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Windows 2000 Pro     Run on Fat32 or NTFS?

Posted on 2002-04-22
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
I'm about to install Win2K Pro on my pc.  Updating from 98se, should I leave the Fat32 or convert to NTFS?  Keep in mind its my home computer.  Use it for multimedia and games.  Thanks alot

Kenny
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Question by:DrPcKen
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11 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:CrazyOne
ID: 6961848
Well NTFS gives one more security features and can increase the overall performance of the system. I personally use FAT32 on my home machine because it makes a bit easier to do what I call backdoor repairs. NTFS is more fault tolerant which is to say it has less chances of a file and/or folder getting corrupted. However if something does go wrong on a NTFS system it is a bit more difficult to do simple repairs and fixes. Since your intent is to use it for multimedia and games you might consider getting XP. Before committing to Win2000 make sure that your hardware is Win2000 compatible and that the games you intend on playing are rated to run on Win2000. XP offers a greater array of compatibilities then does Win2000.

Check Hardware and Software Compatibility
http://www.microsoft.com/windows2000/server/howtobuy/upgrading/compat/default.asp


The Crazy One
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LVL 44

Accepted Solution

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CrazyOne earned 400 total points
ID: 6961870
Also if you decide to go with FAT32 and later feel you prefer NTFS then you can simply use the CONVERT.EXE utility to change it to NTFS. The coversion will take place and you will still retain all your current configurations and files and programs.

How to Use Convert.exe to Convert a Partition to the NTFS File System
http://support.microsoft.com/search/preview.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q214579
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jmiller47
ID: 6961885
I agree with going to FAT32 also over NTFS for the above reasons. I would also suggest going to XP over Windows 2000 if that is a possibility because of compatability of games.
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jatcan
ID: 6962769
If it's a personal home machine with nothing really important on it, like stocks or accounting information, then go with NTFS...more scure, less UN-stable, faster with greater storage capacity....you'd be crazy to use fat32 over ntfs under those circumstances, if you lose the file system , so what? You've lost nothing but a few hours of re-installing the OS and all your programs. AND, if your disk is partitioned properly you will not lose configuration settings or saved game files because there will be one partition for your OS, one for your games, one for your programs and one more for your backed up game files, documents and other such back up files..right?..right? Tell me your gonna keep backups? Come on just to make me happy?
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6963714
For multimedia and games, leave it as FAT32, unless you have more than one partition.

If you do, then consider either a multiboot system with both Win98 and win2k, or formatting one partition as NTFS to store any important data.

MS suggestions for dual boot, and FAT limitations.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;q289283&GSSNB=1

I hope this helps !

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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jatcan
ID: 6965823
SysPrep,

can you qualify this statement?

"For multimedia and games, leave it as FAT32"


I would realy like to know what makes you say this, when everything I know tells me NTFS is better, stabler, faster, less wasteful....the only problem with it is that it's SO secure that unless you do regular backups you're most likley gonna lose info if you have a hardware failure of some sort....please explain that statemnt? Thanks.

Jatcan
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:ymash
ID: 6967120
I'd go with NTFS, even if you want to do simple repairs when you can't boot to the OS, you can boot up in repair mode from teh Win2k CD and go to console mode, which is a DOS prompt with access to NTFS volumes.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 6967518
Jatcan and all
<< For multimedia and games, leave it as FAT32"

A lot of older games do not handle NTFS well.

From the sounds of DrPcKen, this is a leisure machine rather than a work machine.

Fat32 is easer to repair and has more tools than NTFS.

For  multimedia and games, the file system is not really going to matter that much unless  DrPcKen,plans on doing heavy duty film / video production.

I also stated that if he can set up a second partiton, he should have it as NTFS.

Win2k can be very difficult to repair on NTFS, and requires quite a bit of technical skills.

Just my 2 cents...

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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jatcan
ID: 6968210
I never thought of that....but is this an older machine that will be playing older games or is it a P3 or 4 system that will be playing recent game releases? AND, win2k and WinXP both have compatibility which works by creating a VM environment for whatever OS you choose...just like VMWare. Nope, you can't convince me that FAT32 is better than NTFS in any environment...
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jatcan
ID: 6968216
Here is a good article that has comparison's between the two file systems and also and updated article to include the new features in ntfs 2:

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/viewfaq.html?i=63
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LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:jmiller47
ID: 6969498
Windows 2000 does have some good compatability features, but I still have seen quite a few games that just have too many problems with it. Much improved in XP though.
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