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Thread: FAT32 vs. NTFS

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    FAT32 vs. NTFS

    My step-daugther brought her computer by yesterday because she got the BSD. I was unable to boot into safe mode. I decided to just go ahead and reformat the hard drive and be done with it. (this is the second time this has happened) what I noticed was that even though I chose NTFS, when it was done, it was FAT32.
    This is a 2 year old HP laptop running Windows XP Pro.
    My question is this; Will there be any problems running it with the FAT32, or should I start all over again and get it to NTFS?
    Thanks John
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    It is easy to convert FAT32 to NTFS without loosing any Windows functionality (but not NTFS to FAT32 !)

    From Run window or Command prompt run following command:

    <font face="Georgia">convert C: /fs:ntfs</font face=georgia>

    For more information, see How to Convert FAT Disks to NTFS or run <font face="Georgia">help convert</font face=georgia> command from the Command prompt.

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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    Thanks,
    That I will give that a go. Should I do the D factory partition as well?
    Thanks John
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    NTFS is a better option for all drives & partitions. It is more robust and stable than FAT32. See Overview of FAT, HPFS, and NTFS File Systems for more information. See Converting FAT32 to NTFS in Windows XP for good information on the conversion process.

    Joe
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    Joe, I have several USB memory sticks or thumbdrives that are all formatted FAT32. Should they be changed to NTFS ?? Would that lessen the likelyhood that they will fail or is that just a consequence of the media type ??
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    I've had good luck so far with either format. The biggest thing about the format with removable media is the OS being used to read it. Since I don't have to worry about Macs or Linux I usually format them to be NTFS since I believe it to be the better choice. Reading NTFS with an OS other than Windows can be an issue since you need an NTFS driver.

    BTW, I get the impression from reading that thumbdrives are fragile by nature. I've seen too many posts of data just disappearing or the drives just not working.

    Joe
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    >I get the impression from reading that thumbdrives are fragile by nature. I've seen too many posts of data just disappearing or the drives just not working.

    That was what prompted my question. I too have read about them losing data or failing at a high rate and wondered if it might have something to do with the FAT32 format. I tell all my friends and clients not to depend on removable USB media like thumbdrive, flash memory cards and USB hard drives to store critical data. If you value the data I feel it is best to store it on DVD or CD and an external hard disk drive that you can store in a safe or off site location.
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    I have fewer concerns about removable/USB hard drives providing the user knows how to treat them. They should be as reliable as internal drives. That said backups or copies are important anyway. As far as CDs/DVDs go, there are concerns about their longevity. Several of the links at dvd longevity - Live Search provide more insight.

    Joe
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    Longevity.... <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>. Can I tell you how much data I have stored on Zip disks ??? I know what you mean. I just feel that for the time being, CDs and DVD are the "safest" media to use with less fear of failure near term. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    Should I do the D factory partition as well?

    It depends for what purpose partition D: was created. If it is extended partition for your data files, convert it.
    But if it is recovery partition with files and folders to recover computer to the factory state, it's better to live it alone.

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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    I don't know about Macs, but the majority (if not all) of the current Linux distros will be able to hand an NTFS formatted removable media drive. It's just another option that *may* need to be added to the kernel.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: FAT32 vs. NTFS

    Thanks kap it is the recovery partition so I left it alone.
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

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