm for storing the symmetric keys in secure manner.

File Recovery When you delete a file on FAT32 or NTFS file system, its content is not erased from disk but only reference to file data in File Allocation Table is marked as deleted. It means that you can recover deleted files, or make it visible for file system again.

NTFS  NTFS, or New Technology File System, supports many features not supported by FAT32, such as alternative file streams, file encryption and so on.

Stream is a part of a file. Each file has at least one stream, where its data is stored. NTFS file system introduces multiple streaming, when one file can have many streams. The main stream, or unnamed data stream, contains file data. Alternative streams usually have names and may contain additional data or metadata.

Volume Named part of physical disk. Each volume is assigned a letter, for example "C:”

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