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Ntfs Or Fat32?


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#1 Misterdog

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 11:03 AM

I'm in the process of re-installing Windows XP on my husband's computer and have questions about which file system to use. We have two other computers, mine which is running XP with FAT32 and an older one running Windows 98. The computer I'm reformatting and re-installing has a 30GB hard drive, 256 MB RAM, and a 950 MHz AMD processor. Does it matter if I format with FAT32 or NTFS? Will we be able to transfer files from one computer to another if I use NTFS or is that only possible if I use FAT32? Other advantages/disadvantages?

Thanks.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 11:18 AM

FAT32 files have a much smaller limit to the size of the files, for more information please read this article, and this article will explain how to convert your existing FAT32 files to NTFS.

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#3 mvs

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 11:44 AM

OS installed in FAT32 does not recognize the NTFS partitions .
it would be better to use NTFS format for windows XP so that
transferring files across computers would be possible .
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#4 WinCrazy

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 12:04 PM

Hi Misterdog. XP NTFS is far more reliable than FAT32. FAT32 file systems are very problematic and cause many problems for Win 9x systems. Save yourself from more headaches.

XP can both read & write files in both NTFS and FAT32.

#5 mommabear

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 02:57 PM

FWIW, I prefer FAT32. As basically a desktop user, no home network, I didn't need all that extra stuff NTFS gives you. I have used NTFS and my personal experience is that I don't notice any difference in performance or problems.

You didn't say what method you'd be using to "transfer" files from one computer to the other. If you're just going to copy files over to his computer from cd backups, it won't matter what the file system is because the cd data will be written in a format that is readable in either FAT or NTFS.

I can't explain it. I just like FAT better. And with FAT I can get into real DOS with a simple 98 boot disk if necessary.

The choice is yours though.

Good luck!

#6 DaChew

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 03:43 PM

MS reccomends ntfs for partitions over 32 gigs in size, I have had ntfs partitions get corrupt, so I would just stay with
fat32 for such a small drive. It seems a little faster. I use ntfs on all my partitions with newer machines.

file transfers will work either way

Edited by DaChew, 14 September 2007 - 03:44 PM.

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#7 baker1

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 03:59 AM

"Clusters are the smallest amount of space that can be used to store information on a hard disk.On smallish drives,the cluster size is also pretty small,so storing dinky files that are only,say,1KB in size is pretty efficient(there is little wasted space).But on today's huge drives, under the fat scheme,the cluster would necessarily be much larger (this is a limitation of the FAT SYSTEM,not the drive).You end up donating serious amounts of space to no good cause.The bottom line is that FAT32 and NTFS gets you more bang for your hard disk buck,because lowering the cluster size allows for more efficient use of space,especially on larger drives." Chapter 3-Choosing a File System: FAT,FAT32, or NTFS? Page 87 Using Microsofts Windows XP Professional Third Edition by Brian Knittel and Robert Cowart published by Que Publishing

#8 baker1

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 04:21 AM

"The security benefits of NTFS(as well as advantages in reliability)are overwhelming in comparison to FAT32 drives,however, continuing to use FAT32 is justafiable only on computers where data security is less important than the ability to boot into multiple operating systems" Part 1: Windows Networking and Security Essentials Page 72 Microsoft Windows XP Networking and Security-Inside/Out-by Ed Bott and Carl Siechert-Microsoft Press

#9 baker1

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 04:36 AM

FAT32- Partitions can be from 512MB to 2 terabytes,although Windows XP can format a FAT32 only as large as 32GB.Files are limited to 4GB.Readable by Windows 95 OSR2,98,Me,NT,2000,and XP.Does not work with Domains.Recommended for home systems with no security needs,and for systems that need to share data with a Windows 98 or Me System. Windows XP:The Complete Reference Page 832 Under Windows Housekeeping-by John Levine and Margaret Levine Young Publisher Osborne

#10 Platypus

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 05:56 AM

OS installed in FAT32 does not recognize the NTFS partitions .
it would be better to use NTFS format for windows XP so that
transferring files across computers would be possible .

It makes no difference what file system the OS is installed onto. NT based operating systems, which includes XP, recognise both FAT32 and NTFS, and hence XP installed onto a FAT32 partition will recognise an NTFS volume happily.

The type of file system on each computer will not affect the transfer of files between systems, it only determines how the data is stored while it resides on the partition in question. However if the file is transferred by media that must be read as a file system, eg a flash drive, that device must use a file system that can be recognised by the operating systems on both computers.

So XP installed onto FAT32 can copy files from a second NTFS partition onto a FAT32 flash drive and they can transfer to a Windows 98 or MacOS system. I do it that way all the time.

Edited by Platypus, 15 September 2007 - 06:06 AM.

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#11 mvs

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 07:00 AM

^ @Platypus , thanks for the information . I'll try to improve my knowledge ...

#12 Platypus

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 08:01 AM

I'll try to improve my knowledge ...

My plan too... And you know stuff that I don't. :thumbsup:

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#13 Misterdog

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Posted 15 September 2007 - 09:13 AM

Thanks, everybody, for your input and information. I decided to use NFTS and finally got everything (software applications, anti-virus, etc.) up and running last night. Today we transfer his data files back to his computer. Hopefully, there won't be any glitches.




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