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Should I convert my drives to FAT32?

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zackiv31    0

I currently switched from XP and recently became aware of all the limitations NTFS has with linux... is FAT32 the best filesystem that is both XP and Linux Happy? What am I losing in changing to your proposed filesystem?

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SaguratuS    0

You may want to consider ext2 over fat32, as you can build in read/write support for it into windows, and not suffer from a few of the fat32 limitations.

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Colin-uk    133

some of the limitations of Fat32 in windows include

no security (you dont get to choose who can read/write/open your files) everyone has full access

File sizes above 2GB are not supported, so if you have any files above 2GB in size you'll have to move them to an ntfs partition

I think there probably would be a few more, I just cant think of them right now :p

As was suggessted before ext3 or reiserFS would be a good choice for linux, as i believe theres a tool for windows to mount those file systems for reading (not sure about writing) in windows :)

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vertigosity    0

Some of the limitation of FAT32 can actually be strengths; the OS can't really hide or deny access to anything, so if you like poking around in your system, it might be nice. Of course, some of its other limitations are just plain limitations, and those are annoying.

Regarding Ext2 on Windows: A while back, I fooled with a tool called Explore2fs, that works for reading and slightly less stable writing to Ext2/3 filesystems. It's more of an occasional interchange thing, though, not something I'd recommend for constant use as it isn't completely transparent. For that, you'd want an IFS driver, which is supposed to make Ext2 feel pretty much native.

If anybody wants to give it a shot (I haven't had the balls or the extra free space to move all my various stuffs onto a new ext2 partition yet), here's two projects writing Ext2 IFS drivers for NT I've come across and bookmarked for possible eventual playing-with:

http://www.fs-driver.org/index.html

http://ext2fsd.sourceforge.net/

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chavo    1

Explore2fs works great here for limited access to my ext3 drives in Windows. But neither of the filesystem drivers worked reliably for me. I haven't tried wither one in a while though. I'll have to see if they've improved.

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The_Decryptor    1,105

Like everybody else has said, format it with EXT3 (good for Linux), then load on a EXT2 FS Driver for Windows (EXT3 is backwards compatible with EXT2), Windows will behave as if it's just another drive (we have iTunes on our laptop saving it's music onto a EXT3 drive)

and yeah, FAT32 is a bad FS for modern systems, no benefits, only "cons"

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thisispete    0

and yeah, FAT32 is a bad FS for modern systems, no benefits, only "cons"

Partly true..

However not having to add support for FAT32 in either OS must be seen as a pro.. musn't it?

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The_Decryptor    1,105

Partly true..

However not having to add support for FAT32 in either OS must be seen as a pro.. musn't it?

Ok, it has one pro, it's supported by everything and it's dog (if not FAT32, some variant of it like FTA12 or 16)

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lol911    0

... Not to mention the chunk sizes you get by running a FAT32 system on a 30gb+ hd.

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zackiv31    0

Is chunk size that important? If not the 4 gb limitation isnot a problem for me as I will still keep one of my drives NTFS for large file format support... I'm still kind of leaning towards FAT32 as it is natively supported by both OS's

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Unholy Moley!    0

There is a thread about this, read here. There are minor problems with Fat32 like the 4GB/file limitation, no security and inefficiencies that cost space (which is really minor; the wasted space will be under 100MB), but being that you can't use NTFS and Ext doesn't work for Windows, Fat32 is your only option.

I sure wish NTFS worked reliably in Linux. Right now I have two hard drives full of data formatted to NTFS that cannot be moved to another drive (because I have no other drives). I quite frankly do not trust captive-NTFS enough to make any changes to them.

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chavo    1

Just a little update.

I did boot into Windows and tried the ex2-ifs driver again. And just like before I got a BSOD while browsing my /home partition. Now this could be a problem with my hardware, but I thought I'd give everyone a heads up before any possible data loss occurs.

One other note: explorer started acting strangely while I was browsing just before crash. The back button and history stopped working.

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