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Introduction with Operating System Directory structure of Windows Operating System

Explore your Computer

Starting & Closing Programs Managing Folders & Files Creating Shortcuts Formatting Floppy Disk

Shutting down the Computer

Types of Software

The need of Operating System

Operating System's Functions Processor Management

Storage Management
Some commonly used Operating Systems


An operating system (OS) is software, consisting of programs and data, that runs on computers, manages computer hardware resources, and provides common services for execution of various application software. The operating system is the most important type of system software in a computer system. Without an operating system, a user cannot run an application program on their computer, unless the application program is self booting. For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between application programs and the computer hardware,[1][2] although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and will frequently call the OS or be interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on almost any device that contains a computer from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers.

Examples of popular modern operating systems include Linux, Android, iOS, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.[3


In computing, a directory structure is the way an operating system's file system and its files are displayed to the user. Files are typically displayed in a Hierarchical tree structure.


$Recycle. Bin :Recycle folder (hidden)

Boot :Boot folder (hidden, since Windows Vista)

Documents and Settings User folders (up to Windows XP, legacy and hidden since Windows Vista)

Inetpub :IIS folder (if installed)

PerfLogs : Created by Windows Performance Information and Tools Program Data :Program data (hidden, since Windows Vista) Program Files: Program files Program Files (x86)Program files for x86 (32 bit) programs on a x64 Windows

Recovery System : recovery informations (hidden)

System Volume Information :Part of system restore (hidden) Users : User folders (since Windows Vista)

Windows : Windows folder


A path, the general form of a filename or of a directory name, specifies a unique location in a file system. A path points to a file system location by following the directory tree hierarchy expressed in a string of characters in which path components, separated by a delimiting character, represent each directory. The delimiting character is most commonly the slash ("/"), the backslash character ("\"), or colon (":"), though some operating systems may use a different delimiter. Paths are used extensively in computer science to represent the directory/file relationships common in modern operating systems, and are essential in the construction of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs). Systems can use either absolute or relative paths. A full path or absolute path is a path that points to the same location on one file system regardless of the working directory or combined paths. It is usually written in reference to a root directory. A relative path is a path relative to the working directory of the user or application, so the full absolute path will not have to be given.


Windows Explorer is a file manager application that is included with releases of the Microsoft Windows operating system from Windows 95 onwards. It provides agraphical user interface for accessing the file systems. It is also the component of the operating system that presents many user interface items on the monitor such as the taskbar and desktop. Controlling the computer is possible without Windows Explorer running (for example, the File | Run command in Task Manager on NT-derived versions of Windows will function without it, as will commands typed in a command prompt window). Located in the C:\Windows directory, it is sometimes referred to as the Windows Shell, explorer.exe, or simply Explorer.


Most of the program installed on your computer are available from one convenient location the program section of start menu. To Start A program ( Say MS paint) we have to take following steps : 1. Click on start button , & then point to Programs or All programs. The programs submenu appears. 2. Point to group (accessories) that contains the program you want to start & then click on program name i.e., on MS Paint.

To close a program we have to just do one thing which is as follow

1. Just click on close button in the upper right corner of the program widows OR you can also click upon exit option OR you can also press the shortcut key Alt+F4.


Information in a computer file can consist of smaller packets of information (often called "records" or "lines") that are individually different but share some trait in common. For example, a payroll file might contain information concerning all the employees in a company and their payroll details; each record in the payroll file concerns just one employee, and all the records have the common trait of being related to payrollthis is very similar to placing all payroll information into a specific filing cabinet in an office that does not have a computer. A text file may contain lines of text, corresponding to printed lines on a piece of paper. Alternatively, a file may contain an arbitrary binary image (a BLOB) or it may contain an executable.

The way information is grouped into a file is entirely up to how it is designed. This has led to a plethora of more or less standardized file structures for all imaginable purposes, from the simplest to the most complex. Most computer files are used by computer programs which create, modify or delete the files for their own use on an as-needed basis. The programmers who create the programs decide what files are needed, how they are to be used and (often) their names. In some cases, computer programs manipulate files that are made visible to the computer user. For example, in a word-processing program, the user manipulates document files that the user personally names. Although the content of the document file is arranged in a format that the word-processing program understands, but the user is able to choose the name and location of the file and provide the bulk of the information (such as words and text) that will be stored in the file. Many applications pack all their data files into a single file called archive file, using internal markers to discern the different types of information contained within. The benefits of the archive file are to lower the number of files for easier transfer, to reduce storage usage, or just to organize outdated files. The archive file must often be unpacked before next using.


On the desktop (main screen), right click the My Computer icon. Select Explore from the list that appears. The screen will change, exposing a window with two panes. On the left is a list of all your drives and on the right is a list of the drives sorted in categories. To keep things simple we are going to create a folder in My Documents. Click My Documents. The screen changes. The left side of the window lists all the folders already in the My Documents folder. On the right is a list of the existing folders in My Documents. Right click in any empty space in the right pane.


For example, let's say that you wanted to find your Microsoft Office applications; you can do the following: 1. Click the Start button. 2. Type "office" in the Start Search box of the Start menu. 3. Select the desired program, file, or communication.

The screen below shows what Windows Vista returns if you follow the above steps:


Creating a Shortcut to a Program or File To create a shortcut on the desktop to a program or file, there are two possible methods to choose from.Method 1 Right-click an open area on the desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut. Click Browse.

Locate the program or file to which you want to create a shortcut, click the program or file, click Open, and then click Next.
Type a name for the shortcut. If a Finish button appears at the bottom of the dialog box, click it. If a Next button appears at the bottom of the dialog box, click it, click the icon you want to use for the shortcut, and then click Finish.


To format a floppy disk we need to take following steps:

Begin by placing the floppy disk that you want to copy into your floppy drive. Double click on the My Computer icon on your Desktop until it opens. Then gently click on the 3 Floppy (A:) icon just until it becomes highlighted. Then click on the word File, which is contained in your top tool bar area.

This will pull down a menu for you to now click on the word Format. By default, Windows XP will perform a Full Format upon your floppy disk.

If you want to perform a Quick format, then place a check mark next to the Quick Format option.
You can also label your Floppy by typing a name into the Volume label white area. After making your selections, click on the Start button to initiate the format process.

Windows will warn that Formatting will erase all data on your disk, click the OK button to continue.

A progress indicator bar will travel across the screen for depicting the Format progress. Windows will notify you when the Format is complete. Click on the OK button to close this window.

Then close all open windows to return back to your Windows session.


You are adding or upgrading the hardware inside your computersuch as installing memory, a disk drive, a sound card, or a video card. Shut down the computer, and then disconnect it from its power source before proceeding with the upgrade.

You are adding a printer, monitor, external drive, or other hardware device that does not connect to a universal serial bus (USB) or IEEE 1394 port on your computer. Shut down the computer before connecting the device.
To shut down your computer, click the arrow next to the Lock button, and then choose Shut Down.



Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. In other words, software is a conceptual entity which is a set of computer programs, procedures, and associated documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. We can also say software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for some purposes. In other words software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation. Program software performs the functionof the program it implements, either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece of software. The term was coined to contrast to the old term hardware (meaning physical devices). In contrast to hardware, software is intangible, meaning it "cannot be touched".[1] Software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaning application software only. Sometimes the term includes data that has not traditionally been associated with computers, such as film, tapes, and records.[2]



Application software : Application software includes end-user applications of computers such as word processors or video games, and ERP software for groups of users. System software includes operating systems, which govern computing resources. Today[when?] large[quantify] applications running on remote machines such as Websites are considered[by whom?] to be system software, because[citation needed] the end-user interface is generally through a graphical user interface, such as a web browser.


In earlier days user had to design the application according to the internal structure of the hardware. Operating System was needed to enable the user to design the application without concerning the details of the computers internal structure. In general the boundary between the hardware & software is transparent to the user.


Process Management.
Resource Management. File Management. Communication Management. Security Management. Memory Management.

Process Management . All process from start to shut down. Booting,



Copy, Print, Send, etc.

Resource Management.

Installing drivers required for input, output, memory, power, communication devices.
Coordinating among peripherals.

File Management.

Name. Folders. Location. Attributes size, type, modified, protection, password etc.

Communication Management.

User Application S/W Hardware. One computer to other computer in LAN/WAN. Command interpretation. Downloading-Uploading. Primary RAM-ROM. Secondary Hard Disc, CD, DVD, Pen etc.

Memory Management.

Security Management . Virus management. Alert messages. Dialogue boxes.

Passwords./ Access protection.


Process management is an integral part of any modern day operating system (OS). The OS must allocate resources to processes, enable processes to share and exchange information, protect the resources of each process from other processes and enable synchronization among processes. To meet these requirements, the OS must maintain a data structure for each process, which describes the state and resource ownership of that process, and which enables the OS to exert control over each process.


In many modern operating systems, there can be more than one instance of a program loaded in memory at the same time; for example, more than one user could be executing the same program, each user having separate copies of the program loaded into memory. With some programs, it is possible to have one copy loaded into memory, while several users have shared access to it so that they each can execute the same program-code. Such a program is said to be re-entrant. The processor at any instant can only be executing one instruction from one program but several processes can be sustained over a period of time by assigning each process to the processor at intervals while the remainder become temporarily inactive. A number of processes being executed over a period of time instead of at the same time is called concurrent execution.

A multiprogramming or multitasking OS is a system executing many processes concurrently. Multiprogramming requires that the processor be allocated to each process for a period of time and de-allocated at an appropriate moment. If the processor is deallocated during the execution of a process, it must be done in such a way that it can be restarted later as easily as possible. There are two possible ways for an OS to regain control of the processor during a programs execution in order for the OS to perform de-allocation or allocation: The process issues a system call (sometimes called a software interrupt); for example, an I/O request occurs requesting to access a file on hard disk. A hardware interrupt occurs; for example, a key was pressed on the keyboard, or a timer runs out (used in pre-emptive multitasking).


Operating systems need some ways to create processes. In a very simple system designed for running only a single application (e.g., the controller in a microwave oven), it may be possible to have all the processes that will ever be needed be present when the system comes up. In general-purpose systems, however, some way is needed to create and terminate processes as needed during operation. There are four principal events that cause a process to be created: System initialization. Execution of process creation system call by running a process.

A user request to create a new process.

Initiation of a batch job.


Computer data storage, often called storage or memory, refers to computer components and recording media that retain digital data. Data storage is one of the core functions and fundamental components of computers. In contemporary usage, memory usually refers to semiconductor storage random-access memory, typically DRAM (Dynamic-RAM). Memory can refer to other forms of fast but temporary storage. Storage refers to storage devices and their media not directly accessible by the CPU, (secondary or tertiary storage) typically hard disk drives, optical disc drives, and other devices slower than RAM but more permanent.[1]

Historically, memory has been called main memory, real storage or internal memory while storage devices have been referred to as secondary storage, external memory or auxiliary/peripheral storage. The distinctions are fundamental to the architecture of computers. The distinctions also reflect an important and significant technical difference between memory and mass storage devices, which has been blurred by the historical usage of the term storage. Nevertheless, this article uses the traditional nomenclature.



Primary storage (or main memory or internal memory), often referred to simply as memory, is the only one directly accessible to the CPU. The CPU continuously reads instructions stored there and executes them as required. Any data actively operated on is also stored there in uniform manner.



Secondary storage (also known as external memory or auxiliary storage), differs from primary storage in that it is not directly accessible by the CPU. The computer usually uses its input/output channels to access secondary storage and transfers the desired data using intermediate area in primary storage. Secondary storage does not lose the data when the device is powered downit is non-volatile. Per unit, it is typically also two orders of magnitude less expensive than primary storage. Consequently, modern computer systems typically have two orders of magnitude more secondary storage than primary storage and data is kept for a longer time there.


Tertiary storage or tertiary memory,[4] provides a third level of storage. Typically it involves a robotic mechanism which will mount (insert) and dismount removable mass storage media into a storage device according to the system's demands; this data is often copied to secondary storage before use. It is primarily used for archiving rarely accessed information since it is much slower than secondary storage (e.g. 560 seconds vs. 110 milliseconds). This is primarily useful for extraordinarily large data stores, accessed without human operators. Typical examples include tape libraries and optical jukeboxes


Windows XP Professional This is built upon the Windows 2000 architecture and ideal for business and advanced home computing. Windows XP Home An upgrade to Windows ME incorporating some of the features and functionality of Windows XP Professional. Windows 2000 This is built upon the Windows NT architecture and the best choice for most business uses. This is NOT an upgrade of Windows 98. Windows ME Designed for home use, and is the logical step for Windows 98 users. Windows Millennium Edition is a stand alone operating system unlike Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98 that were built on TOP of DOS. ME operating system includes new system safeguards such as "System Restore" and improved help functions when troubleshooting.

Windows CE Designed for personal computers often called Handhelds or Palmtops that use a stylus or keyboard for input. The Windows CE operating system is very similar to that of Windows 95. Linux A free Unix style operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the assistance of developers around the world. This operating system is becoming very poplar with networking professionals. Software applications are widely available and are often free. Linux is also starting to develop a liking by advance home users as an alternative to Windows operating systems. Mac OS Name of operating system used by Macintosh computers. Originally, the Macintosh operating systems were called System x.xx (x represented the version numbers). System is no longer used since the release of Mac OS 8.

Windows NT Short for New Technology and is the most advanced Windows operating system, and capable of preemptive multitasking (running of one or more applications simultaneously). Windows 95 Introduced several improvements and advances that included applications to run much faster if written for Windows 95, and support of the mouse as a new interface. Windows 98 The replacement for Windows 95. Supports new advancements such as USB, and MMX (Multimedia Instructions) which integrated text, video, graphics and sound. Windows 3.1 Microsoft Windows used this operating system to support GUI Graphical User Interface that takes advantage of the computer's graphics, thus making programs easier to use. The Windows GUI copies many of the earlier Macintosh GUI features such as: windows with menus, icons, desktop, and the mouse for pointing and selecting. DOS Short for Disk Operating System. DOS was developed by Microsoft for IBM, and MS-DOS was for IBM compatible personal computers.