NTFS or FAT32 on external USB Drive

  freaky 19:03 29 Jan 2008

Just got a new 250GB Freecom External HD to replace an ancient 70GB Maxtor External.

The new HD will be used for storing back-ups of the PC's HD.

I am currently using NTFS on the PC and the old Maxtor. The Freecom is already formatted as FAT32, and they recommend keeping this format.

I know that NTFS is safer, but FAT32 is quicker. I am thinking of formatting the Freecom to NTFS. Any advice would be appreciated.

I am using XP Home (SP2).

  bionicle 19:09 29 Jan 2008

Got a Freecom 500GB external HD last month and formatted it as NTFS. No problems.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:23 29 Jan 2008

FAT32 will not support files over 4G in size. I sure your backup files will be quite large?

  PP321 19:23 29 Jan 2008

There is a 4(i think?) Gb limit on filesize in FAT32. So if you take full backups of your main HD , they have to be less than 4Gb.


  PP321 19:24 29 Jan 2008

Snap! :)

  anskyber 19:27 29 Jan 2008

Fat 32 has a limit of I think 32gb per partition. In real terms it means if you are thinking of using it for say Acronis imaging the chances are you will have to do so over two partitions. NTFS is generally faster and is the up to date system.

External HDD tend to come in FAT 32 to allow for backward compatibility to earlier OS's Not a problem if you are on XP or later.

The first thing I did with my external drive was to format to NTFS.

  freaky 19:52 29 Jan 2008

Thanks for the replies, I will proceed with NTFS.

Sounds as if Freecom were being extra cautious !!

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:25 29 Jan 2008

They say leave as FAT32 so that the old Win 9x / ME systems can see the drive.

  freaky 21:14 29 Jan 2008

It's installed and formatted as NTFS without any problems (touch wood !)and Windows Live OneCare has done a backup to it OK. So I would like to thank you all for your interest and will click resolved.

P.S. Good to hear from you anskyber, I have some interesting news about the MCS. Please email me if you are interested.

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