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Thread: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

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    Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    Hi can someone explain this to me? ive always wondered what this is and im about to buy a external hard drive and it says about formatting it in either one.

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Allocation_Table

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS

    NTFS superceeded FAT32 in Windows XP. Its generally considered more secure and stable, with more options available for encryption and other stuff the average user like you or I never uses. Providing your not using an ancient OS like 98, go with NTFS. As said, XP and Vista use it by default and Linux/ Leopard have no issues reading from NTFS volumes either. The main draw back of FAT32, was like FAT16 it had volume size limits allthough there are workarounds I think.

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    o rite thanks alot just looked at my current hard drive and its NTFS now i know to stick to that.

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    FAT32 can handle 2TB partitions, however XP and Vista can only format partitions up to 32GB.

    If you are sharing the drive with PCs running Linux or Macs then you can have problems if it is formatted as NTFS.

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    If you are sharing the drive with PCs running Linux or Macs then you can have problems if it is formatted as NTFS.
    Really? Personenlly never had any problems with Ubuntu or other modern Linux distros and even "Hackintosh" Leopard install I had a play with mounted my XP and storage volumes (all NTFS) without complaint. LOL Leopard even mounted my Linux partition and vise versa!, makes you wonder why XP can't.

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    FAT32 can handle 2TB partitions, however XP and Vista can only format partitions up to 32GB.

    If you are sharing the drive with PCs running Linux or Macs then you can have problems if it is formatted as NTFS.
    Not really true. Ubuntu can read NTFS since Hardy Heron IIRC. And if not, there is always this:

    http://www.linux-ntfs.org/doku.php

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    Read, fair enough. Write? thats another story on most non-MS operating systems. Not a universal truth, but it is a problem.

    *edit* I actually didn't relaise that writing to NTFS volumes was as mature as it is. Last I heard it was still Alpha or at best a Beta implimentation. Not something I would trust my data to anyway

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    ive never even heard of linux lol dont have a clue what you 2 are on about, all too technical for me!

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    Quote Originally Posted by arif7 View Post
    ive never even heard of linux lol dont have a clue what you 2 are on about, all too technical for me!
    Wikipedia is your friend http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux Easist way to describe it, is as an alternative to Windows. Its open source (free to use!) and there are a zillion versions available. Ubuntu being the one all the cool kids are using atm.

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    Re: Whats the difference between FAT32 and NTFS?

    Quote Originally Posted by Funkstar View Post
    Read, fair enough. Write? thats another story on most non-MS operating systems. Not a universal truth, but it is a problem.

    *edit* I actually didn't relaise that writing to NTFS volumes was as mature as it is. Last I heard it was still Alpha or at best a Beta implimentation. Not something I would trust my data to anyway
    When it first appeared, it was buggy and crap, but it's pretty good now. I still tend not to use NTFS any more anyway, and if I do, it's using mount -t auto at the terminal.

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