NTFS or FAT what should be the choice?

By mdimran1 ·
I simply have a dekstop with pentium D
HDD 250 GB,

I wish to partition it in a nice manner, such that i can keep one ( or two OS ), one of which would be XP PRO. and rest of partitions for my various types of data.

having read lot about benefits of NTFS, I am still not clear what should be the choice for me?

one ( or a few ) NTFS partitions for OS's ?
All partitions NTFS ?

Half NTFS and half FAT32?

I do'nt want to utilize file encryption (if) in NTFS

in case of bad events of data corruption, are there good utilities to recover/ repair NTFS partitions?

for FAT32 I know few utilities which directly boot a PC independent of OS and provide recovery/repair environment at very deep level, fat32 file system is easy to understand in those bad days.

please suggest

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re: NTFS or FAT32

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

For the WinXP, you'll want to use NTFS for performance. However, you don't want to format it before the install. Let the install do it. Just create the partitions and install it in the first one. After installation, and after you've got your anti-virus and all the XP updates/patches installed, let WinXP format the remaining partitions that you want to use for data, again using NTFS for performance. There are plenty of tools available to recover data off of an NTFS partition. Don't format, or even assign a drive letter, any partition you wish to install other OS's on.

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Reponse To Answer

by michal101 In reply to re: NTFS or FAT32

Hey folk,,

nobody wants to lost the data. But when during the conversion of file system means FAT to NTFS if it corrupts or data be lost then what happened.
One must apply his logic to repair or get back his data. To get back the data you can use third party repair tool like Stellar Phoenix fat ntfs(http://www.stellarphoenixfatntfs.com) recovery tool. You can use it to recover or get back your file system or get back your loss data.

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FAT32 Limitations

by TheChas In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

Well, I would make any partition for Windows XP be a NTFS volume.

First of all, the Microsoft FDISK utility is limited to around 137 GB for a FAT32 volume. If you have the last update that Microsoft sent out for Windows 98.

If you are formatting your drive with the Windows XP utility, you will be limited to 32 GB per each FAT32 logical drive. You will end up with at least 8 logical drives if you partition a 250 GB drive as FAT32 volumes.

The only exception would be if you plan to dual boot Linux on this system. Then you need to research the file system for the version of Linux you plan to use.

One final note: You do need XP Service Pack 1 or higher to have support for large hard drives.


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see here...

by balge In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

check here for NTFS vs FAT32 -


probably main consideration is partition size, max in FAT32 is 30GB (also max file size is 4GB)

If you want to run another OS you need the file system to be compatible with that file system and partitioning system

Most advanced repair software works with NTFS

I use one partition for Windows and programs and another for data

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by nensi@nit In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

according my solution you have to take all NTFS partition

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by raraschek In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

years of using XP PRO, I suggest NTFS. The perfomance is better and you will have no problem with the HD size limit. I think there is no advantage to use FAT32 partition on a harddrive.

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by Jacky Howe In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

You would only need Fat32 if you intended to install Win98 or ME. If that is the case you should install either of them first so that it is set first in the boot priority and on the first Primary Partition. XP will add its Boot files in there as well. Having said that I personally would be installing Win98 or ME into a Virtual Environment.........
If you have the XP or Vista DVD you can use DiskPart to build your Partitions and Format them.
When setting up a Dual Boot multi Partition drive I use Diskpart to create two Primary Partitions and set the first one Active.
I like to work in multiples of 4096 so multiply that by 6 or 8 and you have a Primary Partition of 24576 or 32768 depending on what you intend to install on the Primary Partition. The smaller the better as the read and write heads don't have to travel so far.

This is an example using DiskPart with a brand new untouched hard drive.
using DiskPart. For example, from a command prompt, type in these commands and press Enter after each one.
select disk 0
create partition primary size=32768


diskpart = runs the DiskPart program
select disk 0 = selects the first Hard drive
clean = erases the drive
create partition primary size=32768 = creats the Primary Partition
active = marks the Primary Partition as the Active Partition, Bootable

Now you can format your partition by typing Format FS=Fat32 for Win98, FS=NTFS for XP

To creat another Primary Partition follow the previous steps omitting a couple.

select disk 0
create partition primary size=?

size=? = Get the calculator out and make your decisions

Note: type EXIT to exit the diskpart session.

Tip. To find out the physical size of the Drive to help your calculations type: list disk at the DiskPart command prompt.

Read up on the documentation that comes with the software.

Virtual PC 2007 Release Notes


Download the full version of Microsoft Virtual PC 2007


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FAT32 vs. NTFS - Depends on end use.

by Charles Bundy In reply to NTFS or FAT what should b ...

In your case if it's just a vanilla desktop WinXP install go with NTFS. Several open source tools exist to work with NTFS file systems (NT Offline Password/Registry editor, SysRescue)

FAT32 is typically faster than NTFS at the expense of security. Size wise FAT32 supports up to 2TB and some of my media recorders require FAT32 for streaming. I think the folks who are quoting GB limits on partitions might mean there are FDISK limitations on partition creation, not FAT32 limits. :)

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After many replies....

by mdimran1 In reply to FAT32 vs. NTFS - Depends ...

First of all thanks to all you guys for peeking in,

almost all choice go for NTFS here. I am convinced to use NTFS at least for system partition.

be patient, a long story starts here >>>

one of my PC in last 8 years is Intel P4 1.8Ghz,512MB RAM, two 80GB drives, normally with only winXP PRO, but sometimes install UBUNTU 8.2/MANDRAKE 9/.... on 2nd drive's ( slave normally)

it gives me freedom of 'keeping two lions in separate cages' ( winxp and ....) there food and messes also become separate

when i need to taste ubuntu/..., i can easily swap drive 0 and 1 and make little changes, and it is there.

due to FAT32 all partitions accessible in both situations. I know NTFS is also accessible in LINUX, but LINUX partitions not in XP

black outs (sometimes) while this system is running XP,on the next boot i always face SCANDISK

which i never skip, let it work and boot to normal XP again.

sometimes system fails to boot due to corruption in drive bot areas r registry corrupt, i have various tools to peek in depth ( if neccessary) FAT32
repair MBR, boot sector, registry, ..and everything is back to normal

I usually keep some recent work in my XP desktop ( temporarily), if system does'nt boot properly, i have tools to access my desktop outside XP and collect my things.

on my DELL OPTIPLEX 745, intel P-D 3.0 GHz presler, 1GB RAM, Q965 chipset, .....


---please shed some light now -------------->

I did'nt get two 120GB drives, unlike before, due to price difference much higher in two 120GB then one 250GB.
I would use new OS choices on this DELL, win 7 , win Vista, UBUNTU but initially XP.

1- few LARGE parttitions are better --------OR-------- more small partiotns in this case?
( currently: one whole primary NTFS partition shows 232GB in winxp on 250GB drive,thinking of roughly 15 partitions of 15 GB each, first two partitions for two OS's )

2- Pentium-D is 64bit CPU, so putting winXP 64-bit would be and advantage?

3- NTFS has more disk accesses than FAT 32?
(when you access many files in bulk, e.g. aggressive search in whole HDD, NTFS updates its logs too often unlike FAT32.)

4- does NTFS has some tolerance for HDD corruption on frequent black outs and power fails while system is running ?

Well thanks for reading this far


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NTFS Does not corrupt easily

by Slayer_ In reply to After many replies....

NTFS does not write data until it is ready, it won't start writing and wait for a process, thus locking a file open for an extended time. It will gather all information then in one motion write it.

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