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FAT32, NTFS


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Torvald

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:55 PM

Mod Edit: Split from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic479398.html - Hamluis.


Hi Guys,

Just noticed this thread, and I have a 500GB external Harddrive with FAT32 (plus several USB sticks), so wanted to tag along and ask the following:

1. What are the advantages, if any, to using FAT32 vs NTFS for a USB stick or external harddrive?

2. What are the steps to follow to convert a USB stick or external harddrive from FAT32 to NTFS without losing data?

Thanks in advance & Happy New Year!

Edited by hamluis, 27 December 2012 - 01:47 PM.
PM sent new OP - Hamluis.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 02:34 PM

There is a compatibility issue which has caused the manufacturers to use FAT32 as their file system, Mac, Linux right out of the box aren't compatible with NTFS.

One of the differences between FAT32 and NTFS is the file size. FAT32 has a limit of 4GB file size, this is less than a 4.75GB DVD.

To convert FAT32 to NTFS you can get the instructions from Windows.

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#3 westom

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 12:30 AM

1. What are the advantages, if any, to using FAT32 vs NTFS for a USB stick or external harddrive?

FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32 all had a common problem. It is possible to interrupt a data save to the USB. Not only is the new file corrupted. But an earlier version of that file can also be erased. Newer filed systems (ie NTFS) do not have that problem. Will simply revert back to the previously saved file.

This problem occurs rarely. But this is one of many small advantages provided by NTFS, HPFS, and other newer filesystems.

Edited by westom, 31 December 2012 - 12:31 AM.


#4 coxchris

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:32 PM

The difference in FAT32 and NTFS is security

Now if you have NTFS on your hard drive and USB uses NTFS and you have set permissions those permission will be use on your NTFS on your thumbdrive.

All thumb drive will be in FAT32 but you can convert them into NTFS which has security

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#5 westom

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 01:50 PM

All thumb drive will be in FAT32 but you can convert them into NTFS which has security

Security only exists if that NTFS option is enabled. I have even read NTFS filesystems with a program that executes in DOS. Those NTFS files are only secure if a security option was enabled. Most never learn what to do.

Security is another of many small advantages provided by newer filesystems.

#6 MDTechService

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Posted 31 December 2012 - 05:28 PM

With all this security talk, I guess I'll offer my best bit of flash drive security techniques...

keep it on your keychain.
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