FAT32 and NTFS

Discussion in 'Windows Desktop Systems' started by forcer, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. forcer

    forcer OSNN Senior Addict

    FAT32 and NTFS

    what are they? i think its something to do with disk format or compression.

    what is the better to have? FAT32 or NTFS? my HDD is FAT32 what does this mean 2 me?
  2. Alex_is_Axel

    Alex_is_Axel .:: FTPAlex ::.

    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    FAT 32

    FAT32 is an enhanced version of the FAT file system that can be used on drives from 512 megabytes (MB) to 32 GB in size. FAT and FAT32 offer compatibility with operating systems other than Windows 2000. If you're setting up a dual-boot configuration, you should probably use FAT or FAT32.

    If you're dual booting Windows 2000 and another operating system, choose a file system based on the other operating system, using the following criteria:

    Format the partition as FAT if the installation partition is smaller than 2 gigabytes (GB), or if you're dual booting Windows 2000 with MS-DOSĀ®, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows NT.

    Use FAT32 for use on partitions that are 2 GB or larger. If you choose to format using FAT during Windows 2000 Setup and your partition is greater than 2 GB, Setup automatically formats it as FAT32.

    It's recommended that you use NTFS rather than FAT32 for partitions larger than 32 GB.


    The NTFS file system is the recommended file system for use with Windows 2000. NTFS has all of the basic capabilities of FAT, and it provides the following advantages over the FAT and FAT 32 file systems:

    1. Better file security.

    2. Better disk compression.

    3. Support for large hard disks, up to 2 terabytes (TB).(The maximum drive size for NTFS is much greater than that for FAT, and as drive size increases, performance with NTFS doesn't degrade as it does with FAT.)

    If you're using a dual-boot configuration (using both Windows 2000 and another operating system on the same computer), you may not be able to gain access to files on NTFS partitions from the other operating system on your computer. For this reason, you should probably use FAT32 or FAT if you want a dual-boot configuration. The NTFS used by Windows 2000 is not compatible with the version used by Windows NT4. There are programmes available that will make NTFS partitions accessible under Windows 98/ME such as NTFS for Win98.

    NTFS is more secure and reliable

    Hope this helps alittle

    Sincerly Alex :cool:
  3. Gus K

    Gus K NTFS abuser

    That said though, it is best not to convert FAT32 to NTFS. FAT32 was originally developed to help squeeze more storage out of the smaller hard drives of yesteryear, when the larger cluster size of FAT16 was wasteful.

    Todays larger drives work best and most efficiently running NTFS with 4K clusters. Converting a FAT 32 drive will give you 512b clusters, leading to sluggish performance and fragmentation with XP.
  4. jkipk

    jkipk OSNN Addict

    I don't pretend to understand much about disk management, but I just converted my two WD 60g hd's from fat32 to ntfs using the convert c: fs/ ntfs command, and in reading the above I rushed to check my cluster size, which is (ntfs)4k. I left one partition in fat32, since I run an old favorite, Generic CADD. That partition has 8k fat32 clusters, but I do not have 512b clusters after running convert, for what it's worth.