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File Systems On The Hard Drive

-We need to figure out how to store all this information so it makes sense to the system. The answer to this is a file system. Now this is used by the operating system and since most of us use windows we need to know a little about File Allocation Table (FAT). Now there are a few of these out there. Which one do you have on your hard drive? Most likely its FAT 16. Lets look at the difference in these and figure out what is better. The most typical FAT's on a drive is the FAT 16, FAT 32, NTFS.

-FAT 16, is most likely on your computer if you use windows 3x, early windows 95. Now the nice part about FAT 16 is it is fairly universal with windows 3x, windows 95, and windows NT recognizing it. The only sore side is that FAT 16 waste a lot of useful space as the hard drive grows in size. FAT 16 will only allow partitions of 2 GB's. You don't want to have a 20 GB drive and make it into 10 separate partitions and 10 extra drive letters just so the drive is noticed. Not only is this to many partitions but as the drive grows it will require more space to save bits into.If you have a hard drive that is less than 2 GB you are okay but when you exceed this go with another FAT system. This is were we get into the FAT 32. Yeah, Baby.

-FAT 32, this system is shipped with windows 98 and will get you over the hump of 2GB per partition. Microsoft has made FAT 32 a better filing system and you are able to make better use of space. Not only this but the system does go through ad move data to the outside of the hard drives platter making transfer rates faster. Overall go with FAT 32 when possible. There are some drawbacks to this when it comes to running certain programs and windows NT doesn't like it much but for the most part you are smooth sailing. If you are to use Windows NT 5.0 and better FAT 32 will be available for it.

-NTFS, is made for windows NT and adds transaction log failure recoveries. This is a good feature for NT . FAT 32 will not be recognized by NT and Microsoft said that NT 5.0 will include FAT 32, so if you are using less than 5.0 you may have file sharing problems with FAT 32 machines. Most of us don't have to worry about NT since most user's have windows 9*.

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