Fat32 or NTFS?

  martjc 12:37 17 May 2003

I remember changing from Win95 to 98. One of the advantages was supposed to be a saving of disk space by using fat32 instead of fat16.

However... I am now using WinXP which I hear is a hybrid of Win2000 & WinNT. The latter because of NTs better file system, NTFS.

I have noticed that my system is still fat32.
Now, I know the issues of converting to NTFS and not being able to go back afterwards.

My questions are: What's the difference between NTFS and fat32? Can I change my present system? Is it worth changing? If so, what are the possible disadvantages?

  VoG™ 12:40 17 May 2003

Think of NTFS as being solely for security, if you need to protect your computer from prying eyes at home/office then using NTFS on your partitions will enable a higher degree of secutity to be achieved.

I have it on only the system partition, the remaining partitions are still with FAT32 and will remain so as I do not need more security.

The only other reason for FAT32 is when one is multi-booting because only NT operating systems can read NTFS, my memory is not so good as it was but I believe that NT4 is the earliest system that can read the current NTFS?


  HighTower 12:57 17 May 2003

I find formating as NTFS makes my systems more stable, but as already mentioned you would not be able to have any fat32 based operating system on the same partition. It maybe unlikely that you would want this in which case I would recommend the NTFS route.

  jazzypop 12:57 17 May 2003

There are other advantages besides security and multi-boot - see click here

Of course, they may not be an advantage in your specific situation ...

  BigMoFoT 13:05 17 May 2003

With NTFS you have greater security permissions/policies - there is also smaller cluster sizes.

It's just better

  woodchip 13:08 17 May 2003
  martjc 16:45 17 May 2003

Thanks everyone! Some good advice received, as usual.

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