NT or FAT32


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Old 03-16-06, 05:42 AM
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NT or FAT32

I'm gonna' be doing a complete disc format (running Win2000 Professional OS.)
Initially, I installed Win2000 with the FAT32 option because there were two computers on my network running Win98-SE and Win-ME.

I'm not a gamer and my PC's and Network are mainly used for database manipulation, syncing a pocket PC, web browsing and basic small office work like writing mail correspondence, mail merge documents, envelops, bookkeeping as well as web site maintenance.

As of now, all the computers are running either Win2000 Pro or Win XP with one print server on the network…….
So, what are the pro’s and con’s (if any) of the NT file system verses the Fat32 file system?
Thanks,
Phil
 
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Old 03-16-06, 06:37 AM
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Phil,

One of the great IT debates... IMO: NTFS is the better file system for professionals, but may not provide much benefit for more standard users. To put it very simply, NTFS has fewer limits in regard to maximum files on a volume, file size and maximum clusters on a volume and has built-in security and recoverability. It performs faster than FAT32 on larger volumes (larger than around 20GB) and slower than FAT32 on smaller volumes and supports partition sizes larger than 32GB (which FAT32 doesn't without additional utilities). NTFS, as you know, can't be accessed by 98, 95 or ME.

If you don't need any of the security features of NTFS, aren't above any of the limits of FAT32, and don't need to access files from 98, 95 or ME. The choice is no more than personal preference.

Doug M.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 06:49 AM
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Just to add a note, if you have a network with a mix of NT and 9x based computers, the 9x based systems (98, ME) CAN access the hard drives and data on the NT (2k, XP) based machines using the NTFS file system, so the reasoning for using FAT32 on the Windows 2000 machine was flawed.
Go with NTFS.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 07:39 AM
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Sorry. I should have been more clear... 98 and ME can access data on a shared NTFS volume via the network, but can't access NTFS data in a dual boot scenario which would probably be an unusual set-up for most users and wasn't a need Phil described. I was probably being a little too thorough.

Mr. Gates would like to have everyone on NTFS and as new versions of Windows are released, FAT32 will have less and less support and flexibility, BUT, in a Win 2000 environment, the choice is still yours.

(Ducking and running...)

Doug M.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 08:33 AM
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I've had partitions greater than 32gb on win98 without special TSR utilities.

If you want to be able to boot to DOS and still access what is on the drive, you'll need FAT32.
 
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Old 03-16-06, 06:19 PM
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NTFS is a superior file system to FAT32. It outperforms FAT32 by leaps and bounds and you can also tweak the block size of NTFS. If you have no reason to run Win95/98/ME on the machine, this should be a no brainer to use NTFS.

When a drive or directory is shared all machines on the network connect to it using a network protocol (SMB for those who are interested). This has nothing to do with the file system on the physical drive, but has everything to do with redirectors, which aren't the issue here.

Anyone who uses FAT32 for a drive that will never see Win95/98/ME is simply making a bad choice, and if a person considers themself knowledgable or professional in the tech industry and makes that decision, they should seriously consider a career change.

Corey
 
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Old 03-16-06, 08:57 PM
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Fat32...
faster O.S. on hard drives under 60 gig.

has significantly less overhead

requires less CPU and disk operations for massive simultaneous data transfers
(burning a DVD while listening to MP3 music while copying a lot of files from one partition to another while browsing the Internet at the same time)

recognized by Windows 95/98/Me

FAT32 volumes can be converted to NTFS volumes. NTFS cannot be converted to FAT32 without reformatting.


NTFS...
Much better security

supports disk quotas, allowing you to control the amount of disk usage on a per user basis

supports file compression. FAT32 does not

ability to recover from errors more readily than similar FAT32 volumes

doesn't fragment as much/bad
 
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Old 03-17-06, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by tae
Fat32...
faster O.S. on hard drives under 60 gig.

has significantly less overhead

requires less CPU and disk operations for massive simultaneous data transfers
(burning a DVD while listening to MP3 music while copying a lot of files from one partition to another while browsing the Internet at the same time)
NTFS is faster on any partition over 1 GB, why? because NTFS is a journaling filesystem, which means it doesn't have to take care of file tables... it just logs the location. In fact, the logging of the file locations doesn't take as much CPU time as FAT32 because a lot of the log will be contained in memory as opposed to having to read the drive for the file locations.

Originally Posted by tae
doesn't fragment as much/bad
I don't know how true this statement is. Files are still written to the first available physical location and then fragmented to the next available location and so on and so forth. NTFS does have a bit better built in utilities to take care of this, but I don't think this would be something to mention when selling the advantages of NTFS.

The fact that NTFS is a journaling file system is the main advantage, as well as the available block sizes for the partition. Someone who has many large files (ie. mp3's, movies, etc) will benefit by using a larger block size.

Corey
 
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Old 03-17-06, 09:59 AM
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here is a comparison table:
http://www.ntfs.com/ntfs_vs_fat.htm

since you wanted to know the pro's and cons, this should cover it.

Corey:
notice the performance tab...ntfs low on small drives,high on large, and fat32 high on small, and low on large.
 
 

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