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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Question File system format

So which is better FAT or NTFS? Can you switch a drive without losing files?

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 06:57 PM
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What OS are you running?

I switched one from fat32 to NTFA a while back due to a conflict of FAT32, and the performance of the drive went down the tubes. I'm going to now have to re-format and re-install to fix it, I would not suggest switching like I did



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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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I'm running XP Media center. I was wondering because, I only have like 9% left on my drive, and was wondering which was a better system. It currently is formated for NTFS. You said NTFA did I type the wrong type?

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 09:16 PM
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No it was my typo, NTFS is the newer and better format.... stick with that IMO.



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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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OK cool. Thanks

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 09:56 PM
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it's a typo, A and S are next to each other.

FAT32 = "File Allocation Table 32 bit" Which kinda grew out of FAT16 when Windows 95 went 32 bit.

NTFS = Network Technology File System, it came from the Windows NT side of things. since windows 2000, the workstation and server operating systems have basicly been the same base software package, with different add ons.


NTFS has some advantages for metadata, disk allocation techniques, and most importantly, size.

FAT is one of the few things that Bill Gates actually programmed himself. It's been around since the 70's with minor updates from 12 to 16 to 32 bit. There's no 64 bit FAT system. It's really good for solid state shit 'cause it's very straightforward and doesn't take much processor power to push.

FAT is a real fucking mess when you've got big (ergo, more than 40gb) harddrives. To my knowledge, the biggest partition that FAT can "see" is 128gb or so, and that was only with Windows ME, the last of the FAT specific OSes. And iirc it had a 40 bit FAT table to sneak in that much data. FAT32 tho you're limited to I think 32Gb - 1 byte. It got to be a reeeaaaaallll mess when working with systems bigger than that 'cause it arrayed the data on the plates in a linear fashion, whereas NTFS scatters it so that the same pick-up doesn't have to retrieve the entire file, it's being picked up by several. Kinda like RAID but within a single drive.

I've run NTFS since Windows 2000 came out, couldn't tell ya if it's faster or slower. I never really looked back as I saw that size of the partition was gonna be a real issue. I'd recommend going NTFS unless you've got a real need for speed or some extenuating circumstance that makes you wanna run a legacy file system.

All that said, I'm no IT professional, I just followed computers pretty close when I was a teenager and need to use them pretty intensivly for work and don't like to be talked to by the IT guys like I'm a retard.

Belgium or Walker would surely know, they do this for a living. Shagz and Vale both have comp science degrees so they could likely tell you too.

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