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choosing FAT32 vs NFTS for Hard drive?

13523 Views 26 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  ~Candy~
Hi..I wanted to buy an external USB hard drive strictly for storage, so just for holding music and video files etc, no programs. Which is the better option for me then, FAT or NFTS? Also, should I have the company that I buy the hard drive from format it for me in FAT or NFTS (for $10) or save myself the money and do it myself, if it's not too complicated? thanks
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Personally I hate NTFS, if you plan on being able to transport the drive in between many different systems FAT32 can't be beat, it also normally has a better level on performance (transfer rate wise) as less overhead is devoted to the file system itself.

Also FAT32 is easier to recover if there is a disaster or a miswrite/problematic shutdown as compared to NTFS which seems to completely self destruct when there is a major issue with the fat portion of the drive.

I have heard of file size limitations on FAT32 but I've never hit them, what is it 12gb? I have a 12gb file sitting on my fat32 drive now.

Choose whatever you need.

My 2.5 cents
Hmm, some say that there is a 4gb limitation on Fat32 but that is only present if the software uses the global access. I guess Norton Ghost goes around this problem.

obvious said:
no chance buttie, that's fat16 with the 4gb limitation. and that's a 16 bit filing system that only works with win 95 (both) win98 and *i think* win ME
Don't know what your talking about Windows 95b, 98, ME, 2k, XP all can use Fat 32.

The so called 4gb FILE SIZE limitation is a "connectivity" issue between the software and the file system (I'm not talking the FAT16 partition size limit which really is 2gb on DOS)

The only reason I brought up the 4gb File size limit (that gotroot mentioned earlier) is that video editing software may or may not bypass that imaginary limit and his video files may be limited in size.

johnwill said:
I'm afraid I'd have to see that, since FAT32 has an absolute maximum file size of 4 gigabytes, and that's only when it has 64kb clusters. There is no way you have a 12gig single file on a FAT32 formatted volume. For your reading enjoyment, here's Microsoft's Comparison NTFS, FAT16, FAT32.
I have a ghost backup of a 40gb drive on a 120gb fat32 drive and it comes out to about 12gb give or take and yes it is accessible I used it to deploy a couple of systems.


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