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Advantages and Disadvantages of NTFS vs. FAT on dual boot: 95 and NT 4.0 machine

Posted on 1997-12-06
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I am setting up a new computer and have previously had a dual boot machine: 95/NT, since some drivers have not yet been written for NT.

What are the pros and cons of FAT vs. NTFS?  I know that NTFS has security whereas FAT has none, but this is not an issue.  I believe that I can't see NTFS files when in 95.  Does NTFS use storage space more efficiently?  Which file system or which hybrid of file systems should I choose for a 4 gig HD with a 2 gig external drive.  Basic office/finance uses; no games played on system.  I primarily use 95 to access Direc PC, which is not yet avail in NT format. I also need to understand if I should partition the HD for more efficient storage by decreasing cluster size.

Thank you.

Thank you.
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Question by:jbalash
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Author Comment

by:jbalash
ID: 1768970
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olv earned 100 total points
ID: 1768971
Hi,

NTFS as you say provides security and a few other things.  NTFS is more efficient for large volumes which may be important for you.  You are right in that you wont be able to see the NTFS partition when running Windows 95.

NTFS is also a 'recoverable' file-system.  Meaning it can recover better from errors than FAT.    Maximum filename size can be 255 characters as opposed to 8+3 for FAT.

As for partitioning, you could partition it into one volume for 95 and one for NT.  The NT one could then be converted to NTFS.  I would definitely partition it, if you want to take advantage of NTFS.    As to how to partition it, you have to decide which OS you are going to use more often.  If your use of Direc PC is greater than your NT apps, then give the 95 partition the larger of the two.

NTFS's default cluster size is 4k, hence it makes better use of available drive space.  NTFS also directly supports compression thereby allowing more files.  

I hope this answers your question.

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Author Comment

by:jbalash
ID: 1768972
Would like to have known if you need to partition NTFS further.
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Expert Comment

by:olv
ID: 1768973
NTFS supports volumes up to 16Exabytes

(1 terabyte = 1024 Gb
1 petabyte = 1024 terabytes
1 exabyte = 1024 petabyte )

I would think that the easiest would be to create one partition as NTFS, unless you have some specific reason to partition further (say, you want to split up Data and Applications onto different volumes), you shouldnt need to partition the drive further.


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Author Comment

by:jbalash
ID: 1768974
Thanks for the clarification and all best wishes for the holidays.
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Expert Comment

by:jhaley111197
ID: 1768975
FATs file systems do suppoer 255 characters.
NTFS has built in file-level on-the-fly compression. You can pick and choose which files to compress but you will still be able to open then from within applications (with a small unnoticable performance hit). This allows you to compress certain files/directories that have grown large without having to use PKZZIP. Thus, volume level compression is not needed (or wanted!)

BE FORWARNED! ...Win95 cannot see a NTFS volume nor can NT see a FAT32 volume created with the new Windows 95 OSR2 (which will come with your new computer)

If you have a spare computer around, use it with 95 and connect to directPC and NETWORK it to your new NT machine. The NT machine will be able to see the internet using the Windows 95 machine as a proxy server. (This is very easy to set up)
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Expert Comment

by:jhaley111197
ID: 1768976
FATs file systems do suppoer 255 characters.
NTFS has built in file-level on-the-fly compression. You can pick and choose which files to compress but you will still be able to open then from within applications (with a small unnoticable performance hit). This allows you to compress certain files/directories that have grown large without having to use PKZZIP. Thus, volume level compression is not needed (or wanted!)

BE FORWARNED! ...Win95 cannot see a NTFS volume nor can NT see a FAT32 volume created with the new Windows 95 OSR2 (which will come with your new computer)

If you have a spare computer around, use it with 95 and connect to directPC and NETWORK it to your new NT machine. The NT machine will be able to see the internet using the Windows 95 machine as a proxy server. (This is very easy to set up)
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Author Comment

by:jbalash
ID: 1768977
Thanks for the follow up.  Much appreciated.
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