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FAT (and NTFS) have attributes telling the PC some information about the files that are stored. NTFS actually has much more information about the files than FAT, and that story has been told in the File Systems chapter earlier in this book.
FAT has 4 attributes that can be assigned to a file, as we saw earlier. Using the attrib command, you can turn these on and off as if each one was a separate light switch on the wall.
ON or OFF. The + sign means ON, while the sign means OFF. When you have a moment, go to the command line of a c drive on a computer. Type the command, DIR MSDOS.SYS you will be told, file not found this is because the file is hidden. In other words, the hidden bit, or attribute, is turned ON for MSDOS.SYS.
You know by now that MSDOS has to be there (if it is running DOS or Windows 9x). So, its there. It just isnt visible. Now, type this command: ATTRIB MSDOS.SYS
You will be told that the file MSDOS.SYS is in fact there, and it has at least two attributes. These are the system and hidden attributes. The command may also tell you that the archive bit is ON. It will inform you of this with the typical terse form of DOS with SHR, with each letter corresponding to an attribute, as follows:
8 Practice ATTRIB
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