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NTFS or FAT32? Whats better and whats...

Trish's Escape from Hardware Hell Help Board » Hardware » Hard Drive and Storage Related » NTFS or FAT32? Whats better and whats the difference? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 5:10 pm:   

NTFS or FAT32? Whats better and whats the difference?
Posted on Saturday, October 11, 2003 - 8:53 pm:   

NTFS and FAT32 are both different types of file systems relating to how data is stored on disk (aka Hard Drives). Fat32 was introduced with Win95 OSR2 and win98 and NTFS was used at one time only with the NT operating system but has since been employed and migrated along to Windows 2000 and both versions of XP.
What is the difference? If you are using Windows 98 or Millenium Edition than you can only use FAT32 prepared Hard drives. (or Fat16 on very small hard drives ) (Fat = File attribute table) The advent of FAT32 extended the maximum addressable volume size from 2GB to 2TB and improved reliability by allowing the system to switch to a copy of the file allocation table if the default copy should become damaged. But FAT32 also added to file system overhead and was therefore inefficient to run on disks smaller than 260MB.
The next development in Windows file systems was the New Technology File System (NTFS), introduced with Windows NT (which also supported FAT32). With a 64-bit address space and the ability to vary cluster size independently of the disk drive size, NTFS virtually eliminated the cluster size limitation problem. It also brought to the table support for storage volumes of up to 16TB and 232 clusters.

NTFS (NT file system)is considered to be more secure from a business users perspective with encryption and Security file attributes. NTFS also did away with the File Attribute Table and instead uses MFT or Master File Table.
Which is better? That again depends on what you can and can not do with the Operating system you are using.

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