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NTFS or FAT32 on my PC?

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guru    323

i converted to ntfs recently no problems .and its totally worth it.Windows xp pro feels much faster than fat32.i would say ntfs is the way to go if u have a lot of files on ur hdd.

disable ntfs last access time and yeah disable indexing service:D.

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Samoa    0
NTFS: Faster searching, better with many files in a folder.

FAT32: Good for very large files, such as videoes and the like. If you use a large cluster size, there will be little fragmentation.

I use NTFS on all drives but my music & videoes. The partition is rarely written to, so data loss is not really an issue.?:DD

I use 64k clusters. NTFS needs them to be to 4k in order to enable compression.

Fragmentation-wise NTFS can get a lot worse than FAT32, because the built-in defragmenters can't do the metadata. But for the metadata to

become severely fragmented, the drives need to be filled. So if you plan on using up to 50% of the partition, you are in the clear. If not, you should

use a commercial defragmenter.

*Quote* NTFS needs them to be to 4k in order to enable compression.

I have read about the benefit of performing a "4k alignment" on a drive before converting. How is this accomplished?

In my situation, XP upgrade and a clean install does not seem possible because it cannot find the WinME OS on the Gateway rescue CD...:pinch:: Any ideas?

Do you have a CD for Windows Me?? Cause all you need to is insert the CD when the XP Install asks for verification. You do not have to have an OS installed to do a clean install. In fact, you could do it with the devil's own CD, to install an Upgrade version.

If the Windows Me OS is on the disk already, then go to the C:/windows/options/(install or Cabs) folder. The setup files you need will be in one of those files, tends to vary with version. If indeed it is an OEM then you will be missing a few files. There is a guide on Langa.com that could help you. Or I could help u out if you PM.

If you deleted those folders to save space, then if you have a restore CD, then back up you information, and do a restore. Then proceed with the creation of you Me CD.

You should use win 2000. You need more ram.

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Xenomorph    38

Things to remember:

In Windows 2000 and Windows XP, a convert will convert to 512 byte cluster NTFS.

In Windows 2000, a NTFS format will make 512 byte clusters, and in XP, the format makes 4096 byte clusters. This can be controlled (but their defaults differ).

With any file system, smaller clusters means more space, but less speed.

I wouldn't use less than 4096 bytes unless you knew you needed small clusters.

Partition Magic 8 can quickly resize NTFS clusters (from a converted 512 byte size to a faster 4096 byte size for example).

NTFS is superior to FAT32 in EVERY way. People that compare FAT32 to NTFS speeds are *not* keeping the cluster size in mind.

For example, if they have a 40 Gig hard drive formatted as FAT32, they are probably using 32 K clusters (the default size for that partition size). If they Convert from FAT32 to NTFS, they will end up with 512 byte clusters - this will result in noticably slower file access. The person will assume that NTFS is then a slower file system. What do you think would happen if they converted their NTFS drive to have 64 K clusters? What file system would they think was slower then? Even at the same cluster size, say both NTFS and FAT32 at 4096 bytes, NTFS still wins.

For large files, NTFS wins again, as it (as far as I know) has no limit to file sizes, where FAT32 has a 4 gig limit (people who capture and edit large video files will run into this sometimes).

NTFS is also a Journaling file system as some have mentioned (like ReiserFS or ext3 in Linux). Basically this means your file system will be a lot harder to mess up. With drives formatted as FAT32, Windows will run ScanDisk/ChkDsk after an improper shut down. Why? Becuase chances are there is now an error in the file system. Maybe a file got hosed, or some stuff was left over that wasn't fully written to disk, or files are crosslinked. This wont happen with NTFS. If you're playing on your computer, and the power goes out or your computer locks up, when you boot up again, you will get back to Windows without having to scan for errors. The file system tries to be self fixing.

Like others, I don't understand some of the things others have mentioned. It's silly to use one file system for one drive, and another for a different drive. Unless you SPECIFICALLY use an operating system that DOES NOT work with anything but FAT32 or simply can not get by unless you know you have a FAT32 drive, for the love of god, use NTFS on all your drives.

"Can a NTFS drive read a FAT32 drive" makes no sense. Like mentioned before, its the operating system that does the reading and writing. Windows can copy files from a Floppy (FAT12) to a CD file system to a FAT32 or NTFS partition. The media doesn't have to "see" each other. Your OS takes care of copying/moving stuff.

While there is multiple versions of NTFS (for WinNT 4, Win2k, and WinXP), they are all fully compatible with each other. If you copy something from a NTFS drive formatted in XP to a NTFS drive formatted in NT4, there is a few bit of information that don't get copied over, but its nothing too important. The version of NTFS should never be an issue (I saw someone mention NTFS 5 on the first page I believe).

NTFS can be converted back to FAT32 --- Keep in mind that when converting from NTFS to FAT32, the FAT32 file system will have 512 byte cluster size. Actually, it MIGHT take on the cluster size of the NTFS file system, however I believe I was using a 512 byte cluster size NTFS file system when I converted. Using anything lower than 4096 byte clusters in FAT32 can be PAINFULLY slow - and file system utilities like ScanDisk and DeFrag are not going to function as expected (perhaps not at all).

Some tools to keep in mind if you frequently mess with partitions and file systems:

Partition Magic 8 (not 7, 6, 5 or whatever other version you might have laying around). PM8 has the ability to resize NTFS clusters, and even modify partition information (such as resize drive C:) while Windows IS STILL RUNNING.

NTFS Pro with this, you can boot off your favorite DOS diskette (such as a Windows 98 or Me boot disk) and read and write NTFS partitions. (It's also usefull for converting names of directories like "C:\WINDOWS" to "C:\Windows" just to make things look nicer in Explorer.)

You can make a bootable CD even with a ton of tools to aid you on whatever system you are working on. The CD can boot up with Win98's boot disk, and then let you run PM8 or NTFSPro from DOS, giving you full control over everything related to your hard drives.

To sum it all up: NTFS is better than FAT32. If you able to use NTFS, then do so. There is no reason to use FAT32 if you don't have to. Formatting NTFS is better than converting to NTFS as you might end up with slower, smaller clusters. There are tools out there that can make working with file systems easy and safe (kinda. you can still be in trouble in the event of a power loss).

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Samoa    0

whew, that clears things up a bit. :whistle:

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Ironguy    0

I converted on Saturday. I ran a program called BootItNG to align the FTA32 clusters to a 4k alignment, defragged in Safe Mode, then ran convert. All went as planned. I have a 20Gig hard drive and free space went from 27% to 32%. I haven't run any benchmarks, but overall everything seems faster.

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Samoa    0

Naturally, FAT32 is faster on 20gig partitions and below. I'm interested in the free space ratio however. NTFS is suppose to be better at space management. But maybe that's old data too.

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Angel Blue01    9

I have PartitionMagic 7.0 (and don't want to buy the upgrade). I'm using its included BootMagic app to dual-boot XP and 98SE. Will I be unable to do this once I switch to NTFS?

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Angel Blue01    9

As far as I can tell, the answer is no.

Can anyone prove me wrong?

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PaulNC    0

Not me

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Angel Blue01    9

OK, plan B.

Time to play with boot.ini to get my dual-boot system to work!

(I've been looking around for this on the Web. Not sure why its no hard to find.)

Full explanation:

I have a 40GB HDD, with an XP Home Upgrade on one side, and a 98SE on the other. Both are FAT32.

What I *want* is to be able to continue dual-booting after I convert to NTFS (Which BootMagic doesn't seem to like at all. Maybe PM8 fixed this...). So, I'm looking around to see what I have to modify in my boot.ini so I can continue to boot to either OS, without the benefit of PT7/BM.

I've tried all sorts of configs for boot.ini, and I'm still looking. I have one HDD. Here the contents of my boot.ini as is:

[boot loader]

timeout = 30

default = multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS

[operating systems]

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS ="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /KERNEL=kernel1.exe

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Barzoom    2

your best bet would be to format and start over.

1. format with win 98 floppy. They are better than the ones that win ME makes.

2. Install win ME first.

3. Install XP from within ME. It will allow you to set it up on another partition in NTFS.

4. Dont use boot magic. XP will give you a boot menu.

It sounds like you installed XP first. That usually causes problems and the need for Boot magic and such.

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Joel    27
3. Install XP from within ME. It will allow you to set it up on another partition in NTFS.

You don't have to, you can still boot from the CD and it will set up the Dual-boot properly.

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+BudMan    3,694
Naturally, FAT32 is faster on 20gig partitions and below. I'm interested in the free space ratio however. NTFS is suppose to be better at space management. But maybe that's old data too.

Where are you getting that fat32 is faster on < 20gig???? Please explain why you think this???

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Samoa    0
Where are you getting that fat32 is faster on < 20gig???? Please explain why you think this???

From actually operating both OS in similiar situations.

God this thread is OLD already. :wacko:

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Angel Blue01    9

Well, reformatting is not really an option (takes way too much time...) So guess I'll stick with FAT32, at least 'till Windows gets so messed up that I have to reformat...

Oh well...

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+BudMan    3,694
From actually operating both OS in similiar situations.

Well Goolly Gee - it must be a FACT then! And with all of the HARD facts that you produced from running both formats - it should be easy for you to explain why you think this!

With how many files are on a normal modern system partition - FAT32 starts to CRAWL.

The continued propagation of MYTHs is what is becoming VERY OLD!!

Unless "direct" access to the disk is required by an OS that does not understand NTFS - there is NOT one reason to run fat32 vs NTFS. NOT ONE!!

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Chad    0
From actually operating both OS in similiar situations.

Well Goolly Gee - it must be a FACT then! And with all of the HARD facts that you produced from running both formats - it should be easy for you to explain why you think this!

With how many files are on a normal modern system partition - FAT32 starts to CRAWL.

The continued propagation of MYTHs is what is becoming VERY OLD!!

Unless "direct" access to the disk is required by an OS that does not understand NTFS - there is NOT one reason to run fat32 vs NTFS. NOT ONE!!

I've never seen a benchmark that clearly states one is faster than the other. So saying FAT32 starts to CRAWL is a myth itself. I've gone back and forth between the two and have never noticed any speed difference. I usually stick with FAT32 because of all the troubles I've had with ntfs.

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