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best file system NTFS or FAT32??



I'm currently starting with a clean disk installing XP home onto a partion of about 5gb, then splitting the remainder into another drive of 5gb for a mirror copy of my C: with partion magic, then the remainder 30gb into 3 equal 10gb drives for storing music, videos, graphics etc..

just wondered which is best file system??

also which is way to default ;my docs and regular file saves to another drive other than the default c:?? is this via powertoys ui tweaking?

and finally also which is best way to back up 'my docs' other than using a local drive partition?

thanks for any advice
you can change where the items are default saved using tweakui and such,

As for what is better Fat32 or NTFS, it always turns into an opinion battle. NTFS is far more secure and such and is 99% of the time a more efficient and faster file system, the only slowdown that it has is for optimization and such it updates a files time stamp at every access and this can cause a small performance hit. if you go for NTFS you can just disable the time stamp updating in the registry

So personally i'd go for NTFS ;)


Maybe you can read www.microsoft.com/WINDOWS2000/techinfo/reskit/en/Core/fncc_fil_kqxr.htm before making a decision. Certainly NTFS has many advantages, but these are only interesting if you really use them. I still don't know the advantage of having access control when you only use the default settings. And the biggest drawback: you cannot simply access NTFS from a bootable floppy as is the case with FAT32. So the only correct answer seems to me: know the pros and cons first, then decide.


Thanks Binary.
Yeah I think the features asssociated with the ntfs type revolve around privacy and security issues surrounding more NT users, I dont think I wanna get locked out of my own files in the event of a crash. At least it seems with the FAT32 stystem, I can still get access with a boot disk as you suggest.
Ok, lemme clear up a myth.

You can access NTFS drives with a bootdisk, just not a FAT32 bootdisk, you can make the NTFS bootdisk or there is a program out there that I forget the name of, but it allows you to boot almost any os

What did you think happens when NTFS sytems crash and we can't us a bootdisk? we just reformatted em or somethin? lol
I have to recommend NTFS. I've been running it for a couple months now and have nothing but good to report. I've managed to freeze my computer multiple times while ripping dvd's and what-not (typical stuff when dealing with memory intensive apps IMO). Each time I reboot it will do a chkdsk and I have had NO lost clusters, etc. Not only does ntfs offer a multitude of security related enhancements... it's far superior in preserving itself. When I was running Fat32 (still do on my 'escape' OS primary partition - Win2k on 2 gig primary) and had to do a reset because of a system lock... I'd almost always muck something up until I finally got to the point of needing a clean install to fix what got hammered.

I did have a bad experience in Win2k and ntfs (losing everything), but that was because I was green (new) to ntfs and didn't know how to recover from that type of crash. Now I run 2k on my primary partition 'just in case,' but there are other options available for that type of occurance... repair installation being the primary option (even if it's just to rescue data). There are other options available too, as Qumahlin points out, and these are only going to get better.

You're eventually going to come to a time when you'll need to go to a newer fs (maybe you want to buy a large drive and want a MONSTER partition), I'd suggest doing your research, read about ntfs and the other files systems (fat32, fat16) at the microsoft website and make the conversion... begin learning it now so you can become familiar with it. Hey, you got a great new OS in XP... take advantage of it's supported features.

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