In the Windows operating system, the management of files and folders is one of the most important operations that a computer user must learn. Electronic folders on a computer hard drive (C:) are similar to cardboard folders in a physical file cabinet. Both kinds of folders have a name and provide space for you to save your files (documents). Windows software allows users to manage these folders and associated files and accordingly, it is incumbent on the user to learn how to create new folders on the hard drive (C:) in order to properly manage their computer storage system. How to accomplish the management and creation of folders and associated files on the Hard Drive (C:) is the main purpose of this instruction.
Note like every other saturation in the computer world, the hard drive has more than one name and is frequently called the local disk (C:), instead of the Hard Drive (C:)
THE DEFAULT FOLDERS
When Windows software was installed on your computer it created one permanent folder called “My Documents”. The My Documents folder is the default folder selected by Windows the first time you attempt to save a text document to a storage unit. On the “Save As” dialog screen, you will see it in the “Save In” box. The purpose is to keep you from losing your documents, or crashing your computer if you don’t know what you are doing. In Windows XP there are several other default folders. My Pictures is one of them. My Pictures is a subfolder under the My Documents folder. Whenever you save a graphics document for the first time Windows XP will always try to save it in the My Pictures folder. My Music is another default folder and works similar to My Documents and My Pictures.
THE MY DOCUMENTS FOLDER AND NEW COMPUTER USERS
New users frequently save all their files to the My Documents, and that is ok until you get a lot of files on your computer. But after a while this technique starts to get very messy. So one of the main purposes of this instruction is to show you ways to set up a better system of managing your files and folders by creating sub-folders under you’re My Documents folder that identifies the type of file that the folders stores. As an example: a sub-folder titled MY FINANCES might be created under you’re My Documents folder to hold you financial files, and/or a sub-folder titled MY RECIPES might be created to hold your food recipes, and/or a sub-folder titled CHRISTMAS LETTERS might be created to hold your Christmas letters you have written or will write over the years. After you have used your computer for several months, you will probably have 50 or more subfolders under the My Documents folder.
One of the most interesting displays that you can get of your Windows folders can be obtained by opening the “My Computer” icon that appears on the Desktop
One way to open My Computer is you must be on the Desktop. Then find the My Computer icon, and left click on it and then peck the Enter key. That will open the My Computer folder and you will see a display of all the storage units that are available on that computer. The My Computer display on your computer will vary depending on what equipment you have installed on your computer. Typical displays will show the following:
The (C:) drive, which is our hard drive, [frequently called the Local disk(C:)]
The DVD/CD-RW Drive
The Removable Disk (E: F: or G:), [if you have a flash drive plugged in to the computer]
The 31/2 Floppy (A:) drive if the computer has a floppy disk drive installed.
YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE THE FOLLOWING FOLDERS
A 3 ½ Floppy drive (A:)
The CompuGuard Persistent Storage
A CD drive
A DVD/CD RW, which is the DVD drive on my computer
A Removable Disk (E: F: or G:),
Note also in some MY Computer displays they use the word Disk instead of Drive,
ALTERNATIVE WAY OF OPENING THE MY COMPUTER FOLDER
Click on the Start button on the Task Bar. That will give you the Start Menu. On the Start Menu you will see the My Computer icon. Single left click on it and that will open the My Computer folder.
THE MY DOCUMENTS FOLDER
As stated above, when Windows software was installed on your computer it created one permanent folder called “My Documents”. The My Documents folder is the default folder when you do a “Save As” command for the first time it will always try to save the document into the My Documents folder. In the “Save As” dialog screen, you will see the My Documents folder in the “Save In” box. The purpose is to keep you from losing your documents when you first start saving files to your computer. You should be aware that the My Documents folder could be directly under the C drive (in Windows 98) or in Windows XP under the Documents and Settings subfolder, or in the Start Menu when you click on the Start button on the Task Bar. It can even be a short cut on the Desktop. On my Windows 98 computer it is under the C drive.. On my Windows XP Home computer it is under the Documents and Settings subfolder in the C drive. It is actually a sub-sub folder under the C drive. Notice that the icon for the My Documents is different from all the other folders It has some files sticking out of the top. That means it is a permanent folder and cannot be deleted. Folders or subfolders you create yourself can be deleted but the MY Documents folder cannot.
MY DOCUMENTS FOLDER ALLOWS FOR AN EASY BACKUP
In addition to being the default folder the MY Documents folder was created for another purpose and that is to make it easy to back up you files. If you create all your working subfolders under the My Documents folder, and save all your documents in those folders as files, then it is easy to drag and drop the My documents folder to a Flash drive, or a CD, or and external hard drive. . By doing just that you will be backing up all you files with one drag and drop. And that sure does make it easier than dragging and dropping one folder at a time.
These are subfolders you create to hold the files you have produced. We will cover how to create a new subfolder later in this instruction. Working folders usually are subfolders under another folder. As an example, you will create working subfolders under the My Documents folder.
A subfolder is a folder you create under another folder. Actually you can have subfolders and sub-subfolders, and sub-sub-subfolders. But it can be very difficult finding sub-sub-subfolders. So I would avoid setting up too many levels of folders. I is best to just have one level of subfolders under the My Documents folder.
THE HIERATICAL STRUCTURE (Please see folder diagram attached)
The DESKTOP is considered to be at the top of a hieratical structure, and the My Computer folder is under the Desktop. Under the My Computer folder are all the storage folders like the hard Disk Drives and the Removable Storage devices like the CDs or Flash drives.
The hard drive is called by several names like: C: or C:\ or Drive(C:). Remember we said that the floppy disk drive is designated as A: In a similar manner the hard disk drive is designated as C: The B: drive at one time was another floppy drive, but became obsolete when the hard drive C: came into common usage. If you add storage devices they will become the (D:), (E:), or (F:), etc drives.
As indicated above, normally you will create only one level of sub-folders under the folder My Documents.
The easiest way to do this is to left click on the Start button on the Task bar, and then left click on the My Documents folder. You will get a new screen. On the left side of this screen there is a group of action words, click on Make a new folder. This will cause a new folder to be place in the white area of the screen. You might have to look for it. Now Without doing anything type in a name for your new folder, like GOOD STUFF and with your mouse left click out in the white area. That will create a new folder titled GOOD STUFF (actually a subfolder) under the My Documents folder.
NOTE: the words making a new folder or creating a new folder mean the same thing.
This is called “On the Fly”
Start MS Word, and type in: Florida is a good place to live. Now click on File on the Menu bar, and then click Save As.
On the “Save As” screen, you will see a line that says “Save In”. It should say My Documents
You will see a little icon that looks like a folder with a light in the upper right corner on the same line with “Save In”. Put you mouse arrow on the middle of this icon and a banner will drop down and it will say “Create New Folder”. Click on that icon and you will get a dialog box titled CREATE NEW FOLDER
With out doing anything, type a folder name like MY STUFF in the space provided and click the OK button. A new folder will appear with the name Shell Point ready for you to save a document in it.
If you screwed up on the folder name, RIGHT click on the new folder and left click on “rename”, and type in a new name.
In order to locate folders and/or files on your hard drive click on the Master Start button on the Task Bar on the lower left of your screen. It is always there.
Now click on Find or Search
Type in the folder or file you are trying to locate.
Then click the appropriate button to start the process. This may take several minutes.
When you see the one you want click on it and peck the Enter key.
USING THE RIGHT BUTTON ON THE MOUSE
It is extremely easy to delete folders (or files), so be very sure that the folder is empty before you delete it or that everything in the folder is no longer wanted.
Here is a way to delete a folder directly on the C: drive without starting an application like Word..
First you must be on your desktop. Now click on the “My Computer” icon and then peck the Enter key. Then click on (C:) and peck the Enter key.
USING THE LEFT BUTTON ON THE MOUSE
Since hard drives have a limited capacity it is necessary once in awhile to look at how much is being used compared to how much is spare.
Open the My Computer Icon. On the screen RIGHT click on the C drive icon. On the next screen, click on Properties. Under the “General” tab, you should see a display showing how much is used and how much is spare. On this same frame, click on the other tabs like Hardware, always be careful what you do.
As we instructed above, the hard drive C: is found on your computer by left clicking on the MY COMPUTER icon on your desktop and then pecking the Enter key. The contents of the C: drive can then be displayed by then left clicking on the C: drive icon on the My Computer screen, and then pecking the Enter key. Next you open the Documents and Settings folder by left clicking and pecking the Enter key.. after that open one of the folders in the Documents and Settings folder and that will finally get you to the My Documents folder.
Alternative ways is to right click on the MY COMPUTER ICON, and then left click on Open. And still a third way is to double click on the MY COMPUTER ICON if you are good at double clicking.