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Which File System to Use on New Windows 10 System?


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#1 F1Help

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:12 PM

Hi,

I am looking to get a new Windows 10 system soon, which will include these internal drives:

SSD - For Windows 10 OS and apps.
HDD - For data storage.

Also, for file backup/archival/transfer purposes I will use USB flash drives and USB hard drives.

Which file system is best to use for all of these volumes?  Should I stick with NTFS consistently for all internal and external devices, or is there anything better to use?  I've read that exFAT is better for external drives, but will there be any discrepancies (like file time discrepancies) if I used NTFS for internal volumes and exFAT for external volumes?

Thanks.



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#2 FreeBooter

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:28 PM

Use NTFS file system for installing Windows 10 by default NTFS is the file system use by Windows operating systems.

 

For removable flash drives and other forms of USB interface-based storage, we use FAT32.  But the removable storage larger than 32 GB we use NTFS you can also use exFAT your choice.

 

The FAT32 file system is perfect for storage devices like flash drives but you’ll have to make sure you don’t have an individual file larger than 4GB.


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#3 Kilroy

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Posted 16 January 2018 - 12:29 PM

What file system you pick is determined by need for security, need for portability, and size of the volume.

 

Selecting NTFS (New Technology File System) for large internal Windows drives makes sense.  It provides security and supports volumes up to 256TB.

 

The external drives require a little more thought.  If you're only going to use them with this system and the drive sizes are larger NTFS can be a valid option.  If you needed to restore your data on another machine or reinstall of Windows you would need to take ownership of the drive before you would be able to access its contents.

 

If you want to access the drive regularly on another machine and didn't need security exFAT would be a better choice.

 

If you're talking smaller sizes, like making a USB drive of MP3s to play in your car you may have to go with FAT32 unless the devices supports exFAT.  FAT32 limits you to 32GB volumes, unless you use another tool to create drive of up to 127.53GB

 

When transferring data from one file system to another the only issue is if the operating system can read both file types.  Going from NTFS to exFAT you will lose folder and file security, but that probably isn't an issue for you.  This was more of an issue back in the Windows 98 days when you had to make sure your drive was formatted with something all of your machines could read.



#4 F1Help

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:08 PM

Thanks for your helpful replies.



#5 BeckoningChasm

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Posted 17 January 2018 - 01:55 PM

If you're going to share a USB drive between a WIndows system and a Mac, I'm pretty sure exFAT is the only choice.  






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