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NTFS vs FAT32

By s_megg ·
One of my networked PCs (XP home OS)has one drive formatted as NTFS(master), and the other is FAT32(slave). When it was originally installed it was OK, but now the slave is not recognized as being formatted, even though there is 20GB of data on it. How can I have it recognized on this machine? All programs etc. on the master drive work perfectly.

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by drmorton In reply to NTFS vs FAT32

You need to verify a couple of things.... I would check in the boot bios and make sure that you still have the one device properly labled. If that is good (sectors etc.), then try going to DOS and see if you can go log on to that drive. For example when you go to DOS, Windows will usually put into my documents and settings and simply key cd\ This should put you at the C drive prompt. then key and see if this moves you to the next drive. If it does then you are in good shape. Then you can move the data off the drive and reformat the drive under NTFS. If not then you need to see why the drive designation went away. More than likely it has been clobbered and may not be recoverable.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to NTFS vs FAT32

also try fdisk /mbr

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by donmars In reply to NTFS vs FAT32

I am not sure how it worked at one time. NTFS will not read FAT32 therefore it thinks it is unformatted.

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by s_megg In reply to

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by s_megg In reply to NTFS vs FAT32

Thank you to all who helped me out. I finally did a Windows XP fix through the install CD (OEM version), and it fixed the problem. I will, however be reformatting the drive to NTFS to avoid this in the future. Thanks again gang.

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by abubin In reply to NTFS vs FAT32

what is cr@p talk about winxp not supporting fat32? Winxp (home or pro) fully supports fat32. In fact, I would recommend using fat32 if you do not need ntfs. Most of the features in NTFS is for LAN environment and even homeXP is under using NTFS as some of the features are not implemented in this version.

The biggest advantage to FAT32 to NTFS is that if your system got corrupted and you can't boot, you can use a normal bootdisk to access FAT32 and still retrieve your data. With NTFS that would be a lot harder.

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by s_megg In reply to

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by donmars In reply to NTFS vs FAT32

NTFS is a high performance file system that everyone should consider over FAT anything because it is faster, indestructable (yes, built that way), file compression features,quotas, and even encryption, and more secure. If you are online (internet), in case abubin@yahoo.com does not know this, that happens to be one huge WAN! FAT32 has other problems as well. As you increase the volume or partition size in a FAT32 system, the cluster size also increases. The cluster size ranges from 4K to 32K. You reach the 32K maximum with drives larger than 32?gigabytes.So file storage is far more efficient with NTFS. NTFS can work with single drive partitions up to 8 petabytes, that's 8 followed by 15 zeros. Compare this large drive capability of NTFS with FAT32 that is limited to about 2 terabytes. Don't think this may be a problem? Just remember that we now have drives with more than 100GB capacity. Terabyte sizes are not far in the future. NTFS is much faster in locating files because of its B-tree structure. This means nothing to you unless you are a programmer, but it's too much to go into here. NTFS has more benefits such as reliability. It is a transaction logging system, which allows NTFS to recover quickly from a disk problem or power failure. Each transaction is logged before it is written to the disk. If a power failure or other disk problem occurs, NTFS checks the transaction log to see if the transaction was completed successfully. If it was not completed, NTFS backs out the transaction. No incomplete modifications to the hard disk are allowed.

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by donmars In reply to

So the big advantage of NTFS is that your drive will NOT likely become corrupted, as it probably would using fat32, so you will not have to worry about a boot disk as the fellow above states.

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by s_megg In reply to

Awesome! Thanks for the extremely useful info!

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