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FAT16  and FAT32 file systems  on  peer-to-peer networked  PCs

Posted on 1998-07-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I have 8 PCs connected through a peer-to-peer network and they all are working fine. Of these 8,  six PCs run WIndows-95,  one of them Windows-98 and another Windows 3.11 (an old PC).

All of them share files from a workstation (say S1) running win-95.   This workstation has crashed twice in the last three months.  We had to throw away the hard disks (reformatting did not help!!).  We thought it was due to harddisk failures.

I am beginning to realize that different filesystems can cause potential problems.  

Question 1) What is the filesystem on Windows 3.11?  Is it compatible with  FAT32 filesystems on Window 98 and Windows-95 (OSR2 which supports FAT32)?  

Question 2) For file sharing, should all the filesystems be the same?

Question 3) How to findout what is the filesystem on a machine? What are the general guidelines one should follow for filesharing on a LAN?
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Question by:cys39
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Q1.  Win3.11 uses FAT16 since it is really a shell that runs over DOS.  It does not support FAT32 ON THE SAME COMPUTER.  You can set it up for dual boot, however it will not recognize any partitions that are not FAT16.  

Q2.  The file systems for file sharing over a network are irrelevant.  As long as the computer that is connected to the network recognizes its own file system, NETBIOS and SMB will translate it into a recognizable share.  This is not the case with non Windows machines which need additional software to be seen on a LAN.

Q3.  The best way to manage partitions is by using Partition Magic from Powerquest.  It will let you resize partitions without data loss (manufacturer claim) and gives you a graphical representation of the size and type of partition on each hard drive.

Filesharing can either be Share Level or User Level and can be selected down to the folder level.  I share entire drives for convenience.  Share level is more convenient to set up and less secure.  User level is more secure and less convenient to set up and maintain.
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