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NTFS or FAT32 (Can be closed)





Flakky
I'm in doubt between those since I have no clue which one is better. Can someone explain me which one is better and what clustersize is recommended.

I have a 500GB external harddisk, which spins 7200 RPM
emem
I think NTFS is more advanced, but it's from microsoft.... I would choose FAT32 for sure, as it is fast and advanced enough and is supported on Windows, Linux, Mac and BSD platform. I think the best clustersize is default...
jackill
FAT32 on 500GB drive? FAT32 supports only 124,55GB. it's unsafe, unstable, max file size is limited. Only NTFS. All Linuxes now support full access on NTFS drivers via NTFS-3G.
brokenadvice
Go with NTFS. One of the reasons flash drives fail so much is their FAT formatting.
doppleganger
since the volume of your hard drive is large i suggest u use ntfs
XeononyX
NTFS is short for NT File System which was made for Windows NT which evolved into XP so if you are running XP go NTFS.
I have no clue how the compatabilities go between the linux brand OSes and NTFS.
IceCreamTruck
Here's the basic picture for you:

FAT file systems are like normal ground shipping
- no confirmation that the package ever left the mail box
- no shipping updates
- no received package receipt

The NTFS file system is like Certified Mail:
- Files sent to the hard drive get shipment tracking
- Files in transit have descriptive info (ie. don't become lost chains when crash happens)
- Files written to the drive send received receipts to memory and applications for better processing

Hmmm, both do a job. Depends on what you need, but the decision should be a little more obvious now. Go with the FAT file systems if you don't ever have important data, you have no need for drives larger than 125g, and if you constantly feel the need to put yourself down. If you are looking for crashes and lost data then look no further than FAT32 oh yeah baby!! It rulez the world of lost file chains.

If you need important data on your machine, you need to know it's done right the first time, and you want hard drives with a little more space than 125gigs...then be my guest and try NTFS but I'll assure you that it takes all the fun out of crashy computers.
jeremyp
Flakky wrote:
I'm in doubt between those since I have no clue which one is better. Can someone explain me which one is better and what clustersize is recommended.

I have a 500GB external harddisk, which spins 7200 RPM

FAT32 is the file system invented for Windows 95. It's really simple and every single PC operating system in the world can understand it. It's the ideal file system for small capacity (e.g. less than 10Gb) USB memory sticks because you can plug it into a Windows PC, a Macintosh or a Linux PC and the computer will be able to read and write data to it. The maximum file size on FAT32 is 2Gb, so forget about putting DVD rips on it.

NTFS is the standard file system for Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista. It offers far better security, better performance and larger maximum size and file size than FAT32. It's also more robust if your computer crashes or powers off suddenly. On the other hand, people with Macs and Linux will be able to read files off it but probably not write files to it.

With a 500Gb hard disk, I'd definitely format it with NTFS if my main PC was Windows based. I'd also put a small (10Gb) FAT32 partition on it for file transfer between operating systems (I use Macintosh PCs mainly, but also some Windows).
urbanbuddha
I agree with jeremyp

I do with with my 250GB external... I put the first 50GB in FAT32, so when I went to my college/university (joint program) I was able to use the macs to read and write to my documents. The other 200GB was formatted in NTFS, cause well, I don't like having a max capacity of 125GB and a max file size of 2GB... its not helpful when I'm trying to back up my database flat file which can easily exceeds 2GB sometimes.
hunnyhiteshseth
Let me correct jeremyp on some points.

First of all not all Operating System can recognize FAT32, DOS 6.22 and earlier wont let you do so.

Secondly, the maximum file size allowed in FAT32 is 2TB and not 2GB as he says. 2GB was maximum file size in FAT12/16 when the Hard Disk were hardly of more than 100MB

But of course, you cannot format whole 500GB with FAT32 as that would waste a lot of space.

What I would suggest is that you make atleast 2 FAT32 partitions. In first FAT32 partition you can install windows. Keep second partition for sharing files between other operating systems if you plan to keep them. Rest of space you can format with NTFS.


I am suggesting you to keep windows in FAT32 partition because in case of any failure, it is easy to recover files from FAT32 partition if you cannot boot your PC. So, after recovering your files, you can just reinstall windows keeping your data safe.
Flakky
Thanks everyone for your replies!

I only need to work with it with Vista and I sometimes need it to exchange data with a friend who also has a Vista. And the 3rd possible person to change data with will get a Vista so Smile . NTFS sounds better, also because of the HDD size. I didn't knew that FAT/FAT32 had a max filesize or anything.

I'll choose NTFS without partitions, but now people, what clustersize is best?
hunnyhiteshseth
Flakky wrote:

I'll choose NTFS without partitions, but now people, what clustersize is best?


Hey!!! hold on. I would still suggest you make atleast 1 FAT32 partition and install vista in it only. But do not keep any user file(i.e. your personal file) on it. This will help in easy recovery of your data. as if vista crashes you can just delete this FAT32 partition and reinstall vista in it. Your files would remain save in other NTFS partition.


I would suggest:
50 GB ----- FAT32 , only Windows and system files

Rest-------NTFS, your file size


You can use default cluster size of windows. No need to manipulate cluster size unless you want to dedicate your computer for one use only.




Well this is my advice, rest your wish.
arbab
I think ntfs is better for you as you have quite a big hard drive also ntfs is more secure than the fat32.Therefore you should use ntfs.
Arno v. Lumig
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Flakky wrote:

I'll choose NTFS without partitions, but now people, what clustersize is best?


Hey!!! hold on. I would still suggest you make atleast 1 FAT32 partition and install vista in it only. But do not keep any user file(i.e. your personal file) on it. This will help in easy recovery of your data. as if vista crashes you can just delete this FAT32 partition and reinstall vista in it. Your files would remain save in other NTFS partition.


The idea of creating a separate partition for the OS is great, but because this is an external hard drive I don't expect he's going to install an OS on it (although it is possible)
hunnyhiteshseth
Arno v. Lumig wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
Flakky wrote:

I'll choose NTFS without partitions, but now people, what clustersize is best?


Hey!!! hold on. I would still suggest you make atleast 1 FAT32 partition and install vista in it only. But do not keep any user file(i.e. your personal file) on it. This will help in easy recovery of your data. as if vista crashes you can just delete this FAT32 partition and reinstall vista in it. Your files would remain save in other NTFS partition.


The idea of creating a separate partition for the OS is great, but because this is an external hard drive I don't expect he's going to install an OS on it (although it is possible)


Yes, you are right there. I did not thought that. If he is not going to install any OS on it then I think one NTFS 500GB partition would do.





By the way, I think by now he must have already formatted his hard disk. If this is the case, we would love to hear what have you finally done to your hard disk.
loonix
FAT32 or NTFS
Whats a bloke to do
Go with the former
FAT32 is much older
So it has to be NTFS

Okay worlds worst limerick aside :p

NTFS beats FAT32 hands down. The only reason I would ever use FAT32 was a long time ago when I needed a linux/windows share.

NTFS is far more secure than FAT32 due to the permissions it allows.

Regards
Flakky
Well just to prevent confusion (especially for hunnyhiteshseth Razz). I got my internal HD (C:\) which is 110 gb, NTFS and with Vista installed. It has many applications installed on it.

Then you have my external HD (F:\) which is a FAT32 250gb. I haven't formatted that one. I use this for games, music, movies and that's it.

And now my new 500gb external HD (E:\) is still a FAT32 but I want to know whether I should keep it or change it. After reading what you guys have told me is great information. The tip about the 2 different partitions is useful to know but not for now Razz .

I'm reformatting it to a NTFS with default clustersize... It's busy right now Smile
hunnyhiteshseth
Yeah, thanks for preventing confusion. Laughing
Flakky
Yeah. It has been reformatted with default clustersize. It took a while but it's finished.
I noticed that 100mb of my hd was already in use although there was nothing on it. Well, I don't see it as a huge problem or anything, 100mb is nothing.

This can be closed unless someone wants to expand this discussion Smile
hunnyhiteshseth
Flakky wrote:
Yeah. It has been reformatted with default clustersize. It took a while but it's finished.
I noticed that 100mb of my hd was already in use although there was nothing on it. Well, I don't see it as a huge problem or anything, 100mb is nothing.

This can be closed unless someone wants to expand this discussion Smile


Just before this thread closes, I think that 100MB may be used by your MFT(Master File Table)



Ok. Close it. Razz
Flakky
Thanks, I'll use Google to expand my knowledge Smile
jeremyp
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:

Hey!!! hold on. I would still suggest you make atleast 1 FAT32 partition and install vista in it only.

No!

Do not install your operating system on a FAT file system

There is no security on any type of FAT file system so any program running under any user could amend your operating system files if that is where they are.
jeremyp
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:

First of all not all Operating System can recognize FAT32, DOS 6.22 and earlier wont let you do so.

Accepted, but nobody really uses DOS 6 anymore.

Quote:
Secondly, the maximum file size allowed in FAT32 is 2TB and not 2GB as he says. 2GB was maximum file size in FAT12/16 when the Hard Disk were hardly of more than 100MB

My comment was based on my own experience with a VMWare image of size 10Gb. The figure I gave was based on the fact that VMWare has the capability of splitting large images into 2Gb chunks so you can run it on a FAT32 formatted external drive.

Having done some research, I see we are both wrong. The maximum file size of FAT32 is 2^32 - 1 bytes, or one byte shy of 4 Gb. The 2 Terabyte figure refers to the maximum theoretical drive size. I say "theoretical" because implementations may impose smaller limits e.g. the Win2K FAT32 driver supports partitions up to 32 Gb.

Quote:
I am suggesting you to keep windows in FAT32 partition because in case of any failure,


That is a really bad piece of advice. If your operating system is in a FAT32 partition there is nothing you can do to stop a malicious program from replacing bits of it with malicious software. There's no security on FAT32.
Flakky
Again... I don't have any OS running on any kind of FAT, I got my OS on a NTFS. I also didn't plan or mentioned I would install an OS on an external HD. So this can be closed.
hunnyhiteshseth
jeremyp wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:

First of all not all Operating System can recognize FAT32, DOS 6.22 and earlier wont let you do so.

Accepted, but nobody really uses DOS 6 anymore.


I was referring that in reply to "all OS recognize FAT32" and another reason was well, I still use DOS 6.22 & windows 3.1 on my old 486 :p

jeremyp wrote:

Quote:
I am suggesting you to keep windows in FAT32 partition because in case of any failure,

That is a really bad piece of advice. If your operating system is in a FAT32 partition there is nothing you can do to stop a malicious program from replacing bits of it with malicious software. There's no security on FAT32.


Well, I have not come across any such malicious program which rely on this fact that OS is installed FAT32 & not on NTFS If you know of any, please give an example and increase my knowledge.
IceCreamTruck
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:
jeremyp wrote:
hunnyhiteshseth wrote:

First of all not all Operating System can recognize FAT32, DOS 6.22 and earlier wont let you do so.

Accepted, but nobody really uses DOS 6 anymore.


I was referring that in reply to "all OS recognize FAT32" and another reason was well, I still use DOS 6.22 & windows 3.1 on my old 486 :p


I can totally tell that you use older technology...you didn't have to tell me. It's because your advice is outdated in this instance. It's like you are 10 years behind the current common knowledge.

NTFS is more reliable than FAT32 by far! this is common knowledge

NTFS has s level of security that we need today that FAT32 does not! FAT32 machines without this level of security are getting eaten alive on the interent, but you either don't have your 486 hooked up anymore via it's 14k modem, or you just don't do much internet browsing. All of this is common knowledge. We don't need to point out spyware and viruses that exploit the FAT32 file system. Just browse the internet and you'll find your own!! That is if anyone is even still thinking about exploiting FAT32 besides your personal enemies.

Please stop telling people to put FAT32 on any machine. If they don't know the difference then they NEED NTFS. FAT32 produced one of the crashiest moments in computer history. I couldn't ever get a FAT32 system to be reliable, I made a lot of money repairing people's FAT32 systems, and I was amazed when microsoft released NTFS because my days of crashing and constantly restarting are over and so I moved from computer repair to software developement now that THERE ISN'T A MARKET FOR CRASHY COMUPTERS THAT NEED REPAIR!!

Hardware repair, now that's a market. Software development is also HUGE. Teaching computer courses is blowing up like nothing else, but I recomend you get a FEW refresher courses in before you start telling more people to install FAT32 when next generation options have been around for EVER!!!

BTW, if you install FAT32 on XP then it makes you restart every time you install a program. If you install with NTFS it does not require restart on program installation, so there is a HUGE time saver right there. THIS IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE!!!

STOP GIVING BAD ADVICE PLEASE!! Get out of the stone age man...computers aren't as difficult as they once were. I don't mean to get rude, but why are you so intent on your bad advice. You keep posting and reposting it, so I had to say something. You are wrong, but that doesn't make you a bad person. You are just wrong, hunnyhiteshseth.

hunnyhiteshseth wrote:

jeremyp wrote:

Quote:
I am suggesting you to keep windows in FAT32 partition because in case of any failure,

That is a really bad piece of advice. If your operating system is in a FAT32 partition there is nothing you can do to stop a malicious program from replacing bits of it with malicious software. There's no security on FAT32.


Well, I have not come across any such malicious program which rely on this fact that OS is installed FAT32 & not on NTFS If you know of any, please give an example and increase my knowledge.


It's funny..."keep ... FAT32 partition because in case of any failure." What about the fact that the file system is generating it's own errors every time you crash? What do you keep to help with that? Keep recovery tools on an NTFS partition?

Also funny: "Well, I have not come across any such malicious program which rely on this fact that OS is installed FAT32 & not on NTFS If you know of any, please give an example and increase my knowledge."

Comment: Do you browse at all -- or are you just pretending? Here's an experiment for you to "increase your knowledge." I am serious -- all jokes aside. Take a FAT32 using piece of junk and browse the internet, random sites, random links, random companies, and do this for 8 hours or so per day and you'll be crippled by the end of one month. I'm willing to bet that it would take less time, but there is no way you'd last a month. Using anti-spyware programs is cheating but it won't help you much as the malware will rip that up too because it will use the unsecured FILE SYSTEM to get around it. One month of your time, and you'll definately increase your knowledge.

If you want to know how I know I am right and you are wrong is that I have tried what you are saying and have long since had to pursue other options because I don't like having to format my computer every week. It's what we are up against today, man. That's how I know.

That's why I'm asking if you even browse the internet, because if you did, then you'd know it too. Doing the same thing on the internet every day doesn't count. Mix it up and live a little, and feel the burn.
bissoboa
I had a look to the whole discussion. I prefere fat32 at all Razz and this is why

Imagine you to repair your friend's computer with one only big NTFS primary partition, that has got windows don'wanna start anymore - I believe this scenario happens Smile..
you won't get back into C:\ easily.

After boot it won't be visible and this will bring you waste time in internet searching for dos-like-ntfs-please-make-visibile utilities, and do confusion and be upset why it had got ntfs instead the good old fat32 -.-

So the risk of data loos is higher with ntfs than with fat32.
IceCreamTruck
bissoboa wrote:
I had a look to the whole discussion. I prefere fat32 at all Razz and this is why

Imagine you to repair your friend's computer with one only big NTFS primary partition, that has got windows don'wanna start anymore - I believe this scenario happens Smile..
you won't get back into C:\ easily.

After boot it won't be visible and this will bring you waste time in internet searching for dos-like-ntfs-please-make-visibile utilities, and do confusion and be upset why it had got ntfs instead the good old fat32 -.-

So the risk of data loos is higher with ntfs than with fat32.


No, the risk of data loss is not less with fat32 no matter how poorly you argue your point. FAT32 does not have data management like NTFS. I wish we could take 10 random computers and I'll install NTFS with everything I want in programs on 5 of them, and you install FAT32 on 5 plus everything you want on them in programs, and I'll beat you on so many levels. I wish we could bet on this because...I will finish installing before you do with less bugs, I will not have to restart my computer each time I install my programs, and I'll actually have 5 working computers when I am done barring hardwear troubles. You will be slower through the whole process, your computer will be a ton more likely to lock up on install, you will have to restart every time you install a program, and without proper file permission on disk you'll probably not even survive the windows update process before becoming so infected that you can't continue.

I don't make bets that I can loose. I'd bet on the NTFS systems I built over your FAT32 systems any day of the week.

I only continue to try to convince these people on balf of the people that they will not be able to trick into installing last generation products.

What do you think brought about not restarting your computer each time you install a program? --NTFS
What do you think brought about actual security on your personal computer instead of being wide open on the internet? --NTFS
What do you think has all but gotten rid of the need to run disk-check? --NTFS
What is admittedly the most reliable file system released by Microsoft, and recomended by Microsoft? --NTFS (yes, I realize that some of you jerks hate microsoft because it's popular. I don't.)
In basic order of birthdays...FAT32 is older, and NTFS is the newest generation product, and we arn't talking wine here people. Computer systems do not get better with age.

This topic has been dead forever, and I wish an admin would -close- this or -lock- it because I am tired of re-explaining the basics to every uninformed idiot that comes along.

Go ahead and argue that FAT32 is better...the world will leave you behind soon enough.

Oh, before I forget...Why is microsoft no longer supporting FAT32? --NTFS

I'm not asking anyone to believe me...just lookup "FAT32 or NTFS" on google, yahoo, msn, ask jeeves, lycos, about, or whatever search engine you come to.

I'd like to see someone come up with anything where microsoft recomends FAT32 over NTFS. That's the challenge. Find something to support your theories fellas. You won't.

From now on out all my responses to "stupid" fat32 posters will simply be "You Are Wrong!! Try reading more of this topic before posting..."
freddyzdead
Icecreamtruck:

It appears that your last encounter with FAT32 must have been with
Windows 98. I have been using XP and Server 2003 on many machines
with FAT32 for the last 5 years or so. Crashes are nonexistent unless self-
inflicted. Programs do not require restart after installing except for those
that do so regardless of the filesystem. I have benchmarked identical
systems with both FAT32 and NTFS and, if anything, FAT32 is faster. I am
on the Internet 24/7 and NEVER have any security issues. I don't use any
firewall other than the one built into the wireless router. And I even have a
web server running constantly, yes, with FAT32. In short, I have experi-
enced none of the "problems" you insist I must be having. The symptoms
you describe are characteristic of systems running a DPMI shell on top of
DOS, such as Windows 95 or 98, nothing to do with FAT filesystem.

These are the 6 main arguments I have seen commonly advanced for the
use of NTFS:

1. Security

Much better security is usually given as one of the biggest reasons to use
NTFS over FAT32. The fact is, from a network standpoint, there is no
important difference. The security aspects of NTFS are only apparent at
the local level. If you're running a big network with many users you don't
trust, then NTFS mght help a little bit to protect them from each other.
In a single-user or home network situation, this level of security is seldom
necessary.

2. NTFS is more robust and less likely to crash.

Yes, this is true. It is also true that if it does crash, there is likely
nothing you can do about it. If you have FAT32 and it crashes, you can boot
DOS or some other OS and at least recover your important files. Probably
you can restore it to functionality. Crash recovery options in NTFS are
very limited.

3. File size limitation

This is true; if your system is going to need to create files bigger than
4 GB, you need an NTFS partition. It doesn't have to be the boot one,
though. And there are alternatives such as UDF which are more suitable
for high-throughput situations.

4. Better performance

Actually, you can expect performance penalties imposed by the built-in
redundancies and the fact that NTFS is much more memory-intensive. On
lesser hardware or in low-memory situations, you will actually get much
better performance with FAT32.

5. Cluster overhang

One of the strongest indictments of FAT32 by NTFS proponents is the waste
of disk space caused by the necessity to increase cluster size as volume
size increases. What they don't tell you is that NTFS reserves the first
12% or one-eighth of the volume capacity for the Master File Table. On a
120 Gigabyte drive, this amounts to 15 gigabytes. Moreover, this is reported
as free space when actually it is not available for file storage. FAT32 cluster
overhang never gobbles up that much space unless you're storing millions of
tiny files.

6. NTFS has natively-supported features not available in FAT32.

Yes, such things as file compression and striped volume arrays are supported,
but, honestly, do real people need these things? No, they don't. Hard disks
are getting bigger, faster and cheaper, so why would you subject yourself to
the overhead penalty of compression? And striped arrays are a recipe for
disaster, never mind what filesystem.



Vista will only install on NTFS, not because it can't, but because M$ doesn't
want anybody to use anything else. It's a cornerstone of their strategy to
leverage their monopoly into totality.

So, Mr. Icecreamtruck, none of your arguments hold up. You are just a spoon-
fed Micro$oft fanboy who believes everything he's told. Also, your English
teacher failed you badly.
wolvmag
Freddyzdead - your my new best friend Smile
FAT32 all the way. My friend brandon's pc sucks -> 128mb ram with NTFS on winXP.
The freakin' thing takes 5min just to close internet explorer- I now use Mozilla on his pc too. Still slow, but nowhere near as slow.

Nice. Down with M$croSoft
bulek
well, 128mb is really too low for Windows XP. Maybe it could run with many unessential processes stopped, but computer would be somehow useless then.
IceCreamTruck
wolvmag wrote:
Freddyzdead - your my new best friend Smile
FAT32 all the way. My friend brandon's pc sucks -> 128mb ram with NTFS on winXP.
The freakin' thing takes 5min just to close internet explorer- I now use Mozilla on his pc too. Still slow, but nowhere near as slow.

Nice. Down with M$croSoft


I hate you guys! Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad Twisted Evil Evil or Very Mad

High schoolers! Try exhausting possibilities before making a judgment call...it's an experimental process. How much ram does your friend have compared to you? what is processor speed? bus speed? Hard drive rpms? AND THAT'S JUST HARDWARE!!! How long has it been since he's defragged? How much spyware is resident on his system? What processes are running in back ground on his system? Viruses/Malware? What's his software history like (any big virus cleanups)?!?!

Shall I go on about this, or move on to the possible differences between his computer and yours?

Shall I start into the fact that computers are processing more and more so that we have more abilities...so, you are saying that you want the latest, greatest video games, but you want an old piece of junk to run them fast?!?!?! Cake and eat it too, huh? (yes, 128 megs of ram and XP = Junk)

Anyone who says FAT32 is better than NTFS just quite simply does not know what they are talking about. I'm done with this thread.

PS. 128 megs of ram is the MINIMUM for XP!!! try at least 256 (recomended) before passing judgment. Actually, why stop there?...max out the board...try 1 gig, or 2gigs if it will take it. Watch how much faster his computer gets without downgrading to FAT32, children!
brokenadvice
Oh gawd this is turning into a flame war! Could and admin -Close- this before someone looses an eye? BTW HSF+ FTW!
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