FAT32 vs. NTFS: Various questions....


V

Viken Karaguesian

Hello all,

I have a few questions regarding FAT32 vs NTFS. Relevant history: I recently
converted from WinME to XP Pro. I use my computer for work and for gaming. I
also have a small in-home network (only one computer on XP Pro, the others
on WinMe). I have two hard drives, one that hosts WinXP (NTFS) and one which
hosts my games and backup data (FAT32). So...

1. Which is a *faster* file system, FAT32 or NTFS? I've heard that NTFS is
slower compared to FAT32, but would the difference be noticeable?

2. I've heard a lot about the stability of WinNT/2K/XP Pro. I've always
assumed that it was the NTFS file system that was the primary reason behind
the stability. Is this correct?

3. Would my current setup (one NTFS hard drive and one FAT32 hard drive)
slow my compter down? Does the data going from one HDD to the other need to
be "translated" or converted, causing lost time and recources?

4. I'm assuming that it would be better to be using one file system
altogether, but would it be worth formatting a hard drive and reinstalling
to achieve this?

Thanks in advance for any replies. I look forward to learning about this.


Viken Karaguesian
 
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M

Mike Brannigan [MSFT]

Viken Karaguesian said:
Hello all,

I have a few questions regarding FAT32 vs NTFS. Relevant history: I recently
converted from WinME to XP Pro. I use my computer for work and for gaming. I
also have a small in-home network (only one computer on XP Pro, the others
on WinMe). I have two hard drives, one that hosts WinXP (NTFS) and one which
hosts my games and backup data (FAT32). So...

1. Which is a *faster* file system, FAT32 or NTFS? I've heard that NTFS is
slower compared to FAT32, but would the difference be noticeable?

It depends on the size of files and types of operations you are performing
as well as the way NTFS is used as regards cluster size etc on your hard
disk. If real world use for a regular PC user - you cannot see any
noticeable difference in performance between the 2.
2. I've heard a lot about the stability of WinNT/2K/XP Pro. I've always
assumed that it was the NTFS file system that was the primary reason behind
the stability. Is this correct?

No - while the files system is important that it adds some degree of
recoverability in the effect of a system failure. The improvements in
stability between Windows Me and Windows XP come from the fact that Windows
XP is based on the underlying architecture and design of the Windows NT
family of operating systems, where as Windows ME is the end of the line of
the Windows 9x family. The architectural and internal differences are too
detailed to go into in this forum.
3. Would my current setup (one NTFS hard drive and one FAT32 hard drive)
slow my compter down? Does the data going from one HDD to the other need to
be "translated" or converted, causing lost time and recources?

No - the differing formats do not effect data being moved from one drive to
the other.
4. I'm assuming that it would be better to be using one file system
altogether, but would it be worth formatting a hard drive and reinstalling
to achieve this?

It really will not matter. You can convert the FAT32 drive to NTFS using
the convert command line utility. The advantages of moving to NTFS are
greater security and reliability of the file system.


--
Regards,

Mike
--
Mike Brannigan [Microsoft]

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
rights

Please note I cannot respond to e-mailed questions, please use these
newsgroups
 
A

Alexander Grigoriev

3. Unless the source file on NTFS partition has alternate streams with the
document attributes.

4. For better performance (better cluster size), it may be better to
reformat the drive as NTFS, rather than converting it.
 
M

Mick

Hi

Can I add to this discussion by asking how I can convert a NTFS partition to
FAT32 - I will spare you the reasons why I need to do this.

Thanks

Mick
 
G

GSV Three Minds in a Can

from the wonderful said:
Hi

Can I add to this discussion by asking how I can convert a NTFS partition to
FAT32 - I will spare you the reasons why I need to do this.

You use something like Partition Magic 8, having first un-encrypted and
de-compressed all the NTFS files which won't otherwise convert.

Alternatively, if you're cheap, you back the whole lot up someplace else
(tape, another HDD, whatever), then reformat the partition as FAT32 (as
long as it's <32GB) and restore the data.
 
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A

Alex Nichol

Mick said:
Can I add to this discussion by asking how I can convert a NTFS partition to
FAT32 - I will spare you the reasons why I need to do this.

Only known way is with Partition Magic 8 - short of deleting the
partition and making a new one. And you have first to ensure that there
are no files/folders that are compressed or encrypted, and need a fair
amount of free space on the disk
 
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