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An OS is a software program which is responsible for various functions in the
computer, which can be managed by the hardware user. The OS performs
basic tasks such as recognizing the keyboard, organizing files, and controlling
the screens display..... Basically without it the computer wouldnt work.
The OS starts working the moment that we turn on our computers.
On the operating system, programs which have been installed are also called
There are many operating systems:
Windows: This is Microsofts operating system it is private and you must
pay to use it.
Mac Os: Apples operating system (The Ipod was made by Apple), this
system is private too.
GNU/Linux: Is on the rise and it is completely free.
Unix: This OS is used by bigger more advanced computers and it is
These operating systems (OS) have many functions and capabilities.
1. First, they manage the RAM memory.
2. Second, they manage the storage of information on hard drives, CDs,
3. Third, They manage the file system to create, eliminate, and manipulate
files and folders.
4. They create mechanisms to protect us from intruders.
5. They have a command interpreter called Consola or Shell that allows the
user to communicate with the computer through commands which are
typed on the console.
6. Lastly they manage our entrances and exits.

The most important part of the operating system is called the Nucleus or
The Operating Systems have many different applications which come included
they are called Distributions.

In Windows Vista: Vista Home, Vista Business.

In Linux: Ubuntu, Suse, Red Hat
Device Drivers are some programs that should be installed in the operating
system so that the devices like the mouse, the printer, the scanner, and the
screen work properly.
If they havent been installed you should install them, here are a few ways to
install them:
1. Through a CD-ROM which gives the manufacturers driver you wish to
connect to.
2. Through accessing the web page of the manufacturer.
However the most normal thing today is that the Operating Systems detect
most of the hardware automatically, by way of Plug and Play. To connect to the
device, the system detects its presence and will automatically install the drivers.
Operating Systems without previous installation:
This involves Operating Systems that are stored on extractable units like CDs,
DVDs or a Flash Drive (Pen Drive). These programs are able to run without
needing the installation from the Hard Disk Drive (HDD), without affecting the
operating system installed on the computer.
The majority of these are Linuxs products.
Weve got: Live CD, Live DVD and Live USB
Other Characteristics:
Multi-user: This is the possibility of configuring it for various users. For
example, a different family member.
Multitask: When you are able to run different programs at the same time.


This is the device that is used most to store in permanent format. It is formed by
different metallic discs stacked (between 2 and 4) and housed in the housing ,
that rotates at high speeds. On each side there is a head that is able to read and
write information.
The discs are divided into concentric circles that we call tracks. Each track is
divided into an equal number of sections. Each section has a size of 512 bytes.
The minimum storage unit is called the cluster.
The cylinder is the grouping of various tracks, which all have the same
If you want to see the number of sections, tracks and cylinders and the ability of
your Hard Disk Drive follow these steps in Windows:
Start: All programs- Accessories-System tools- Information of the system.
Components- Storage-Discs

HDD Partitions:
A partition is the division of the HDD so that the Operating System is
considered as if it were a completely independent unit.
Each partition can have a different system of records. This is what makes each
partition be able to have varied Operating Systems.
What is the recording/filing system? This is the way that we save our files on
the HDD. The most common ways are: the FAT32, NTFS and Ext3.
If you decide to only have one Operating System (Windows for example)
usually organizes the information on the HDD making two or three HDD
partitions. On one of these we can install the Operating System and the
programs and in the other one of these we can store our information (photos,
documents, videos...).
This way if the Operating System fails or you want to update it and need to reinstall, you wont loose your data, and well it can be found on the partition.
Defragging the HDD:
There is a tool called the defragmenter on the HDD in Windows that you can
move files into one section from different parts of the Hard Disk Drive to keep

it neat, and to join up your free space. This way the HDD and the computer
work quicker.
To defrag follow these steps
Start- All programs- Accessories- System tools- Defrag the disc