REVIEW - Inside the Windows 95 File System


Inside the Windows 95 File System


Stan Mitchell



Oreilly & Associates Incorporated (1997)




Steve Davies


October 1998



This is a book for those who want to know what file system operations take place when they perform a task. The editor is Andrew Shulman, joint author of the seminal Undocumented DOS and author of Unauthorised Windows 95 . This should alert those familiar with these titles that Mitchell is talking low level (he is concerned with each function call that occurs). Mitchell has used a snooping tool called

, to monitor the low-level file system activity that occurs in various circumstances. In the book he describes the workings of the file system by presenting and commenting upon the results.

I consider this work to be part of a worthy tradition. The IT world is richer because there are individuals who are prepared to explore and chart the workings of our software. The books can be hard going though and if anything, this book seems more relentlessly low level than its predecessors, possibly because its range is narrower. In reading Undocumented DOS and Unauthorised Windows 95 it was possible to learn a lot about the systems without grasping every detail. I found this less true with the present book.

So, an invaluable source if you need to know precisely how the file system works, but not for the casual reader. MultiMon is included on the accompanying floppy disc, and may prove a useful debugging aid, but I have not yet had a real opportunity to use it.

Book cover image courtesy of Open Library.

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