NTFS vs FAT32 for Ext Hard Drive & Laptop

  DJ-Garry 20:35 20 Jan 2007

Hi guys.

I've just bought two new toys... an Acer 5051 laptop with 60Gb Hdd split into two equal partitions that are both formatted in FAT32 running Winows XP media edition and just today, I bought a 320GB Seagate External USB 2.0 Hard Drive click here that is also in FAT32 but not split to be used with both the laptop and the desktop PC I have running XP Pro.
I understand that NTFS is generally better and faster etc so should I format the Ext HDD before I put anything on it and should I worry about formatting the laptop drives as they have XP and files on the partitions.

  VoG II 20:42 20 Jan 2007

You don't have to but if you want to you don't need to Format but to Convert click here

  Technotiger 20:44 20 Jan 2007

Hi, I have the same external drive, yes I would advise format it NTFS. I have kept my 320Gb unsplit too.

Not so sure about the laptop though as regards FAT/NTFS.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:45 20 Jan 2007

If you are using Windows XP, it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

  Strawballs 21:03 20 Jan 2007

As Fruit Bat /\0/\ said only format ext drive if you intend to use it on more than 1 PC and at least 1 of them is running win98

  Jake_027 21:13 20 Jan 2007

I got my new Acer laptop and it too was in FAT32. See click here For how to change it. No damage is done but it's up to you, you can't use Sharing Folders with Windows Live Messenger on FAT32, so thats why I changed.

By the way, is your new acer filled with absolutely tons on acer software that boots up at startup and slows it down? I got my systeem tray down to 8 icons, but I'm not kidding if hadn't have gone and switched all the other icons off it would be pushing the start button off he screen theres that many different things :).


  DJ-Garry 21:37 20 Jan 2007

Thanks for all the input guys. I'm gonna change the ext hdd to ntfs but am a bit wary of upsetting the apple cart on the laptop as i only have self generated backup disks.

Jake_027, yes I did have loads of acer software clogging up the system and seeing as it only came with 512 RAM and some of that is nicked for graphics it does really make it hang at times. I have turned off some of the crap and am slowing working out what i do and don't need to leave on.


  Jake_027 21:53 20 Jan 2007

The only things I still have turned on are Norton, launch manager (if you have the buttons above/at side of keyboard)the power icon and the webcam controller (if it has one above the screen) and mine works fine still. Most of the options (if you need them) are available under start>all programs>acer and start>all programs>acer technologies or something similar. You can always back up again after conversion using the backup software supplied (which is what acer use to make the disc) thats under start>all programs>NTI Software>NTI Backup Now 4.5 .Graphics and audio options are available on control panel so no problems there. I just can't wait to get the Vista DVD so I can do a clean install and have the PC my way. Yours might be elidgable for a free vista upgrade if its new (see click here) Mine cost me £14.14 so if yo can get it go for it.


P.S Enjoy the laptop!

  Quiet Life 14:28 21 Jan 2007

I did not convert C drive to NTFS as I understand that
Acer eRecovery Management only supports FAT32-formatted drives. You will not be able to restore your backup image once you convert the drive to NTFS format.
Perhaps somebody knows if this can be done.

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