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Which file system for XP


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#1 of 51 OFFLINE   BradK

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Posted January 13 2003 - 04:15 PM

I have to format my hard drive tomorrow to get rid of a bug on my sound card. I'm currently using fat32, but I have read on more than one site to use ntfs. What should i use? Whats the diff.? Thanks for help.

#2 of 51 OFFLINE   Phil Kim

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Posted January 13 2003 - 04:28 PM

NTFS 5. Better performance (at least on large hard disks), more efficient file system (smaller cluster), optional security and compression, and more reliable.

NTFS.com's NTFS vs FAT

#3 of 51 Guest_Chris*Liberti_*

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Posted January 13 2003 - 04:36 PM

Use NTFS it allows you more control over the filesystem with quotas etc

#4 of 51 OFFLINE   Craig LeBlanc

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Posted January 14 2003 - 12:32 AM

If you are using a large drive and like to have lots of data saved (games, movies, pics, etc), I would seriously think about partitioning your drive if you are going to use NTFS.

What I've done is split my 80GB drive into 2 partitions.

#1- 10GB For the operating system and program files.

#2- 70GB For everything else.


This way, when I decide to reinstall WinXP, I can just back up a few things from partition 1 to part 2...then just blow the whole 10GB partition away and start from scratch. When I used to run Win98, it was easy to do a reinstall...just deltree the program files and windows dir from a dos boot...and then reinstall (the only 2 dirs for the Win9x line were prpgram files & windows). You can't do it this way with NTFS... so going with 2 partitions is probably the way with the least headaches involved.

#5 of 51 OFFLINE   BradK

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Posted January 14 2003 - 02:00 AM

My hard drive is 18 GB. Is this considered big anymore?

#6 of 51 OFFLINE   Kelley_B

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Posted January 14 2003 - 02:07 AM

HFS+....oh wait wrong system Posted Image

NTFS is the best it gets right now in Windows.

#7 of 51 OFFLINE   Ammon

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Posted January 14 2003 - 04:03 AM

NTFS is the worst file system to use for a home PC. Look at it this way. NTFS stresses security, while FAT32 stresses compatability. If you are going to be playing games and other things like that, you will have a hard time finding games and programs that work well with NTFS. DirectX isnt support on NTFS since ver. 4. I've tried both and I can tell you that NTFS is great for servers, but keep it as far away as possible from a PC thats going to get regular use. If you're using this PC for home use, the last thing you are going to be worried about is file security and other highlights of NTFS. This is even stressed my Microsoft themselves. NTFS has never been more reliable than FAT32 in the Home PC arena.

18GB isn't what I would call large anymore. Large would be 80GB and over.

#8 of 51 OFFLINE   Chad Ellinger

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Posted January 14 2003 - 04:28 AM

NTFS is the preferred file system for XP. There are absolutely no compatibility problems with games (do you have any examples, Ammon?). There are a number of extra security features available on NTFS, which you probably won't need to worry about for home use, but they won't hamper performance. In fact, NTFS should perform better in XP than FAT32.

Microsoft recommends NTFS for XP:

http://www.microsoft...._and_FAT32.asp

#9 of 51 OFFLINE   Ken.Nischan

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Posted January 14 2003 - 04:35 AM

Quote:
NTFS is the worst file system to use for a home PC. Look at it this way. NTFS stresses security, while FAT32 stresses compatability. If you are going to be playing games and other things like that, you will have a hard time finding games and programs that work well with NTFS. DirectX isnt support on NTFS since ver. 4. I've tried both and I can tell you that NTFS is great for servers, but keep it as far away as possible from a PC thats going to get regular use. If you're using this PC for home use, the last thing you are going to be worried about is file security and other highlights of NTFS. This is even stressed my Microsoft themselves. NTFS has never been more reliable than FAT32 in the Home PC arena.

Uhhhh I have to disagree. There is no problem with NTFS compatibility unless you are trying to do a multiboot and want both OSes to be able to read each other's data. I have NTFS on all my workstations. I haven't had a FAT partition since I moved away from Windows98 back in 1999. I have a plethora of games on my primary workstation running DirectX 8.1 under Windows XP and have no issues with them. I have even, in a need-a-workstation pinch, ran Unreal Tournament 2003, Red Faction and original UT on my Windows 2000 Server (Direct X 8, NTFS) and had no problems. The only time in three years that I've had a problem was with Worms Armageddon on my 2000 box.. but that wasn't because of NTFS either. Once I ran it under compatibility mode it ran fine.

I also disagree that the last thing you need to worry about on a home PC is file security.. in this day and age of practically everyone having an always on high speed internet connection security is paramount. Not that most people with NTFS tweak their configurations for security anyway. Out of the box "Everyone" is given read permissions on the root level of drives. -sigh-

Just my 2 cents.

#10 of 51 OFFLINE   BradK

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Posted January 14 2003 - 04:57 AM

Uhhh...Ok guys, I wanna do this real quick here. What should I use!? Just so you know, the pc is used basically for dloading tunes and burning them, uploading digital pics, and printing them out, and just everyday surfing. Not much else really. Don't use it for games, have consoles for that.

#11 of 51 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted January 14 2003 - 05:00 AM

NTFS. Only if you have problems with it should you need downgrade to FAT.
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#12 of 51 OFFLINE   Ammon

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Posted January 14 2003 - 05:18 AM

The level of security that can be tweaked within NTFS is far beyond what is needed for a Home PC. Internet security and File security should be addressed differently. If you are worried about hackers, the proper security would be some sort of Firewall. NTFS has never been pushed for Home PC's. I agree that NTFS is technically a better file system. But it has yet to be perfected. Windows XP has made the NTFS better than it was, but it still not what it should be. There are definately times that NTFS should be used. As stressed in the MCSE courses, it was designed for server use and it still is the optimal file system for servers, but FAT32 is still recommended for average Home computer use. Yes, lately Microsoft has been trying to push NTFS, but when looked at a bit closer they will still recommend FAT32 for Home PC's. As I stated earlier:

NTFS stresses security
FAT32 stresses compatibility.

Which is more important to a Home PC? File security or compatability? When I first started using Windows XP I did use the NTFS file system. However, when trying to use this partition with other OS's and multiple partitions, the problems weren't worth it. As far as speed and performance, when accessing large contiguous files, like those found in video or games, you will find FAT32 to be as fast or faster. NTFS deals with smaller cluster sizes so the results are very disk intensive file accessing on part of the HD. I know there are those who prefer NTFS which is fine by me, but IMHO I strongly suggest FAT32 for Home PC's.

#13 of 51 OFFLINE   Ammon

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Posted January 14 2003 - 05:43 AM

Until NTFS has been perfected to run with complete compatibility with the mainstream of software on the market, I would stick with FAT32.

#14 of 51 OFFLINE   BradK

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Posted January 14 2003 - 05:46 AM

K, that's what i'm gonna do...the biggest reason is that's what's on there, and it was recommended by a trusted tech a while back. Thanks for help all.

#15 of 51 OFFLINE   Fredrik E

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Posted January 14 2003 - 06:04 AM

never mind. Posted Image My post makes no sense now that I've read all Ammon's posts ! Posted Image

#16 of 51 OFFLINE   Ammon

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Posted January 14 2003 - 06:05 AM

Chad, I haven't played any of the newer games on Windows XP, so I cannot give you a list of current games. If you watch "The Screen Savers" on TechTV they recently built The Ultimate Gaming Machine. They went through step by step from software to hardware. One of the options were FAT32 or NTFS for gaming. They went with FAT32 as it performed faster for gaming and less problems with the games on the market compared running on NTFS. Apart from Unreal and Red Faction which have been made to work on NTFS there have been a number of complaints from people trying games such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Jedi Knight II. It's also well known that Windows 98 runs games faster than Windows 2000 or WIndows XP.

#17 of 51 OFFLINE   Ammon

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Posted January 14 2003 - 06:12 AM

*shudder* Windows NT..let's not mention that here. Posted Image
Of course, I would also prefer any NTFS OS over Windows ME! Windows XP is built on Windows 2000 and Windows Mellenium with a few changes. And Windows 2000 was built on Windows NT. Granted, the NTFS file system has come a long way since Windows NT, I still have yet to see any NTFS partition run flawlessly! But thats just me.

#18 of 51 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted January 14 2003 - 07:23 AM

It depends what you're using it for, obviously. All thing being equal NTFS will be the better option. The only time I've seen errors with NTFS have been the hardware has not been totally compatible (i.e older motherboards, BIOSs and chipsets not designed to run 2000 or XP). Strictly speaking NTFS is less prone to errors that FAT32 - again, all things being equal.

Brad has already said he doesn't run games so that's not a concern (not that games tend to hit the hard drive that heavily anyway, but I digress). Where he will notice an improvement in NTFS is when there's a lot of files within the directory structure. FAT can get pretty slow when you've tons of files.

Quote:
The level of security that can be tweaked within NTFS is far beyond what is needed for a Home PC.

Depends what you mean by 'security' though. If your system is running on FAT and you have multiple profile logons, anyone can use anyone else's files. With NTFS, each profile can only access the files that it has access rights to (unless you're admin, obviously). That's pretty fundamental security, but can be very useful even for home use.
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#19 of 51 OFFLINE   Ammon

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Posted January 14 2003 - 07:55 AM

I agree that pound for pound, NTFS is a better file system depending on what you are using. The Windows XP user control should be adequate for home use. Encryption, Quota's, Object Administration and other such security options are well left for servers. Games do rely quite a bit on HDD access. For instance, try the Mad Onion 3D Mark 2001 SE program or SiSoft Sandra with various speeds of HDD's. There is a definate jump in access speeds between 100MB/s drives and 66MB/s drives. Now add to the fact that NTFS is slower in loading larger files due to cluster size and it's no wonder FAT32 is the gamers choice still. The highly doubt that Brad will notice any speed problems with file accessing with MP3's and other audio. The file access speeds of NTFS are only going to be noticeable on heavy traffic machines such as servers where 100+ users are accessing files off a single server.

#20 of 51 OFFLINE   Ken.Nischan

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Posted January 14 2003 - 08:03 AM

Quote:
NTFS deals with smaller cluster sizes so the results are very disk intensive file accessing on part of the HD.

The file access performance impact of difference in cluster size is negligble. The main difference is the amount of slack space. Smaller cluster sizes mean you will waste less space on the hard drive. For example.. say your 32GB FAT partition has a cluster size of 16k and the 32GB NTFS volume has a cluster size of 4k. If you were to save a file containing 1k of data, on the NTFS drive you are wasting 3k of space. On the FAT volume, you waste 15k. If you look at worst case loss on 1000 files on a drive, the difference is between 3MB and 15MB of wasted space.

Quote:
Until NTFS has been perfected to run with complete compatibility with the mainstream of software on the market, I would stick with FAT32


How many programs in the mainstream actually have problems with NTFS??

Quote:
complaints from people trying games such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Jedi Knight II. It's also well known that Windows 98 runs games faster than Windows 2000 or WIndows XP


I run RTCW with no issues, and I guarantee I could run JK2 as well. Modern software would tend to be the most compliant.. I could see more issues if you are trying to run something old, like Wolfenstein 3D or Quake or Doom. [But, by the way, I've tested those titles on NTFS no problem Posted Image] Here is a partial list of games I've played on my NTFS system with no issues:

Ghost Recon
Half Life
Unreal Tournament
Unreal Tournament 2003
Rainbow Six
Rogue Spear
Quake
Quake 2
Quake 3
Red Faction
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Wolfenstein 3D
Spear of Destiny
Doom
Doom 2
Tribes
Tribes 2
Star Trek Voyager Elite Force
Tachyon: The Fringe
The 7th Guest

I could go on and on but I don't want to take up too much room Posted Image Remember, the game uses the OS for file access. It generally doesn't do any sort of direct talking to the file system so it could care less which it is. I think Microsoft said it best themselves:

Quote:
It [NTFS] is generally a more secure, more reliable and better performing file system than the FAT16 and FAT32 file systems used by Windows Me, Windows 98, and Windows 95.

The only time compatibility directs people to FAT32 is when they want to be able to have the volume read by older operating systems that do not understand NTFS. Here are some URLs you can check out:

http://www.thundercl....ntfs-vs-fat32/

http://www.microsoft....filesystem.asp

http://www.theelderg....ile_system.htm

Here is your previous example, Screen Savers, recommending NTFS:
http://www.techtv.co....394135,00.html
http://www.techtv.co....201552,00.html


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