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2. 3. 3 Utility Programs
Utility Programs ü Utility Programs Ø Considered as system software. Ø They assist a user with controlling or maintaining the operation of a computer, its devices, or its software (secondary chores). Ø Some utility programs are included with the OS, and others are stand-alone programs.
Utility Programs Ø Make it easier for users to: q Copy files between storage devices q Repair damaged data files q Translate files so that different programs can read them q Guard against viruses and other potentially harmful programs (as described in the chapter on computer security and risks) q Compress files so they take up less disk space q Perform other important, if unexciting, tasks
Utility Programs l Examples l File manager l File compression l Others ; back-up and restore, disk defragmenter, device driver, anti-virus programs
File Manager l l l File manager stores files in a hierarchical directory structure. A directory is a named area in storage that can contain files and other directories. File manager also provides the capability to display lists of files in directories; to copy, move, rename, delete.
File Manager l Windows operating system uses Window Explorer.
File Compression l l l Reduces amount of space a file requires Compressed files take up less space on disk and also take less time to transmit across communication lines. Many files available for downloading from the internet are in compressed format.
Backup and Restore l Backup: make copies of disks and store in a safe place l Restore: restore files from backups l The utility programs creates the backup files in a specialized format to minimize space requirements, so the copies must be processed by the restore routine before you can use them. l Rudimentary backup and restore utilities accompany most OS.
Backup and Restore
Antivirus Programs l l Antivirus programs protect a computer against viruses by identifying and removing any computer viruses found in memory, on storage media, or in incoming files. Symantec Norton Utilities is a popular utility package that includes software tools for recovering damaged files, repairing damaged disks, and improving disk performance
Defragmenter l l When the OS is looking for space in which to store file, it cannot always find enough space in one place on the disk. It often has to store portions of a file in noncontiguous, or separated, disk locations. When this happens, the file is fragmented. Although this process makes efficient use of disk space, it slows down access to the file. If a lot of files are fragmented, the effect on system performance can be very noticeable.
Disk Defragmenter l Disk defragmenter reorganizes disk so all files are stored in contiguous locations
Other Utility Programs l l Device driver: handles commands for devices, such as printers and storage devices Personal firewall: detects and protects a personal computer from unauthorized intrusions. Spyware remover: detects and deletes spyware, adware, and other similar programs. Media player: allows user to view images and animation, listen to audio, and watch video files.
Other Utility Programs CD/DVD Burner : writes text, graphics, audio, and video files on a recordable or rewritable CD or DVD. l Personal Computer Maintenance : identifies and fixes OS problems, detects and repairs disk problems, and includes the capability of improving a computer’s performance. l