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Thread: More FAT32 vs. NTFS questions




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    9

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    I've read the post and replies on zeradul's thread on this subject, but it seems like he is trying to do something different, and some of the questions and replies didn't make sense to me (yet). I'm working with a XP-only OS, that is used for business apps and gaming. The computer is networked (peer-to-peer) with 2 other computers running Win98.

    Questions:

    1. "Experts" in my area tell me that I should stay with FAT32, which is currently installed on the drives, for reasons of compatibility, stating that NTFS will likely cause problems for drivers and games. True or not?

    2. They say I won't notice the speed difference to go to NTFS. What do you think?

    3. The WinXP Tweak Guide posted by PersianImmortal states that NTFS is the way to go, and native, rather than upgrading to NTFS is better. How much better? I've got a lot of time into getting the system up, the applications installed, the tweaking done, etc. . . just wondering whether you think I should wipe the drive and start over with NTFS.

    4. I sometimes share files and game with the other computers on the network. Will there be any problem with doing this if my system is NTFS and they are FAT on Win98?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.

  2. #2
    Beefy Guest

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    1. "Experts" in my area tell me that I should stay with FAT32, which is currently installed on the drives, for reasons of compatibility, stating that NTFS will likely cause problems for drivers and games. True or not?

    If you've got it already, then that's a bonus for staying that way, but NTFS won't cause problems, unless you set some really strange security measures.

    2. They say I won't notice the speed difference to go to NTFS. What do you think?

    Speed difference, surprisingly, is basically non-existant.

    3. The WinXP Tweak Guide posted by PersianImmortal states that NTFS is the way to go, and native, rather than upgrading to NTFS is better. How much better? I've got a lot of time into getting the system up, the applications installed, the tweaking done, etc. . . just wondering whether you think I should wipe the drive and start over with NTFS.

    To me, it all boils down to personal preferance. I've got Win XP installed, and both my drives are FAT32. Some people swear by NTFS though. If you've already gone ahead and installed everything on a FAT32 drive, just leave it at that. Unless you really do want to go through and install EVERYTHING again.

    4. I sometimes share files and game with the other computers on the network. Will there be any problem with doing this if my system is NTFS and they are FAT on Win98?

    Sharing via a network is no hassle, as the operating system does all the transferring. However, if you physically pulled your HDD out and stuck it in a Win98 machine, then Win98 wouldn't be able to read the NTFS partition.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Canberra, Australia
    Posts
    1,158

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    Beefy is correct in that it is personal preference to some extent.

    The speed difference between the two is not noticeable. IF you install WinXP on FAT32 and then use the method i mention in my guide to convert to NTFS then the cluster sizes will not be optimal compared with formatting your drive as NTFS then installing XP.

    I strongly prefer NTFS because it will be the file system MS will push/support in the future. More importantly, I really like the security features. For example, I've put all my forum/email passwords in a text file on my drive and ticked a simple option (available to NTFS) to encrypt the file. It opens like normal (no password needed), but only for my login. Even if it's downloaded or trojaned by someone else, they won't be able to read it.

    Same with your hard drive. If you password protect your hard drive, under NTFS even if the actual drive is stolen, there's no way the contents can be examined without the password.

    Compatibility is also not an issue at all. In over a year of running XP Pro, with games/apps stretching back to 1998 I've never had a single problem with compatibility.

    Unless you're willing to fully reformat the drive in NTFS, or need the security features, I suggest you stick with FAT32. I personally recommend NTFS.

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