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Thread: Fat 32 vs NTFS

  1. #1
    thunder9
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    Fat 32 vs NTFS

    I am in the process of building a new machine. I will be starting with a new hard drive also( 40gig). My question is, having used fat 32 in Win 98, and having a good deal of data I need to transfer to my new machine, will it be better to go to NTFS. I understand it is faster and a more logical way to handle information but have had no experience with it. I will be doing a clean install of Win XP by the way. Any guidance would be appreciated.
    Bill

  2. #2
    ileacy
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    NTFS is securable, space efficient, and slightly slower than FAT32. XP now includes a defrag utility for NTFS, so you don't need to buy a 3rd party product.

    If you are planning to just have a single OS then NTFS is fine.

    One word of warning. XP formatted NTFS partitions have a new format. You will need the latest release of packages such as Partition Magic (v7) and Drive Image (v5). The prior releases do not support the new format.

  3. #3
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Bill - NTFS is the secure way to go. I personally have not found a reason to stay with Fat32.

    How do you plan to transfer your 'good deal of data'? Are you on a net, or do you plan to use removable media?

    I was fortunate to be on a peer-peer net with old PCs (W98,Fat32) and simply drug the data to my W2k NTFS PCs. Not a single problem. Of course the apps need to be installed from scratch on the NTFS machines/partitions. I now share NTFS data between drives/partitions with dual boot W2k and XP.

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Bill, my <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>....

    First, NTFS is not faster. It is actually slower than FAT32 due to the overhead required to run it. It is more stable, sure, and has a lot of extra doo-dads. But when you buy, say, a car, do you really care if it has cupholders in the back where you won't be using them? And do you care if that car can go 250 MPH when a daily drive for you maxes out at 65? NTFS has all these great things, but if you are not planning to use them, there is no reason to go with the extra overhead.

    Think about your situation. If you're a home user, do you need encryption, object security, and those things that NTFS provides? Most likely not. These are important in a networked corporate setting to protect data across the wire but no so critical in the home.

    Another thing to consider. If you have a problem on your NTFS formatted drive, you will not be able to boot with a floppy and do any kind of repair. I recently went through this with the boot partition on my desktop - fortunately the problem was not the hard drive and was resolved, but I was close to formatting again.

    FAT32 is slightly faster overall, and if you create partitions on your drive, will be equally efficient at space management. In the end it is a personal preference but simplicity leads to fewer points of failure.
    -Mark

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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Hi Bill
    I'd go along with Mark on this. If you really need encryption, there's plenty of 3rd party freeware available (guess where you can get it from?), including Power Desk with it built in. If you are dual booting with a Win 9x, the NTFS5 can read FAT32, but not vice-versa. I triple boot (98SE, Win 2kP, XPP) and have always chosen FAT32 for maximum compatibility (eg. Office 2000 for all systems is in just the one location, installed three times).

    Rgds

  6. #6
    thunder9
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Mark: Thanks for the response. That is why I came here to ask. You are correct in that I do not need the network encryption etc. I am a Real Estate Appraiser and use the computer to prepare my reports. That entails alot of photography, statistics, transfer of the reports to receipients. I was looking for something that is relatively fast, stable, and that could handle the large amounts of information I store and use. Since I was "upgrading" to XP I thought NTFS may be the way to go. Thanks again.
    Bill

  7. #7
    thunder9
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Ian: Thanks for your response. I do have PM 7 but after the responses am not sure I want to go in this direction. I have noticed that XP seems to be slower than 98 anyway. Not sure I want to slow it up any more.
    Bill

  8. #8
    thunder9
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Thank you for your response. Several of those that responded to my question have mentioned that NTFS was more "stable". What exactly do you mean? Do you mean less crash prone, less corruptable, or more stable in the network sense? The data I have saved to CDR. The app I will reinstall and then load in the data. The data is coming off of the computer I am using now. I am running win 98 now. Thanks again.
    Bill

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Glad that it helped! I am personally a fan of NTFS but at home, I just can't be bothered with it. in direct contrast to an earlier post, I have never found a compelling reason *to* use NTFS over FAT32 - and since it is the sports car of file systems, it makes more sense to me to judge from that perspective.

    From your descripton, FAT32 will be everything that you will ever need, and if something breaks with Windows, you won't be up that well-known creek with one oar and a hole in your boat <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>
    -Mark

  10. #10
    thunder9
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Hey: Thanks for the response. I am starting to agree with Mark too and the others that have responded. If I load the machine in fat32, I can always convert to NTFS but not the other way around ? Question - why do you have three bootable partitions? Just curious.
    Bill

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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Hi
    <hr>I have noticed that XP seems to be slower than 98 anyway.<hr>
    If that's the case, there's something wrong somewhere. From my own experience, and that of others, XP is the fastest of the lot.

    Rgds

  12. #12
    thunder9
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Thanks again. I have been up that creek too many times. I am trying to avoid the water altogether. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

  13. #13
    thunder9
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    Hi again: Only seen XP on 4-5 machines. Two were brutally slow. One was a new 1.5 gig from Gateway, the other an older Dell. The others I saw were fast but I noticed they had over 500 mb of ram. The two slow ones were at 256. Maybe that was it.
    Bill

  14. #14
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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    On this Board and others, I try to answer questions about a multitude of OSs and they way they interact on a single machine. The only one I won't tolerate is ME, and NT4 is not worth the effort in this day and age. Memory (mine, that is) not being what it used to be I have to boot in an alternate system at times to re-run the things I'm suggesting.
    I also master a freeware web site, and like to test unfamiliar apps on different platforms.

    Rgds

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    Re: Fat 32 vs NTFS

    one thing no one told you, there is a limit on how big the partion is fat32 max 32 gig, ntfs 100gig+

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