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Fat32 Or Ntfs

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#1 Wassim


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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:15 AM

Hi guys,

I wanted to know wish to use NTFS or FAT32 on a Disk that will hold the system (Windows XP).
And wish one for an external hard disk or USB stick memory.

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#2 Sterling14


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Posted 03 November 2007 - 09:24 AM

Windows XP uses NTFS, so format it to that. My usb pen drive is formatted as FAT32, so maybe that will work for you too.
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#3 hamluis



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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:50 AM

XP will work with either FAT32 or NTFS, but...IMO, NTFS is the better file system to use.




Same vote for external hard drives, although you should go by the guidance of the drive manufacturer (if you purchase an external, rather than simply putting an IDE/SATA drive in a USB 2.0 enclosure).

I don't use memory sticks so I don't know anything about them.


Edited by hamluis, 03 November 2007 - 10:52 AM.

#4 Andrew


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Posted 03 November 2007 - 10:53 AM

Windows XP will, by default, use NTFS when installing, but you can also use FAT32.

Using FAT32 over NTFS is not usually recommended as NTFS has many features that are not present in FAT32.

Ye Olde List of Stuff:
  • NTFS supports File Encryption (in XP Professional), FAT32 does not
  • NTFS supports File Compression, FAT32 does not
  • NTFS has File Permissions, FAT32 does not
  • In FAT32 the maximum volume size is 32GB (there's a patch for larger drives); NTFS supports up to 16TB.
  • FAT32 is much more prone to errors than NTFS
However, if you have a multiboot setup with XP and Windows 98 then you may want to use FAT32. This would allow the 98 installation access to the XP partition. Windows 98/M E cannot access an NTFS drive

If you choose FAT32 and later decide to switch, you can convert from FAT32 to NTFS without losing any data; you cannot convert NTFS to FAT32, though.

So, nless you have a specific need for FAT32, I'd say go with NTFS.

As for your thumb drive, FAT32 (or, sometimes, simply FAT) is the standard.[/b][/color]

Edited by Amazing Andrew, 03 November 2007 - 10:54 AM.

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