NTFS Multiple Data Streams

NTFS supports multiple data streams, where the stream name identifies a new data attribute on the file. A handle can be opened to each data stream. A data stream, then, is a unique set of file attributes. Streams have separate opportunistic locks, file locks, and sizes, but common permissions.

This feature enables you to manage data as a single unit. The following is an example of an alternate stream:

myfile.dat:stream2

A library of files might exist where the files are defined as alternate streams, as in the following example:

library:file1
:file2
:file3

A file can be associated with more than one application at a time, such as Microsoft® Word and Microsoft® WordPad. For instance, a file structure like the following illustrates file association, but not multiple files:

program:source_file
           :doc_file
           :object_file
           :executable_file

To create an alternate data stream, at the command prompt, you can type commands such as:


echo text>program:source_file
    more<program:source_file 
    
ntfs note

Important
When you copy an NTFS file to a FAT volume, such as a floppy disk,
data streams and other attributes not supported by FAT are lost.

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